It’s difficult to navigate what’s good and what’s bad when there’s just so much to see. The streaming service market is oversaturated and plagued with the smallest to the biggest problems, just as each streaming service is individually plagued with the smallest to the biggest flops known to cinema.
For many, it’s easier to return to an old favorite rather than trying something new; the risk of wasting our time is just too great. With specialty streaming services like Shudder, however, a platform made exclusively to stream horror, there’s more of a chance the audience can find something excellent to watch. Some of these movies are Shudder exclusives, too, so you won’t want to miss out.
10 Fade to Black
Kicking off the list is a horror exclusive that’s brand-new to streaming but an old favorite to fans, Vernon Zimmerman’s campy Fade to Black. This psychological thriller-esque terror stars horror favorite Dennis Christopher (IT) as Eric Binford, a lonely cinephile who finally snaps and goes on a killing spree.
An enjoyable yet strange movie, Fade to Black has been almost impossible to find for years—until now. Thanks to Shudder, old, obscure films such as this are much more readily available, and horror fans should rejoice.
Like Fade to Black, Joe Lynch’s 2017 horror movie Mayhem is funny enough to double up on genres as a comedy. Fans of The Walking Dead will recognize the star of the movie, Steven Yeun (Glenn on TWD), as he plays badass Derek Cho, a lawyer and newfound action-hero.
Derek’s office building has a breakout of a virus that forces people to act out their deepest, darkest desires. Derek and Melanie Cross, played by Samara Weaving (The Babysitter, Ready or Not), remind audiences of something more important than ever these days; people are capable of taking control of their own lives.
8 Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Another film that explores the concept of self-control and free will is John McNaughton and Richard Fire’s Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Fans of The Walking Dead, don’t go anywhere, because this movie stars another favorite actor: Michael Rooker (Merle on TWD) as Henry, the titular serial killer.
This movie is loosely based on the real-life of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, which makes it all the more frightening. While controversial at release, this movie has withstood the test of time to prove how good a movie can be when it really takes its time with its terror.
7 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Okay, so maybe this is one everybody’s seen, but that’s not necessarily true. More and more people find themselves having missed classic horror movies like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre simply because it is considered a staple, and so nobody thinks to ever show it to anybody else.
This is a reminder to go watch The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which is a staple, and for good reason: nothing like this 1974 Tobe Hooper masterpiece can really set people on edge. The entire last half-hour of this movie is fraught with tension that holds up to this day.
6 Ginger Snaps
John Fawcett and Karen Walton’s 2000 coming-of-age film Ginger Snaps will never stop surprising its audience. Starring Emily Perkins (IT) and Katharine Isabelle (American Mary) as teenage sisters Brigitte and Ginger, respectively, who are obsessed with death.
While, on the surface, the movie is about one of the sisters becoming a werewolf, the movie is actually a powerful testament to the pain of becoming a woman, the isolation of growing up, and the strength of sisterhood. Ginger Snaps has gained a cult following in the two decades since its release, and rightly so. Shudder is lucky to have it!
Much like Mayhem, Panos Cosmatos’ 2018 film Mandy is as much an action movie as it is a horror movie. This Nicholas Cage aesthetic powerhouse of a movie has a style unlike any movie streaming on any service right now, and that is not an understatement.
Cage gives his absolute all to his performance as Red Miller, a logger hell-bent on getting revenge for the murder of his girlfriend, the titular beloved Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). While the movie is known for its action sequences, the real heart of the movie is Red’s love for his girlfriend and his grief in losing her so savagely.
Those reading this who haven’t seen Heathers, run, don’t walk, to watch it now. This Michael Lehmann-directed and Daniel Waters-written horror movie is the absolute epitome of black comedy.
Like Ginger Snaps, this movie is about growing up, in its own way. Having come out in 1989, Heathers was intended to be a darker teen movie in direct contrast to the lighter teen movies of its time. Starring Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice) as Veronica Sawyer and Christian Slater (Interview with the Vampire) as Jason “J.D.” Dean, this movie will literally have you glued to your screen from start to finish.
While Stuart Gordon’s 1985 horror-comedy Re-Animator is loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s serial novelette, Herbert West — Reanimator, but don’t let that deter you from watching it. Jeffrey Combs (House on Haunted Hill) plays Herbert West, the titular re-animator, as he discovers a way to bring corpses back to life and discovers the horrors that come along with playing with death. Barbara Crampton (Chopping Mall) even costars as Megan, fiancée to Bruce Abbott’s Dan Cain.
2 The Old Dark House
Though this movie is a bit of a throwback—in fact, it’s actually pre-Code—it still holds up as a masterpiece to this day. The Old Dark House is a 1932 horror staple by James Whale, who directed other horror classics such as Frankenstein (1931), The Invisible Man (1933), and Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
Like a few other members of this list, The Old Dark House is a black comedy, with jokes that hold up even now, nearly one hundred years later. With a runtime just over an hour, this movie is a must on Shudder this season.
If you’ve been keeping up in the horror communities these last few months, you’ve probably heard about Host. This brand-new horror movie is on the fast track to becoming an instant classic, even though it was only released three months ago, on July 30th, 2020.
Written Directed by Rob Savage along with Gemma Hurley and Jed Shepherd, Host uses less than an hour to give us a pandemic-themed horror movie that doesn’t just feel like it’s capitalizing on the pandemic. This film genuinely feels like it’s using its setting well and introducing us to an entirely new world of ways to explore the film genre in these uncertain times. Definitely make Host one of the movies you watch this year—streaming only on Shudder!
NEXT: Shudder: 10 Found Footage Films To Check Out If You Love Host
Harry Potter: Ginny Weasley’s 5 Best Traits (& 5 Worst)
About The Author