One of the world’s largest selections of groundbreaking horror movies, new horror series, and outright bizarre originals can be found on Shudder. This premium streaming software offers a wide selection of unedited horror, suspense and supernatural movies at the push of a button. Single-handedly, they have enhanced the viewing experience for horror fans around the world, while at the same time creating an unprecedented platform for smaller movies and creators to thrive on a large scale.
Shudder’s main goal is to support unknown experimental filmmakers and films, but it also provides an inordinate amount of timeless horror movies that will only get better with time. Here’s a look at some of the classic horror movies currently streaming on Shudder, from scary neighbors to vicious family killers to terrifying supernaturals.
carnival of souls
Old but good, Carnival of Souls only gets better with time. This film follows Mary, the sole survivor of a deadly collision, as she finds herself drawn—no, magnetized—to a mysterious abandoned amusement park. It has a satisfyingly atmospheric tone. Compared to a movie about a man with a knife, this one moves slowly. By all accounts, this is a slow story with many twists and turns that are, for the most part, resolved by the end…or, at the very least, all connections to reality are completely and cleanly severed…Never say we didn’t warn you!
boys of the corn
Stephen King’s short story serves as the basis for the film Children of the Corn. Although these children appear sweet and innocent, they are actually ruthless monsters that must be punished forever.
One of his best film adaptations is the one from 1984, which encourages all parents to rethink the possibility of having children. These kids aren’t your usual brats; they are spiteful killers who torture each other and murder every adult in their path, including their parents. They support young Isaac, played by John Franklin, a mainstream cult leader, as their leader. Remakes of this haunting and provocative classic haven’t fared so well.
fade to black
In Fade to Black, Eric, a troubled movie buff with a deep love for black and white movies, fights valiantly to find his place in the world. After a while, this man-child snaps and goes on a murderous rampage, murdering family and friends while assuming the personas of well-known movie characters. It’s surprising that mental health counseling wasn’t instantly recommended for this movie and its writers prior to production.
The psychological aspects of this movie are absolutely insane. Instantly drawn to Eric’s head as he goes through each transition is the audience. He may want to take a walk after watching this movie instead of going back to the theater for a while.
With the use of long takes, split framing, and the use of music to foreshadow difficult moments, the first Halloween film (from 1978) pushed the boundaries of conventional film storytelling in long-established conventional and technical media.
The narrative itself was so novel and contemporary for its time that viewers were captivated by Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and even Michael Myers, particularly in the later Halloween episodes that focused on the Myers family history. The Halloween series is currently one of the most trusted and reliable works in the annals of horror.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser debut in 1987 was simply the traditional “tip of the iceberg”. The aesthetic appeal of this horror classic is a combination of its time and original inspiration from it. The story centers on the legendary kingdom of vicious creatures led by Pinhead. With enough body horror and gore to fill an entire movie series in one movie, this sexually explicit horror dream was a welcome change from the onslaught of slashers at the time.
Modern viewers have been able to rewatch the sitcom after its notorious remake of the perennially popular Rick & Morty thanks to Hulu reviving it last year.
Night of the Living Dead
In George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, there are zombies. Distributed by Continental, Night of the Living Dead is as much a grand reimagining of the contemporary zombie thriller as it is a message about race relations. A pioneer of low-budget guerilla cinema, this film was shot near the outskirts of Pittsburgh for approximately $100,000. It was somewhat controversial at the time due to its use of a black lead as the main character and its “excessive” use of violence and gore by 1960s standards. Its final scenes perfectly play off the social satire while laying the groundwork for a plethora of more zombie horror movies.
German expressionist horror permeated Nosferatu when the film was initially released in 1922. The film is a true classic that came close to never being repeated until Werner Herzog gave it another shot over 50 years later. Initially, it seemed unlikely that Herzog, who at the time was known for hardcore documentaries of him, would return to the story, but 1979’s Nosferatu proved otherwise. This elegant recreation was produced in two languages: English and German, the latter of which can be viewed on Shudder.
This film is included on the list solely because of the story’s natural ability to endure in popular culture for over a century. Check out NOS4A2, a cover of a contemporary classic by Joe Hill, if you’re looking for a more contemporary interpretation of the piece.
The VHS that started it all… The pinnacle of the J-horror category is the 1998 adaptation of Ring aka Ringu, starring Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani and Hiroyuki Sanada. The plot of Hideo Nakata’s film, which was based on the novel of the same name, served as both a hook and a clever marketing ploy. The public was left to speculate if enjoying a movie that forbade anyone they dared to watch might unknowingly make them the target of the curse. The film subsequently served as the inspiration for numerous American and Japanese remakes.
The Sleepover Massacre
The Slumber Party Massacre demonstrates how having a few friends over for the night can be disastrous. This movie is for anyone who has had a party while their parents were away (sorry mom, you had to find out this way!).
In the film, Michele Michaels’ character Trish, a high school senior, decides to throw an unexpected sleepover with her best friends. However, psychopaths are not allowed! A runaway madman with an obsession with power drills runs rampant through the neighborhood, sending the night into a tailspin. The film and its 100% Rotten Tomatoes-based remake should act as a warning to always keep all drills and screwdrivers carefully tucked away.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Early viewers of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre can attest to how terrifying it was to watch at the time. What makes this movie so incredibly compelling is Leatherface’s ability to evoke dread without using words or even the slightest movement. Just being around him makes me nervous.
The fact that some of the murders in the Texas Chain Saw Massacre are based on actual incidents is another troubling aspect of the film. Leatherface’s on-screen murders and fur mask are inspired by the Wisconsin murders committed by serial killer Ed Gein between 1954 and 1957. The reality of this situation is equally bizarre, if not stranger than fiction.
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