AMC recently launched the horror-only streaming service, Shudder, and fans of the genre should be jumping for joy. In short, Shudder is essentially Netflix Instant Watch, but if it only streamed horror films, and if those horror films were more than just found-footage rip offs. Currently, fans can sign up for $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and will be given access to Shudder via desktop, iOS, Android, and Roku. In addition to the online film library, subscribers will also have access to Shudder.tv, a constantly streaming channel playing horror in real time. Considering there are plenty of horror fans that have streaming memberships solely to watch horror films, Shudder seems like a gift sent straight from the Lovecraftian Gods.
The site is gorgeously designed and super user-friendly. For discerning genres fans of the macabre, we like the spotlights on the dark stuff, and Shudder has “curators” ensuring we’re getting more than just the latest Paranormal Activity mockbuster. The site also allows user reviews/ratings, and the ability to upvote or downvote other reviews, allowing users to self-maintain an honest and unbiased ranking system.
Horror is a unique genre considering the vast number of subgenres, and Shudder’s understanding (and appreciation) of this leads to an easier browsing experience of more than just “new” or “recommended” films. My personal favorite collection is “Hexes and Ooohs!” lumping together films featuring witches, curses, and other “malicious magic.”
Currently, Shudder features films ranging from obscure classics like Magic and newer indie hits like We Are What We Are. You can try out Shudder for free for two weeks, and while the service is still in its infancy, it already shows promise to be the best thing to happen to horror fans in the new millennium.
B.J. Colangelo is a filmmaker, performer and contributor to Icons Of Fright, Bitch Flicks, Day of the Woman and others. She tweets at @bjcolangelo.