Yes, there are many excellent horror films available on Netflix (including a sturdy selection of originals). There are several excellent titles available on Hulu and Amazon as well. But the truth is that Shudder is the best streaming service for true horror fans.
Don’t worry if you’re new to the service and unsure of where to begin: We combed through Shudder’s incredible back catalogue to choose the top movies that are worth your time, from timeless classics like Halloween to more recent releases like Mandy. Observe them all.
1. The Amusement Park
54 minutes total
George A. Romero was the director
When the Lutheran Service Society of Western Pennsylvania engaged George A. Romero to make a film about ageism, he also shot this brief. They were so surprised by the outcome that it was essentially hidden for 50 years; it is now only viewable on Shudder.
It’s a beautiful chapter in Romero’s filmography that displays both his unquestionable social consciousness and amazing framing ability.
2. The Babadook
Duration: 1 hour and 33 minutes
Jennifer Kent is the director.
Take advantage of the opportunity to view one of the best horror movies of the 2010s once again while it’s on Shudder because it hasn’t been widely available for streaming subscribers.
In Jennifer Kent’s feature film debut, Essie Davis plays a mother who, after losing her husband, struggles to raise her troubled child by herself. Oh, and the boy’s room also has a real monster.
3. The Beach House
1 hour 27 minutes.
Jeffrey A. Brown is the filmmaker
One of Shudder’s best original movies to date, Jeffrey A. Brown’s directorial debut tells the tale of two couples trapped in a remote beach house when the world abruptly ends.
Brown’s picture, which has elements of The Mist by Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft, begins as a simple character study before becoming considerably nastier. People who dislike nasty things associated with feet might want to look elsewhere.
4. Black Christmas
Duration: 1 hour and 38 minutes
Bob Clark is the director
Black Christmas, a seminal 1974 movie, is currently being remade 45 years after the original’s release, so now is a fantastic time to watch it.
Remember that this slasher classic, which stars Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey as sorority sisters who are hunted on Christmas, came out before Halloween and Friday the 13th. In other words, it’s actually one of the earliest slasher flicks, influencing hundreds more.
5. Black Sunday
1 hour 26 minutes.
Mario Bava is the director
You can find a great selection of Mario Bava movies on Shudder, so use the 1960 horror classic Black Sunday as one entry to access a variety of nasty treats. This is one of Bava’s most well-liked movies; it tells the tale of a witch who seeks retribution two centuries after her death.
Lisa and the Devil, Kill Baby Kill, Black Sabbath, and A Bay of Blood are the other Bava movies available on Shudder. Observe them all.
6. Carnival of Souls
1 hour, 18 minutes.
Herk Harvey is the director.
Herk Harvey’s 1962 picture, one of the best horror films ever made, is a pioneering cult classic, a movie made for absolutely no money that ended up being a significant masterpiece. After surviving a vehicle accident, Candace Hilligoss portrays a lady who begins to see terrible visions.
She finds an abandoned circus thanks to these visions. Even while this movie’s influence can be seen in countless horror films that will come after it, on its own terms, it is still incredibly disturbing.
1 hour, 28 minutes.
James Ward Byrkit is the filmmaker
A treasure that debuted at Fantastic Fest and has since gained quite a cult following was written and directed by James Ward Byrkit. Rod Serling would have adored the concept of the 2013 movie: The entire neighborhood goes into darkness, save for the house at the opposite end of the street where the same dinner party appears to be happening as a number of people join together for a dinner party. Hold on.
8. Color Out of Space
1 hour 50 minutes.
Richard Stanley is the filmmaker
After the catastrophic 1996 production of The Island of Dr. Moreau, Richard Stanley co-wrote and directed this version of the H.P. Lovecraft short story with the same name. This went much more smoothly. A family goes to a distant farm, where Nicolas Cage plays the dad, and a bright meteor appears to land in the front yard. Then, in a way that can only be achieved in a Lovecraftian film, things go truly bizarre.
9. Deep Red
1 hour 44 minutes.
Dario Argento is the filmmaker
There’s a reason why Dario Argento, the king of the Giallo film, is revered by so many horror filmmakers. One of his masterpieces also referred to as The Hatchet Murders, is a terrific place to start if you’re new to Argento’s work. Some of Argento’s most iconic set pieces are found in the tale of a pianist (David Hemmings) who becomes involved in the hunt for a serial killer. It helps that Goblin scored so well.
1 hour 34 minutes.
Yorgos Lanthimos is the filmmaker.
Yorgos Lanthimos made his breakthrough with the 2009 drama/horror movie Dogtooth. He would then go on to direct The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Favourite. It’s a masterpiece that tells the tale of parents who hide their kids to the point where they have complete control over every element of their lives. Although it isn’t a typical Shudder horror film, it makes sense to include it on this list because of its unforgettable ending.
11. The Endless
1 hour 52 minutes.
Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson are the filmmakers
In a great sci-fi thriller about two brothers who rejoin a cult they previously fled, the geniuses Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead directed and starred. They discover that this group is more complex than they initially thought. It’s a compelling movie about cycles and trauma that’s woven into a really exciting narrative.
12. Ginger Snaps
1 hour, 48 minutes.
John Fawcett is the director.
In the nearly two decades since its premiere, this Canadian film has established itself as a true cult classic. People who enjoy Ginger Snaps adore this film. You can uncover fervent justifications on why it’s a modern classic by conducting a Google search. See whether you agree after reading this feminist werewolf story for yourself.
13. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
1 hour 41 minutes.
Ana Lily Amirpour is the filmmaker
You may sometimes tell when watching a new movie that the director is a risk-taking first-timer. When this black-and-white vampire western — yep, another one of those — had its Sundance debut, that was the situation. Ana Lily Amirpour has a distinctive style that combines her background and hobbies to create something adventurous and fresh.
1 hour 30 minutes.
John Carpenter, the filmmaker
Perhaps you have heard of it. It’s unlikely that anyone who subscribes to Shudder hasn’t seen John Carpenter’s groundbreaking film, but perhaps it’s been a while and you’re thinking about seeing it again. You should definitely return to Haddonfield to witness where the Michael Myers saga started. It’s a rare horror film that can give you shivers every time you watch it.
1 hour 43 minutes.
Michael Lehmann is the director.
This 1989 cult classic starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder, which leans more toward comedy than horror, appears to have been ahead of its time in many ways. Take into account the way Michael Lehmann portrays the teen clique culture in a way that feels current.
Additionally, it was a picture that foresaw the sad way in which violence would turn into a risk for those only attempting to get an education. This film, which was a financial failure when it was first produced, appears to gain more acclaim every year for a good reason.
16. Hell House LLC
Duration: 1 hour and 33 minutes
Stephen Cognetti is the director.
This intelligent independent found footage film from 2015 by director Stephen Cognetti has been gaining a cult following. (In fact, there have been already two sequels.) It’s a wonderfully crafted movie about a group of documentarians who are looking into a tragedy at a haunted house when they discover that the location might genuinely have some otherworldly mysteries.
Duration: 56 m
Rob Savage is the director
The first significant pandemic-produced horror film, about a séance gone wrong over Zoom, was directed by Rob Savage and was shot after the COVID-19 outbreak shut down the world. Savage personally directed the production through Zoom, and the result was an unexpectedly strong piece of work. It only lasts 56 minutes, too!
18. Ichi the Killer
Duration: 2 hours and nine minutes
Takashi Miike is the filmmaker.
This 2001 action movie, which served as Takashi Miike’s international breakthrough, is still outlawed in a number of nations. Naturally, Shudder features a lot of violence, but Ichi is a unique breed of insane.
When it first came out, it was the kind of movie that required special ordering from internet retailers; today, you can stream it right to your phone while riding the bus. Technology is amazing, isn’t it?
19. La Llorona
1 hour, 37 minutes.
Jayro Bustamante is the director.
This 2020 horror movie by Jayro Bustamante reworks the well-known Weeping Woman mythology in a way that serves as a biting critique of revolution, authoritarianism, and corruption.
The drama, which takes place in the 1980s, is about a cruel Guatemalan tyrant who was unjustly released from prison and is now trapped within his house because of the daily demonstrations. Things start to get strange when a young woman starts working at the estate.
20. Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau
Duration: 1 hour and 38 minutes
David Gregory helms the film
The narrative of what happened on the 1996 set of The Island of Dr. Moreau starring Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando is among the most fascinating and insane in cinema history (see, for example, Hearts of Darkness and Burden of Dreams, documentaries on historically disastrous film productions). For the first part of this insane story, your mouth will be open in shock.
2 hours and 1 minute
Panos Cosmatos is the director.
In this 2018 movie that already exudes the cult classic vibe, Panos Cosmatos offered Nicolas Cage one of the best roles of his career. Mandy is a slow burn for almost an hour about a man who experiences hell when a cult kidnaps and kills his wife (Andrea Riseborough).
The second hour is a crazy film that is completely covered in blood and including a chainsaw fight. You simply have to see it because words can’t do it justice.
1 hour 31 minutes.
Ted Geoghegan is the director.
By making an abrupt swing from his terrific We Are Still Here to this period action/horror movie set in the early 19th century, Ted Geoghegan continues to build out a reputation as an unexpected genre director.
So few filmmakers are prepared to address this nation’s relationship with its indigenous population, much less include it into a genre piece. In the movie, Kaniehtio Horn plays Oak, a Mohawk lady who is pitted against the British soldiers who are slaughtering her people. It’s mainly a pursuit movie, with physical performances from Horn and the menacing Ezra Buzzington as its cornerstones.
23. One Cut of the Dead
1 hour 36 minutes.
Shinichiro Ueda is the filmmaker
This Japanese independent film is a fantastic illustration of true word-of-mouth phenomena; it was reputedly made for as little as $25,000 and has amassed over $30 million at the worldwide box office thanks entirely to recommendations.
Try to stay away from spoilers because the less you know, the better. All we’ll say is that this film takes a turn that makes it into one of the brightest, most heartbreaking zombie movies in years, which is not exactly what you think it is for the first half-hour.
1 hour, 48 minutes.
Coralie Fargeat is the director.
We should be happy when a fantastic horror movie from a female director appears on Shudder because horror has too long been a man’s world. The company’s owners are so enamoured with this film that they frequently sell it with an image of Matilda Lutz covered in blood.
Lutz portrays a lady who is raped and very close to being killed by three creatures. You will applaud her heinous, terrible retaliation.
1 hour 49 minutes.
Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson are the filmmakers.
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead don’t produce conventional horror movies. A superb romance drama written and directed by the creators of The Endless and Synchronic plays out somewhat like Before Sunrise as reinvented by H.P. Lovecraft. You only truly need to be aware of that.
26. Super Dark Times
1 hour 42 minutes.
Kevin Phillips is the filmmaker.
Recall that slightly unnerving neighborhood kid? The critically acclaimed independent thriller by Kevin Phillips explores the emergence of a sociopath via the experiences of two friends who react to a terrible, violent event in very different ways. It’s an insightful character study with enduring visuals. Before a friend suggests it to you, see it.
27. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
1 hour 23 minutes.
Tobe Hooper is the director.
Few movies had the same cultural influence as Tobe Hooper’s 1974 splatter classic, which was created for almost no money and starred unknown performers in central Texas.
This film would permanently alter the course of cinema. Even the best horror films come and go, yet fans keep going back to the world of Leatherface and his cannibal family. It’s one of the few horror movies from the time that still hasn’t lost much of its fright factor.
1 hour, 16 minutes.
David Moreau and Xavier Palud are the directors.
One of the best house invasion movies ever produced, Them from 2006 is reportedly based on real incidents. The narrative of an average couple residing in a country home outside of Bucharest, Romania, is directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud. One night while they are away from society, they are attacked by unidentified, silent attackers. Consider The Strangers in French, which is creepier.
29. Tigers Are Not Afraid
1 hour 23 minutes.
Isa López is the director.
There aren’t nearly enough non-American or non-Asian movies on Shudder. With aesthetic echoes of one of its biggest fans, Guillermo del Toro, this Mexican film from Issa Lopez is an exception, and it’s a good one. It’s a delicate, sympathetic story of the orphans of the Mexican Drug War.
30. Train to Busan
1 hour 58 minutes.
Yeon Sang-ho is the director.
This 2016 South Korean film is one of the top zombie movies of its time, and it has earned about $100 million globally. Zombies on a train are all there is to it, but that’s one of the reasons it works so well.
It exudes a vigorous, never-ending vitality and gives off the impression that its legacy is only beginning. There is a reason why filmmaker Yeon Sang-ho is preparing a sequel to his own hit while James Wan is working on a remake.
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