The Best Movies and Shows on Shudder

Horror cinema continues to proliferate streaming platforms across the web, our mobile devices, and our living room TVs. The genre itself is so popular that a dedicated category on Netflix, Hulu, and other competitive streamers isn’t enough — the ghouls and vamps needed their own home. Thus, we have Shudder. Owned and operated by AMC Networks (the titans responsible for Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead), Shudder is home to thousands of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and Shudder exclusives … and it’s all horror. For fans of the genre and all its madness and macabre manifestations, we’ve perused Shudder’s extensive library to bring you this roundup of the best movies and shows on Shudder this month.

Seeking more scares? Turn up the chills with our guides to the best horror movies on Netflix, the best horror movies on Hulu, and the best horror movies on Amazon Prime.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. A disturbing lullaby with larger-than-life implications, Wes Craven’s iconic ghoul has been stalking cinema screens for over three decades, and it all started here. When teenager Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and her tight-knit group of pals begin experiencing horrific nightmares featuring a fedora-wearing man with burned skin and a glove fashioned with claw blades, dreams descend into morbid reality when the bodies start piling. According to Freddy’s rules, when you die in his realm, you die in real life, too. Cementing the career of Hollywood bit player Robert Englund (playing the infamous Freddy Krueger), horror maestro Wes Craven’s surreal deep dive into a world of hellish happenings still kicks up the scares almost 40 years later.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp
Director: Wes Craven
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
91 minutes

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Mandy

Mandy (2018)

Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) couldn’t have been a happier couple — until that one night. Living in an off-the-grid, glassed-in domicile in the Pacific Northwest, the couple has its tranquil existence savagely uprooted by one Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), the sadistic leader of the Children of the New Dawn cult. When the members do the unthinkable, Red sets out on a bloody journey for revenge. Motorcycle-riding BDSM demon folk, beware: Red is coming for all of you. Director Panos Cosmatos’ nightmarish Mandy is a brilliant bloodbath and a glorious homage to the gore-filled ’80s camp cinema that inspired the hallucinatory visuals and narrative mayhem.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Rating: 
N/A
Runtime: 
121 minutes

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Audition

Audition (1999)

The widowed Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) has a strange plan for reconnecting with the dating scene. He and his film producer pal, Yasuhisa Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura), set up a series of mock auditions for young women to play the part of Aoyama’s spouse — the duo’s plan for finding Aoyama a romantic partner. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the lady that smites Aoyama most is Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina). Charming and seductive, he wants to get to know her better. Unfortunately for Aoyama, he’ll get to know Asami in ways only cattle know their butchers. Based on the harrowing book of the same name by Ryū Murakami, Audition is a gut-wrenching dive into the disturbed psyches of both men and women and the horrific realities of finding and trusting romance.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Jun Kunimura
Director: Takashi Miike
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
115 minutes

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Halloween

Halloween (1978)

On Halloween night, a young boy named Michael Myers grabbed a butcher knife, walked upstairs to his sister’s bedroom, and murdered her. Then, on Halloween eve, nearly 15 years later, an adult Myers escapes from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and returns to his stomping grounds of Haddonfield to carry out a second, more profound spree of carnage. An iconic slasher and a powerhouse debut for lead actress Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter’s Halloween is a monumental contribution to the horror genre, memorable for its score, scares, and simplicity. The original film would go on to spawn a myriad of sequels and re-imaginings, but the 1978 classic is the gem most fans would call their favorite of the bunch.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nick Castle
Director: John Carpenter
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
91 minutes

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

After a series of grave robberies at a Texas cemetery, Sally (Marilyn Burns), her brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain), and three of their friends take a road trip to the burial grounds to ensure their grandfather’s headstone is intact. After a terrifying run-in with a deranged hitchhiker (Edwin Neal), the tweens try to make the most of the day and decide to drive to Sally’s grandfather’s house for a swim at the local watering hole. An idyllic summer afternoon becomes a nightmare when instead of having fun at the lake, the gang is besieged by a family of butchers-turned-cannibals.

In part a response to the horrors of the ongoing Vietnam War, Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is low-budget filmmaking at its finest. Gritty and all too real, the film would spawn an entire canon of films, novels, and comic books while also introducing the world to Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), the chainsaw-wielding king of the notorious people-eaters.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Paul A. Partain
Director: Tobe Hooper
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
83 minutes

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Horror Noire

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019)

A cinematic extension of Robin Means Coleman’s book Horror Noire, this revelatory documentary traces the roots of Black Americans across decades of genre cinema. Assembling a who’s-who of writers, directors, producers, actors, scholars, and other industry experts, director Xavier Burgin explores the hardships, tribulations, and perseverance of Black filmmakers and performers, as viewed through the telling lens of horror films. Contributors include writer-director-producer Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us), actor Tony Todd (Candyman), actor Ken Foree (The Devil’s RejectsHalloween), and more.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Jordan Peele, Tony Todd, Ken Foree
Director: Xavier Burgin
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 
83 minutes

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Haunters: The Art of the Scare

Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

In writer-director-producer Jon Schnitzer’s Haunters: The Art of the Scare, the filmmaker shines a light on the kind of hobbyists that make a neighborhood lively come Halloween: Home-haunters. From literal backyard operations to top-of-the-line enterprises, Schnitzer spends countless hours with the haunters, their friends and families, and the industry experts creating an all-encompassing portrait of the sweat, heart, and humanity (or lack thereof) that goes into producing a successful haunt attraction. One thing is for sure: It’s a year-round commitment with efforts often unpaid and underappreciated. Like any entrepreneurial endeavor, though, one must love what one does, or it’s all for nothing. Scaring innocent people is no different, apparently.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Jacob Chase, Jason Blum, Jen Soska
Director: Jon Schnitzer
Rating: 
N/A
Runtime: 
88 minutes

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In Search of Darkness

In Search of Darkness: A Journey Into Iconic ’80s Horror

There’s no doubt that the ’80s imbued today’s culture with trends, fashion, and other motifs that show no signs of stopping. Thanks to shows like Stranger Things and films like the two-part It remake, the ’80s continue to make waves, spawning other copycat media in its wake. There are entire categories on popular streamers like Netflix just for ’80s flicks, and there’s always more coming. In David A. Weiner’s In Search of Darkness we get a front-row seat to horror’s true golden age: The glorious 1980s. Featuring talking head interviews with filmmakers, performers, critics, and other movers and shakers, Weiner approaches the bloody decade year by year, focusing on the critical films that paved the way for modern horror cinema’s successful reign.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: David A. Weiner, Weary Pines, Jim Kunz
Director: David A. Weiner
Rating: 
N/A
Runtime: 
265 minutes

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Creepshow

Creepshow (2019)

In 1982, horror dream-team George Romero and Stephen King teamed up for a wild collaboration, a little film called Creepshow. Styled after the EC Comics horror publications of the ’40s and ’50s, particularly Tales from the Crypt, the film presented five stand-alone genre tales, each packed with stylized comic book visuals, big performances (from the likes of Ted Danson, Ed Harris, and Leslie Nielson), and plenty of gore. Cut from the same cloth as the formative original, Greg Nicotero’s Shudder reimagining of Creepshow goes a step further with the anthology format by dedicating singular episodes to one tale of terror each. Talents include actors Tobin Bell (the Saw franchise), Giancarlo Esposito (The MandalorianBreaking Bad), and horror cinema’s goofy can’t-kill-him uncle, David Arquette (the Scream franchise).

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Madison Bailey, Cailey Fleming, Jake Garber
Director: Greg Nicotero
Rating: 
TV-MA
Number of Seasons: 
2

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Cursed Films

Cursed Films (2020)

Movies can garner reputations for a number of reasons. Usually, it’s not because of a string of gruesome deaths attached to a film’s preproduction or principal photography. Sometimes, though, there’s no escaping a series of misfortunes. In Jay Cheel’s Cursed Films, we visit five iconic films, each with spine-chilling behind-the-scenes stories of accidents, deaths, and bad juju. These include The ExorcistPoltergeistThe OmenThe Crow, and Twilight Zone: The Movie. Were these productions truly cursed? Watch the series to decide for yourself.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Jay Cheel, April Wolfe, Matt Gourley
Director: Jay Cheel
Rating: 
N/A
Number of Seasons:
1

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Eli Roth's History of Horror

Eli Roth’s History of Horror (2018)

Who better to lead a highbrow talking-heads panel of horror film experts and creators than Eli Roth? Renowned for his own bloody contributions to the genre (Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock), the docuseries explores a series of subgenres within horror cinema, diving into the origins and cultural impacts of each vivisection. Focuses include ghosts, demons, haunted houses, vampires, and more. If you’re a fan of the series, a third season will be hitting AMC sometime later this year. Are you a devout cord-cutter? No worries. Season 3 will likely find its way to Shudder soon after its cable run.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Stars: Eli Roth, Greg Nicotero, Rob Zombie
Director: Kurt Sayenga
Rating: 
N/A
Number of Seasons: 
2

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