You may have heard about Shudder, the new streaming service backed by AMC (yes the very AMC known for Mad Men) aimed at rabid horror movie fans. I'd only glimpsed a fraction of what the service had to offer --- until now. And I'm thoroughly impressed, I have to admit.
For people like me, Halloween is every day. (Insert Ministry's titular tune here.) For more general cinephiles --- or those who want to get in on the Halloween spirit --- Shudder has an incredible array of horror films from pretty much every sub-genre that I can see.
If you want to get started on your Halloween binge watching right away, persuse the Halloween section for fun films like Murder Party, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, and Frankenhooker, as well as creepier flicks such as Pulse, Let The Right One In, Dead & Buried, Hellraiser, and the supremely underrated and underseen Let Sleeping Corpses Lie.
There are cool categories listed too, if you're looking for something particular --- and who isn't? We're talking "Bad Genes & Killer Kids," "A-Horror," "Eco Terror," "Flesh Eating Frenzy," "Comedy of Terrors," "The Unraveling Mind," "Cult Masters: EuroHorror," "Urban Decay," "Weird Science," and even "The Unblinking Eye: Diabolical Documentaries" and "Bava-Thon" categories, among many.
If it seems like I'm acting like a PR shill, I'm not; it's just that I'm genuinely excited by all the ridiculous goods on display. Shudder has every single episode of George A. Romero's Tales From The Darkside --- an exclusive. You're lying if you say that the show's theme score and narration didn't scare the crap out of you when you were little. It's still exceptionally creepy.
They've also got an exclusive on a French TV series with a really interesting premise titled Beyond The Walls, which concerns a therapist who inherits a house that hides a shape-shifting parallel dimension and creepy creatures within its old walls. Just... wow.
Horror addicts are going to see Shudder as both a blessing and a curse: just looking through all of those categories, I'm wondering when I'll have time to get to watch all the goodies within... and how my life might be impacted if I surrender to Shudder's seductive siren call. I'm not sure I'll be able to come up for air.
Shudder has even started building a slate of short horror films, such as Jason Kupfer's hilarious Invaders. and Jack Attack from Bryan Norton and Antonio Padovan, which made me yelp "Oh my God!" out loud. I didn't see a category made for shorts yet, but I imagine that one is well on the way. (Full Disclosure: my own short Innsmouth will be joining Shudder soon as well!)
Curated by Colin Geddes (who programs TIFF's Midnight Madness) and Sam Zimmerman (whose previous roles have been managing editor at Fangoria and editor-in-chief at Shock Till You Drop), Shudder offers an extensive menu for horror fans. They've even brought in impressive guest curators who boast their own picks and categories: Directors Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Larry Fessenden (Habit), Fred Dekker (Monster Squad), Robert Eggers (The Witch), and Alexander Aja (High Tension) are among those who offer recoomended viewing for your darkened rooms.
There's even a section for films that have played top genre festivals like Fantastic Fest and Midnight at Sundance! If you're interested in falling down the rabbit hole, Shudder offers a free one week trial, before the low monthly price of $4.99 --- or $49.99 per year. Check out the needful things that Shudder provides here.