It’s late at night and you’re all alone. Your social life isn’t quite horrifying enough to give you the scares you need. So you decide to fire up Shudder. But what should you watch? There’s so many great options. Do you want gore? Do you want a classic? Do you want nightmares? There’s something that will do the trick, I just know it.
But I’m here to help. I’ve spent countless hours watching horror movies throughout my life, and I’ve spent even more countless hours falling asleep to movies on Shudder during the past year or so. So I’m a bit of an expert at what’s good on the streaming service. So I’ve put together my list of the 10 Best Movies On Shudder right now. I’m looking mostly at movies you might not have seen, or haven’t seen lately. Let’s take a look.
1. Mayhem (2017). I’m starting with Joe Lynch’s Mayhem, because it’s a Shudder exclusive, and it’s pretty badass. Steven Yeun (“The Walking Dead”), stars as Derek, a soulless corporate drone who has just been fired from his job at a law firm. Before he can get out the door with his boxed desk contents, the building is sealed off and quarantined because of a disease that forces the infected to act out their impulses. What ensues is a bloody horror-comedy that gives you 88 minutes of office mayhem. It’s a lot of fun.
2. Frailty (2002). Frailty, directed by and starring the late Bill Paxton, is a highly-underrated psychological/religious/horror movie. I reviewed this movie when for my college newspaper (allow me to date myself) and gave it four out of four stars then. And that rating withstands today. Frailty jumps back and forth in time, telling the story of a serial murderer known as the God’s Hand Killer. Years after the initial killings, they have started back up, and Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey) shows up at an FBI office with a tip. I’m not going to say anything more because this is an easy movie to spoil, and the twists make it what it is. The last thing I’ll say is WATCH THIS MOVIE.
3. High Tension (2005). Named perfectly, High Tension is a French movie that mixes the home invasion and slasher genres perfectly. And then it ties it up with a nice twisty bow. Let me just say that you’ll be shocked in the end. As for the story, Alexia and Marie decide to spend the weekend in a secluded farmhouse for some peace and quiet. That doesn’t last long as a deranged stranger arrives in the middle of the night and knocks at their door. Hey, at least he knocked. From then on, it’s pure terror.
4. Phantasm: Remastered (1979). Don Coscarelli’s horror classic has been beautifully restored exclusively for Shudder. If you haven’t seen the movie, first of all WHY NOT?, but let me tell you a little about it. Mike’s parents have died and after the funeral, he discovers that the undertaker, known only as the Tall Man (the late Angus Scrimm) and his army of psycho dwarves have stolen their bodies. Mike and his brother do some investigating and figure out Tall Man’s macabre plot. The best part of this, and the other Phantasm movies, is Tall Man. Angus Scrimm terrified me as a child and, I’ll admit, still scares me a little to this day.
5. Pieces (1982). I’m including Pieces, because any true horror fan should have this in their repertoire. It’s one of the best bad 80s slasher movies you’ll find. It’s accidentally hilarious and purposefully gory, so trust me, it’s bad but so good. And not since Leatherface has a killer handled a chainsaw so well. I can’t do it justice here so just watch it.
6. Willow Creek (2013). Two things I never thought I’d like: Any movie about bigfoot and any movie directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. But Willow Creek are both of those things and I loved it. And to make things even more confusing for me, it’s a found footage horror film. Those have been so played out that I was surprised when I actually liked this one. Jim, a bigfoot believer, drags his girlfriend into he woods to do a little sasquatch hunting. And he finds way more than he bargained for. I normally don’t get scared by things that couldn’t actually happen to me, but I have to admit, this one gave me a bit of anxiety, sweet sweet horror movie anxiety.
7. Prom Night (1980). After Jamie Lee Curtis was Laurie Strode she was Kim Hammond, a disco-dancing high school senior preparing to accept her Prom Queen crown on Prom Night. Of course a mysterious slasher has another agenda: revenge. Seven years earlier, Kim’s little sister died after a group of bullies caused her to fall from an abandoned building. Those bullies are now seniors in high school and someone has waited until the prom to make them pay. It’s nothing like the remake from 2008, so don’t think you can compare the two. And if you’re feeling extra brave, Prom Night II is also available on Shudder. It’s one of the most absurd sequels in history (and has nothing to do with the original), so check it out for some laughs.
Staples on Shudder: Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, V/H/S, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, Hellraiser, Let the Right One In, The Hills Have Eyes, Basket Case
Save it for Christmas: Black Christmas (1974), Better Watch Out (Shudder Exclusive), Christmas Evil