we need to talk about shudder: the netflix of horror
Viewer beware, you’re in for a scare...
Forget Netflix and chill. Shudder is Netflix and chill-you-to-the-bone: a brand new online streaming (nay, screaming service) offering a hideous, hateful hall of horror for scary monsters and super creeps everywhere. Brought to you by the boils and ghouls at AMC, Shudder contains a unique library of hard-to-find international films, cult grindhouse classics and Hollywood blockbusters, covering everything from ghost girls to devilish doctors, killer kids to murderous masterminds (plus a healthy dose of Hammer hellions thrown in for good measure). With Emiliano Rocha Minter's gleefully transgressive We Are the Flesh launching on the site today, we thought what better way to celebrate than for Shudder curator Sam Zimmerman to give us his own personal top ten from the vaults? Frights, camera, action, here it is...
"Neon-tinged, martial arts macabre. Shudder exclusive series Halfworlds (directed by Joko Anwar) is pulpy fantasy horror where ancient demons in an urban landscape fight for the fate of a chosen one. It is awesome."
We Are the Flesh
"A lot of darker films (horror, thriller, etc) are coloured by now-cliché iconography, especially when it comes to someone satanic (robes, skulls, you know…). Emiliano Rocha Minter's new school transgression, We Are the Flesh however feels genuinely carnal, and maybe truly evil. Colourful, explicit and psychedelic, this one hypnotises as it unsettles. You can't look away, even if you might want to."
"An entirely under-seen Canadian creeper. For those seeking out a properly eerie psycho-thriller, dive into this gem about a pair of siblings and their anatomical dummy friend."
"One of my favourite Shudder exclusives, this Spanish horror film is astounding. The tale of an agoraphobic seamstress and a neighbour who falls victim to her care, sews shades of Misery and Repulsion into a gorgeous, menacing thriller that grows more twisted by the minute."
Cold Prey I & II
"Possibly a cheat, but I see no reason to separate a perfect pair. Double feature two of the best neo-slashers going, the first two films in Norwegian series, Cold Prey. An engrossing, high-energy take on the sub-genre, these two films boosted emerging talent in director Roar Uthaug (helming the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot) and star Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, who stood out as badass, Armistice, on Westworld."
The Room at the Top of the Stairs
"Bringing short films to Shudder has been a real joy, and I'd love to single out this bewitching, highly atmospheric coming-of-age. And since you'll have the time, feel free to follow up with fellow Australian short standout, The Last Time I Saw Richard."
"A werewolf classic that remains as biting, as ever. One of the best portraits of sisterhood, coming-of-age and carnivorous lunar activities."
"What's any list without a classic creature? Hammer all-stars Lee, Cushing and director Terence Fisher come together for this delightful 1959 take on an age-old curse."
We Go On
"Continuously surprising, this American indie is a perfect portrait of why we tell ghost stories. Filled with mystery, the uncanny and emotion, We Go On is something both traditional and special: a smartly told scary story."
"A visceral feature from director Ben Cresciman, Sun Choke stars Sarah Hagan and Babrara Crampton against type and against each other in a stunning psychological downfall. Sun Choke goes wild."
Emiliano Rocha Minter's We Are the Flesh launches on Shudder today (20 April).
Text Matthew Whitehouse