As a horror junkie, I am constantly trying out new avenues in which to discover new films or re-watch old favorites. Sometimes I find myself spending more time scrolling through Netflix than I do watching titles, and while I will always love Netflix, the prospect of a new way to find more titles always excites me. There have been numerous apps and streaming sites I have checked out in the past that have just fallen short…but my search must go on.
Shudder.com, the on demand horror only streaming service is truly giving Netflix a run for it’s money with the amount of quality horror available for you to watch. While Netflix definitely does have some great titles to boast about on their roster, Shudder is quickly shaping up to be a powerful competitor for the hardcore horror lover. Here are 8 films that you can (and should) watch on the brand new streaming site immediately. Be aware that these titles are currently not available on Netflix, and are in no particular order.
Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979)
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Werner Herzog’s beautiful and haunting adaption of the original Nosferatu is one of my favorite films of all time, coming extremely close to beating the original for me. Herzog has managed to take a film that filled so many people with absolute terror and breathe new life into it, creating something that is filled with emotion and darkness. The cinematography is something in it’s own and must be watched immediately. Herzog filmed two different versions of this movie; one in German and one in English. The actors read their lines once in English and once in German and both were filmed. However, the filmmaker considers the German version to be more “pure.” I might be with him on that one.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
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Best werewolf movie ever made? Quite possibly! This 1981 werewolf flick goes above and beyond in the animation department. The transformation scene is something that needs to be seen to believed; I don’t think there has ever been a more agonizing depiction of the transition from wolf to man in a film to date. You can almost feel the fangs puncturing through the antagonist’s gums. As amazing as that scene is, it would be a complete lie to say that it’s the only noteworthy thing about the film. The acting is superb with good humor and likable characters.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
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Although Netflix has the second and third installment of this franchise, it’s missing the first and most important one! Look, you’ve got to just trust me on this one. I don’t want to say much about the film because I don’t want to give anything away. Please do yourself a favor and go watch this one immediately. If your jaw hasn’t dropped by the time you finish this film, you’re probably not human. Go watch this NOW!
Castle Freak (1995)
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When I saw this on the Shudder roster, I almost jumped for joy. Full Moon Entertainment producing a movie based off of an H.P. Lovecraft story, directed by Stuart Gordon!? Say no more. SAY NO MORE! If you’re not familiar with Full Moon, go watch the Puppet Master series. They are fun, cheesy, and gory as all hell. Richard Band does a great job with his campy score that is very similar to that which can be heard in Puppet Master as the theme. I love this movie. Violent, scary, corny, great.
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Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. What a mouthful. Yet another campy cult classic with awesome creature effects. While this movie could have taken a political stance given the nature of the creatures, it decides not to. It has no underlying themes besides just being a good, fun, monster movie. I love movies that have deeper meanings that make you think, but that doesn’t always make for good entertainment. This movie definitely does.
The Crazies (1973)
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In contrast to the movie before this, George A. Romero’s 1973 horror film absolutely does have political undertones and holds a deeper meaning than just crazy monsters for the sake of a good time. This is a great film because it’s Romero, but it’s not anything in the Dead series. It is also very early on in his career so it is interesting to see how his style has changed over the years. The film focuses on biological warfare and the devastating effects of such things, so even though it was made over forty years ago the movie retains it’s scare factor with the relevance of everything going on in the world today.
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A very Stephen King-like man moves into a house that his aunt just hanged herself in. What could go wrong? This movie is filled with fantastic creatures and oddball weirdness. Part satire on the genre, this film really kills it with the humor and imagination. Extra points for having Sean S. Cunningham of Friday the 13th fame on board for this one. Yet another movie that is both fun and goofy that will appease both the hardcore genre lover and casual horror fan. “Hey, is that Norm from Cheers?” Why yes it is!
Carnival of Souls (1962)
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An odd, atmospheric film that predates Dawn of the Dead and relies more on the creepy factor than the gore factor. This movie is an absolute classic filmed with eerie visuals and uneasy feelings. Definitely a must see if you have not already. While many fans of very gory thrillers may not be interested, it is important to watch this movie and see where many people have drawn inspiration from including Romero and David Lynch. One of my favorites.
Sold yet? You should be! Go try the beta right now! Don’t miss out!