Shudder is a unique subscription site in that it focuses primarily on the horror genre. Since starting my free trial last year it has been my go-to for the latest horror films. Shudder provides new releases, classics, indies, and originals. Truly the site has everything the horror enthusiast could ever hope for.
The real value from Shudder is their originals, which are horror films made specifically for the platform. By far these originals are the best of the site’s inventory. The following are my personal favorites.
The Beach House directed by Jeff Brown
The Beach House is sure to get under the skin. While the premise of a boyfriend and girlfriend on vacation in a beach house is not altogether terrifying on the surface, the way the plot ends up playing out takes one on many unexpected twists and turns.
In fact, it is this very mirage of normality that makes the terrors later in the film all the more unsettling. It is never made entirely clear what the threat of the film is and this garners an atmosphere full of thrill and mystery.
Blood Quantum directed by Jeff Barnaby
Blood Quantum is a film about a zombie outbreak in which only people of Native American descent are immune. The film tackles real issues that pertain to Native American life, while also providing clever and disturbing scares.
But the scares are only a backdrop to the true horror of the film: the many real-life struggles of Native Americans. The film covers the high amount of crime, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy within their communities.
Scare Me directed by Josh Ruben
Scare Me is a film following a wanna-be writer Fred and a famous horror novelist Fanny who happen to meet while staying at snowy lodges to write. When a blackout occurs, the two convene for the company and begin to tell scary stories to one another.
The tales the two end up creating are entertaining but the way they are filmed adds another layer of creepiness to the stories. The film plays on our expectations with humor and horror in this both lighthearted yet surmised dark horror.
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror directed by Xavier Neal-Burgin
Although Horror Noire is not technically horror, the substance it gives to some of horror’s greatest films featuring black characters and black issues is extremely valuable. The film has an amazing cast of commentators from directors to actors.
Getting to know the history behind some of horror’s greatest films such as The Living Dead, The People Under the Stairs, and Get Out was fascinating and enlightens audiences to more of the film’s themes, technical effects, and creators.
The film explains the history but also the possibilities within the terror genre for minorities to express their creativity and voice the unsaid.