Everything you need to know about Shudder UK
- Henry Northmore
- 24 October 2017
Tons of terrifying titles to tempt hardcore horror fans
Shudder wants to be the Netflix of horror. A streaming service that deals only in scary movies with a smattering of dark thrillers and pitch black sci-fi. There's a big back catalogue grouped together in collections (such as supernatural, female directors, vampires, cannibals and slashers) or you can just browse the full collection, alongside a smaller selection of shorts and TV series.
There's a nice user-friendly interface and you can build up your own watch list. Unfortunately Shudder isn't on PlayStation Network but it is available online or via Apple, Android, Roku, FireTV, Amazon Prime Video, VRV and Xbox (we watched most of our content cast from a mobile or an iPad onto the TV and it worked pretty much seamlessly). The only technical glitch we encountered was it sometimes forgot where you were in a film when you went to resume play after a break, easy enough to rectify but a bit frustrating. It's set at a decent price of £4.99 for a monthly subscription or £47.88 for annual membership (and they are currently offering a free month trial).
What makes or breaks a service like this are the films on offer. Shudder isn't aiming at the mainstream market, causal horror fans will find plenty of movies to watch – including classics like An American Werewolf in London, Hellraiser, Nosferatu and The Mist – however this is more for the aficionado. Ranging from Hammer Horror to ultra-gory exploitation cinema (including several ex-video nasties such as Faces of Death, Don't Go in the Park, Zombie Flesh Eaters and Eaten Alive).
There are plenty of rare and hard to find gems hidden in the catalogue. And part of that might be that Shudder is curated by human beings rather than computer algorithms. Specifically Colin Geddes, former Midnight Madness programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Sam Zimmerman, managing editor at website Shock Till You Drop. They have a good eye for what appeals to the hardcore with a substantial collection of world cinema with a particular focus on Asian horror and old school Italian giallo. There's also a nice little community with skull ratings and comments from obviously passionate and informed users to help guide you through the listings.
It's the exclusives that really sets Shudder apart. They have gone all out rounding up titles like Rob Zombie's 31, film festival hit The Love Witch, Flying Lotus' directorial debut (the frankly disgusting) Kuso, The Ring vs The Grudge showdown, Sadako vs Kayako, Finnish slasher Lake Bodom and comic genius Alan Moore's Show Pieces. And following the Netflix model they have started producing their own content, there are only and handful of titles at the moment but expect that to expand in the coming months.
If none of the aforementioned titles mean anything then Shudder probably isn't for you but if the prospect of Phantasm V (yet another Shudder exclusive) sends a shiver down your spine then welcome to the dark side.