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- Shudder is a streaming service entirely focused on horror movies and series.
- Its affordable price of $6/month is attractive, but the app’s interface and video quality are poor.
- While true horror fans will find plenty to love, fans looking for new hits will have to look elsewhere.
Shudder is a subscription streaming service specializing in all things horror, from campy classics to new releases. Plans start at just $4.75 per month, and the service is also accessible as part of an AMC Plus subscription.
The idea of an entertainment platform exclusively dedicated to scary movies and shows seems like a horror lover’s dream come true, but with so many other streaming services littering the market, Shudder is worth it- it really worth it?
After spending some quality time with the service, we think it’s a solid option for serious horror fans, but its appeal to more mainstream fans is limited by a few key downsides.
One of Shudder’s most attractive features is its reasonable price. A monthly subscription only costs you $6. You can even save more with a $57 annual subscription, which works out to just $4.75 per month. You can sign up for Shudder directly through the Shudder app or site, or as an add-on channel for Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
Shudder is also available as part of an AMC Plus subscription. The cable channel’s streaming service includes access to everything on Shudder as well as Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited. At just $9 a month, AMC Plus might be a better option than subscribing to Shudder alone, especially if you watch shows like “Better Call Saul” or “The Walking Dead.”
Selection of films and series Shudder
For hardcore and classic horror fans, Shudder’s library is vast and packed with hours of creepy content, old and new. The service has a particularly notable selection of indie and cult content. However, if you’re primarily interested in new box office hits, you might find the library lacking.
For example, Shudder is home to a selection of director John Carpenter’s classics, like “Halloween,” but you won’t find recent horror hits like Jordan Peele’s “Us” or Ari Aster’s “Hereditary.”
On the plus side, the service hosts exclusive content that you won’t find on other subscription platforms, like “Mandy” with Nicolas Cage. However, you can access these titles, and just about everything else on Shudder, by purchasing or renting them separately from digital retailers like Amazon.
Some notable films on Shudder in August 2022 include:
- “Wait for Further Instructions” (2018)
- “Carrie” (1976)
- “Color Out of Space” (2020)
- “Halloween” (1978)
- “Hellraiser” (1987)
- “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)
- “Mandy” (2018)
- “A Missed Call” (2004)
- Psycho Gore Man (2020)
- “Ring” (1998)
- “The Babadook” (2014)
- “The Fools” (1973)
- “The Taking of Barbara Logan” (2014)
- “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)
- “The Lamentations” (2016)
Some notable series on Shudder in August 2022 include:
- “Behind the Monsters”
- “Zero String”
- “Horror Show”
- “The Eli Roth Horror Story”
- “Hammerhouse of Horror”
- “Slasher: Flesh and Blood”
- “The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs”
- “The Walking Dead: World Beyond”
- “Visits with Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah”
In addition to its on-demand library, Shudder gives members access to “live” streaming channels that stream movies from its catalog. Channels are separated into genres like Folk Horror and Slashics (classic slashers). These channels are good for subscribers who are looking for something new to check out and don’t mind tuning into something random.
Although the lack of new studio releases may put off some subscribers, the service’s selection is perfect for horror fans looking for content they’ve never seen before, all in one place and at one price. modest. With so many originals and independent movies, you’re unlikely to run out of scary new movies to watch.
Shudder’s user interface does the job, but it’s not the best. Compared to other mainstream services, Shudder’s app and website lack polish.
Transitions are less smooth, images have lower resolution, and the overall design is rather basic when compared to the competition. In other words, it just seems a little cheap.
But despite its lackluster style, Shudder makes it easy to find things to watch. The homepage is very similar to that of Netflix or Hulu, with new recommendations brought directly to you. It’s also easy to jump into different sections for movies, series, and collections.
The best part about using Shudder is that you can sort movies by horror subgenre. Not all horror is the same, and not all horror fans like the same things, so being able to bookmark them makes it easier to navigate.
You can skip straight to supernatural, psychological, sci-fi, and many other types of horror. Streaming services like HBO Max usually give you a huge alphabetical list of all the horrors grouped together, so it’s a good way to find more niche titles.
One filter that Shudder lacks, however, is a “Sort by Popularity” or “Current Trending” option. Instead, you can only browse by latest additions or alphabetically, making it a bit of an effort to find a movie that’s well rated by other viewers unless you click through each title.
Video and audio quality
Shudder’s website says it only offers high definition video playback up to 720p, with some older movies limited to standard definition 480p. When testing on a Roku Ultra, we found that the service’s audio playback was limited to 2.0-channel stereo.
This is a step up from other more traditional services. The industry standard is usually 1080p (full high definition) with surround sound options, and many services even offer select titles up to 4K Ultra HD with high dynamic range (HDR).
When watching on a 65-inch TV, Shudder’s movies look a little soft and have more noticeable compression than what we typically see on other apps. If you’re streaming on a smaller screen, this limitation won’t be as noticeable, but it’s still a little disappointing.
The bottom line
Shudder succeeds in its aim of satisfying major horror fans at an affordable price, but there are aspects of its design and performance that definitely make it a budget streaming service. For $6 a month, you get access to a wide variety of horror movies, including classic, international, and independent cult films, but the browsing and viewing experiences are lacking compared to traditional competitors.
Ultimately, this is a service designed to appeal to serious horror fans who aren’t happy with the selection of scary titles on Netflix, HBO Max, and other such services. Despite its flaws, if you’re a true hardcore horror fan, we think Shudder is worth the price for its hours of available content.
However, if you’re only looking for the latest horror releases from major studios, you should just stick with a mainstream streaming service.
Advantages: Affordable price, multiple exclusives and originals, vast library of horror classics, sorting of subgenres, available with AMC Plus
The inconvenients: Lower resolution video playback, unrefined browsing experience, app not available on all smart TVs, lacks major new horror releases, limited to stereo sound