Are you a horror movie buff who has watched everything on Netflix and Hulu and is craving a new horror movie-only streaming service? Have you hear of Shudder? Shudder is exactly that, a horror movie-only streaming service. For $5 a month, you can watch as many horror movies you want.
On its face, Shudder is a horror buff’s paradise. Unless you have seen every horror movie in existance (at which point you are the luckiest human alive and could you trade places wth me?) there’s a good chance there will be something new and exciting for you to discover. I personally discovered Home Video (an evil kid found footage movie) and Shock (a ghost- possessed evil kid Italian/English language movie) thanks to Shudder. With other streaming options such as Amazon Digital and production company websites, is Shudder really right for you?
At $5 a month for membership, downloading the “free” Shudder seems like a steal. The catch? You have little control over the streaming movies. If the sound or visuals are sketchy, you’ll have to accept it or drop your membership because as of this point, the Shudder team hasn’t been working on quality control. Oh, and if you have to pause your movie for an extended period of time (five minutes+), good luck coming back to the same scene! Sometimes you’ll even have to start the movie over and use the scrolling option to get back to sort-of where you were. Shudder is definitely not “smart” about holding your place like Netflix.
The movie selection on Shudder is hit or miss. Props to the app creators for dividing the movies into categories (sometimes multiple categories) based on the creature and on the subgenre(s). If you know what you’re interested in watching, Shudder points you in the right direction. Other digital services do this to a point, but Shudder is more specific than Netflix. The movies themselves are…Well, if you don’t like change then you’ll love Shudder. There’s occasionally new movies added to the collections, but more often than not the movies are what you saw the last few weeks. On the plus side, you can debate about movies that sound interesting but you aren’t entirely sure about for weeks and it’ll probably be there when you decide “Yes! I’m going for it!”
Far be it from me to push you completely away from Shudder when it does have good movies. I sincerely recommend Home Video, Shock, and Carved: The Slit Mouth Woman. Even movies that I personally wouldn’t consider good (ex: Body Melt and Bad Biology) are there and serve a purpose for someone. If you don’t like one movie, it’s relatively easy to stop it and move on to a new movie. For some of Shudder’s amature mistakes (not dealing with quality complaints), it was at least designed to be user-friendly. Once you figure out Shudder’s layout, it’s easy enough to navigate.
As long as Shudder is only $5 I wouldn’t disrecommend it, but it is flawed and I think every horror buff needs to know that before going in. If you can handle these not-so-good points, have at it.