12 Horror Movies On Shudder That Are Dying To Be Watched This Halloween
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Horror may have a home on big-name streaming platforms like HBO Max (for now, at least?), but fear is forged within the hellfires of Shudder. And AMC's horror-focused service isn't just oozing and creaking with nightmares (which, in this case is a good thing); it's also the groundskeeper to a crypt of classics and creepy exclusives.
If you've never tried Shudder, you can almost always snatch a free trial but the service is also very affordable, coming in at $6 a month, and even less if purchased annually. You won't always find the latest films from more mainstream studios, which in some cases is maybe fine actually, but you can always count on Shudder to show you shivers no matter what you select from the spooky service.
For all the bad, lackluster Hollywood sequels Shudder may lack, it more than makes up for with its staggering amount of horror sub-genres, which should immediately pique the ears of hungry horror fans, since many streaming platforms don’t even bother separating the fear-inducing films into sub-genres at all.
Shudder has a massive catalog with nearly every sub-genre you can name off the top of your head – and then some. From the more standard fare, like Slashers, to the more obscure, it’s all here. Grab a chair and get ready for some scares because GameSpot’s got a list of some of the best horror to watch on Shudder.
1. Lady in White (1988)
Perhaps one of the most imaginative films on this list but also, yes, one of the most horrifying, Lady in White evokes so many stirred up feelings from old Stephen King stories. And it's not just because Lady in White released in the late 80’s, a heyday for Stephen King adaptations.
Lady in White carries an unmistakable style, encompassing a level of detail and patience rarely seen, or at least experienced, in the modern day film industry. There's just not enough time for this level of care. The financing for Lady in White alone took over three years, with director Frank LaLoggia working tirelessly to take the film from storyboards and a dream to movie theater screens. It cost just under $5 million to create, and it doesn't show. The passion behind the scenes helped bring this stylish story of apparition to fruition.
Set in the early '60s, Lady in White starts on Halloween as Frankie Scarlatti, a nine-year-old boy being bullied by his peers, is locked in a coat room closet, with the expectation of being set free in the morning. Instead' Frankie witnesses the murder of a ghostly girl, at the hands of a mysterious adult, haunting him not just literally but also the weight it places on the poor boy's heart.
Lady in White is a stylish film that feels like it contains parts of Stephen King's It but ultimately explores the horrors of men in some truly unsettling ways, including how far human beings can go when running from accountability--or anything resembling human, for that matter.
2. Halloween (1978)
Even if you've already seen Halloween once or 50 times, it's still one of the greatest horror films ever made. Like The Beatles before so many, Halloween unleashed an endless array of ideas, techniques, and ways on the rest of the world--and artists in the space took notice.
Halloween opens in such a visceral and frightening way that we wouldn't dare pull back the camera on that scene, but it’s iconic for a reason. And the film only continues to unravel in nightmarishly delightful ways from that opening cut to the very end.
John Carpenter probably had his hand in everything for Halloween’s creation, except maybe the furniture, and he deserves nothing but praise for crafting not just one of the best horror films but also for injecting it with themes of feminism and distrust of police and other institutions of authority. He deserves whatever he wants but let’s maybe start with letting him make a Dead Space movie. EA couldn't ask for a better film tie-in for the publisher's upcoming Dead Space remake.
3. Host (2020)
Director and writer Rob Savage couldn’t have released Host at a better time, but it will remain a classic forever. Released near the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Host captured a feeling that is now almost universal for everyone: the feeling of loneliness while also being isolated.
Host is simple, tight, and does everything right, making it a must-watch for any fan of horror, but especially fans of the found footage sub-genre.
Host follows a group of friends that are all making the best of the pandemic. They decide to perform a seance with each other but over a Zoom call. As you can probably imagine, no one dies from Covid during the events of Host, but terror does strike when the important advice from the group’s leader is ignored.
4. The Invitation (2015)
All it takes for a group of friends to become something else are circumstances and that’s exactly what transpires in The Invitation.
Old friends and a few new ones meet in an intimate gathering, set at the home of one of the friends in the group, and her partner, who doesn’t have a history with the rest of the group.
Pain and anguish are explored as vehicles of human emotion in some interesting ways, but the slow burn tension may be the best part of The Invitation.
Without giving away too much, something is set askew almost immediately and the faint whistle grows to head-splitting levels of horror before the events of The Invitation have concluded.
5. Black Christmas (1974)
Black Christmas had a remake but we’re not talking about that here. We’re talking about the iconic and unforgettable original.
Black Christmas is a slasher that takes place at a Sorority House during the holidays. A group of girls are tormented by a mysterious caller that rings the Sorority House phone only to moan and scream from the other end.
And, just like in John Carpenter's Halloween, the police are of little help when they do arrive. Black Christmas was inspired by stories ripped from news headlines and also pushed what was considered acceptable at the time. And it manages to do so without actually getting into that much gore and violence.
The events of Black Christmas are elevated and made even more uncomfortable by the otherwise normal locations in which the film’s violence takes place, which is part of what makes it one of Shudder's best selections.
6. Hell House, LLC
Hell House, LLC is a found footage film like nothing you've seen before. Like Jordan Peele's Nope, it tells a tale lovingly made by people that love movies and making movies.
As you've already ascertained from the film’s title, Hell House, LLC is based around a business. It’s not even something crazy that requires any kind of suspension of disbelief. Hell House is a haunted house attraction, like many that you’ve no doubt either attended or at least seen on billboards and TV commercials.
Hell House is run by a group of friends that are just trying to get their vision off the ground while also paying the bills. It's easy to forget that you’re not watching some sort of Kitchen Nightmares but for haunted houses and other scary attractions, until it becomes clear that no one is showing up to make everything better.
But the gravity of a business trying to stay afloat while discussing new ways to attract customers grounds everything in an undeniable foundation. We all know what it's like trying to scrape together enough money for another day. And that's when things go from "Hey, did you move that?" to "What's that over there in the shadows?"
Hell House, LLC starts with a struggling haunted house attraction, barely able to conjure up customers, let alone scares. But in the end, Hell House, LLC fails (the business, not the movie) for being the scariest and most real haunted house there ever was.
7. The Descent (2005)
Neil Marshall's best film, to date, is none other than The Descent. The mid-aughts horror flick is a test of wills for the characters in the story as well as for the audience watching the movie in the theaters.
The story follows a group of seasoned spelunkers on a cave expedition. Throughout their journey through this cave, they become trapped down below, and find some creature is hunting them, one by one.
While the killer creatures from underneath the crust of the Earth are terrifying, brutal, and skin-crawling in their own right, that's not where a lot of the scares come from in this movie. This is not a film for the claustrophobic. While interior scenes were shot on a very-real looking set, the tight spaces in the cave these women are exploring will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Half the horror and scares of The Descent are just watching the explorers crawl through these caverns.
2009's direct followup, The Descent: Part 2, is also on Shudder, but isn't as impactful or scary as the original. It's still worth the watch, though.
8. Deadstream (2022)
Do not sleep on Deadstream. Directors and writers Vanessa and Joseph Winter take the found footage genre and combine it with a whole lot of comedy. That's right, this is Evil Dead 2 for a brand-new generation of viewers.
The film follows Shawn Ruddy (Winter), a once famed, now disgraced YouTuber who decides that in order to regain his dwindling online viewership, he's going to stay the night in a haunted house and stream it online. Of course, things don't go too well, and the ghosts that live in that house aren't too happy with him being there.
The found footage film of someone staying somewhere haunted hasn't been done to death, per se, but we've seen it a lot. The new dimension added here is Shawn. He's unlikable, but you can't turn away from how charismatic and bumbling he is. You're okay with something bad happening to him, and he becomes the butt of the joke for most of the movie. And outside of the comedy, the movie has plenty of really good scares in it that you see coming from a mile away, but you're never truly prepared for.
9. Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)
It's October, so it's time for someone at GameSpot (Mat Elfring, as always) to write about the fantastic Slumber Party Massacre II. It's a movie title that screams "trashy '80s horror," but prepare to subvert those expectations because it's actually something wildly different.
The movie follows a rock n' roll band (featuring the music of Wednesday Weekend), as the all-girl group heads to a vacation house for a slumber party weekend--along with lots of band practice. However, during their weekend filled with sex, drugs, and rock n' roll (it's the '80s, remember?), a supernatural, rockabilly serial killer goes on the hunt with his electric guitar that features a drill on the end.
Slumber Party Massacre II--a follow up that barely has any connection to the original movie--is much a musical as it is a horror movie. The band is constantly playing original tunes, and even the murdering maniac gets a song and dance routine in as well. What writer/director Deborah Brock does incredibly well is creating a movie that parodies what slasher movies have become without hitting the audience over the head with that message. Also, it's just a rad flick.
Smoke! Em! Smokem!
10. Watcher (2022)
Watcher in undoubtedly one of the best horror movies of the year--and one of the better movies in general. It is a skin-crawling tale that makes the viewer feel incredibly uncomfortable for the entirety of the movie, which is an exceptional task.
In Watcher, a husband and wife move to Bucharest for the husband's new job. The woman, Julia (Maika Monroe) is left to get settled in. However, in the building across the way, there's someone in the shadows staring at her all day and night. She believes it's a local serial killer who has been decapitating women across the city.
Director Chloe Okuno does a phenomenal job in her feature-length debut. The film will have you looking over your shoulder, just as often as Julia is, to see if something is lurking in the shadows. Monroe does a fantastic job in Watcher, and she's accompanied by Burn Gorman (Halo, The Dark Knight Rises), who is delivering a once-in-a-lifetime performance.
11. Grave Encounters (2011)
If you enjoy Deadstream, then Grave Encounters will be right up your alley. While this 2011 found footage film isn't a comedy by any means, the story and commentary on pop culture are relatively the same.
The movie follows a ghost hunting reality show--this one mirrors both Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures exceptionally well. The group of reality TV stars and crew heads into a well-known abandoned mental hospital to spend the night. Guess what happens next? That's right. Ghosts are real and they're taking down everyone inside the hospital.
It can be a bit of a slow burn at times, but Grave Encounters delivers suspense and some fantastic jump scares during the course of the movie. Its story is a very simple concept that's executed exceptionally well.
Additionally, there's Grave Encounters 2 on Shudder. The follow up delivers a different direction for the found footage movie and isn't "more of the same."
12. Slaxx (2020)
Horror comedy can be hit or miss, but Slaxx understands what makes horror comedy work. You can have the silliest idea for a movie in the world, but it won't work unless the horror feels real for the characters in the movie, even if the killer is a pair of blue jeans.
Stay with us because this is a wild ride. A very trendy clothing store is about to unveil a new collection, and a new type of jeans. After store hours, one of the pairs of jeans--which is possessed--goes on a killing spree. Yes, a pair of blue jeans is killing people.
Slaxx does lean more into silliness over horror, but that's fine for the film. You're never really supposed to take the possessed jeans very seriously, but seeing the inventive ways people die is a ton of fun. It's a very silly idea that was made into a movie that brings the viewer along for the ride.