AMC’s Shudder: Is This Spooky Streaming Service Worth it?

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Are you a frightfest fanatic who’s in the mood for haunting tales and scary flicks? With Halloween on the horizon, there’s no better time of year to amp up the terror by indulging in some spooktacular programming. Whether you’re a fan of pure horror, slasher films, psychological thrillers, monster movies or cult classics that are as nostalgic as they are nauseating, plenty of streaming services offer Halloween-themed marathons to satisfy your needs.

But what’s a true horror fan to do when all the ghoulish gross-outs are spread out across multiple platforms? Put down the hockey mask and machete — AMC’s Shudder is here to administer your necessary dose of screams. With hundreds of films and TV show episodes on its roster, this horror-only streaming service might be just what you need to quench your thirst for terror. Ready to conjure up Candyman or mingle with Michael Myers? Find out what Shudder offers and whether it’s worth the subscription price.

Shudder: A Platform for Horror Fanatics, by Horror Fanatics

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Shudder is a streaming platform designed to meet the niche needs of a key group of film buffs: horror fans. By all accounts, the streaming service has successfully pulled off this mission. Shudder is a premiere service that offers scary programming — and only scary programming — in the form of old and new films, television shows and documentaries that fall into the genres of horror, supernatural and thriller themes. It caters to fans of both movies and episodic horror and provides an impressive library of options to explore.

What makes Shudder such a fantastic platform is its variety. Shudder’s collection of films and shows spans hundreds of movies, dozens of TV shows and even a handful of horror-themed podcasts. The platform features a large number of classics that have defined the horror genre — think iconic flicks like John Carpenter’s Halloween, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Train to Busan. But it also offers up plenty of indie films, comedies and old-school titles that paved the way for today’s horror. Ever watched Chopping Mall, Hell Night, or Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker? With Shudder, you can dive into films that might not have crossed your radar before.

Shudder also organizes content by collections so you can spend less time reading endless summaries to hunt down the films or series that fit your taste. Curated collections like “Love Sick,” “Horror Noire,” “Anthologies” and “Queer Horror” make it easier to tap into the topics you’re dying to watch. And, what’s even better is that these super-specific lists aren’t left to the whims of AI software; instead, actual people — vetted horror fans — create the lineups, so you know they’re good. With over a million users subscribed to the streaming service, Shudder may have cracked the code for successfully spooky programming.

Shudder’s Perks Include Original Flicks and Spooky Shows

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While Shudder features many classic horror flicks and shows, these aren’t the platform’s only claim to fame. It also provides exclusive and original content designed to appeal to Shudder subscribers One of the most popular original series available is Creepshow, which is inspired by the 1982 film of the same name (directed by George Romero and written by Stephen King) and the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s. Creepshow is structured like an anthology, bringing horrifying comic panels to life and exploring everything from the supernatural to the super-strange. The platform is also releasing new episodes of the original series Slasher, which features a storyline about a family on a secluded island who’s forced to fight against one another for survival.

Shudder’s original films are also some of its highlights. The movie Host was one of the top films of 2020 on Shudder’s platform. Recorded utilizing Zoom only (giving it that pandemic-anxiety vibe), the movie features a group of friends gathering online for a socially distant hangout…and succumbing to dark forces on each end of the camera. A Nightmare Wakes imagines Mary Shelley’s process for writing Frankenstein —but the monsters don’t stay on the page. These titles represent only a handful of the unsettling nailbiters within Shudder’s library. But what’s the verdict?

Is the Subscription Worth the Horrific Hype?

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If you love all terror all the time, Shudder is the perfect platform for you. Even if you subscribe to Netflix, Hulu or another popular streaming platform, Shudder has the widest variety of curated horror on the streaming market centralized in one place. With over 400 movies and hundreds of television episodes already on its docket, this collective of frightening tales is slated to only grow in size, with new films and episodes appearing weekly. Like most streaming platforms, you may not love all the content that you view on Shudder — but there’s a handy rating system (with skulls instead of stars!) so you know what fellow horror fans think.

The platform is easy to access through most devices and browsers, so you can queue things up on your Roku or fireTV device or take the streaming service with you on your laptop or phone. A standalone Shudder app is available via Google Play, Apple’s App Store and Xbox One, and it works similarly to other streaming apps.

If you’re not sure you want to make the subscription leap, Shudder has you covered. It offers a seven-day, no-strings free trial so you can take your time browsing titles and collections to see if the variety is enough to capture your interest. Just keep in mind that you’d be hard-pressed to engage with all that Shudder has to offer within a week. As an added bonus, the platform is entirely ad-free.

Membership plans start at only $5.99 a month, making this an affordable option. To save a bit on this month-to-month price, you can opt to purchase a yearlong subscription for $56.99 — which comes out to $4.75 per month. If you’re more interested in getting your scare on for the Halloween season without committing to the full year, subscribing to Shudder at least through October can help you scratch the itch.

Ultimately, if horror is your top streaming genre, signing up for Shudder is a no-brainer (sorry, zombies). With an influx of new flicks and shows frequently hitting its library and an affordable monthly fee, you won’t run out of terrifying titles anytime soon.

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