What to know about Shudder—the streaming app for horror
There’s a streaming destination for horror fans.
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If you like horror movies and TV shows, AMC’s popular service Shudder is probably on your radar. First launched in 2015, the Shudder streaming app is curated for a horror-loving audience, with an impressive lineup of exclusives and originals to sweeten the deal. And it’s got a lot to offer these days.
The streamer is available as a standalone app, as a Prime Video Channel add-on, and as part of an AMC+ subscription (which costs $8.99 a month on Prime). For the best experience right now, I’d recommend subscribing to Shudder directly for use with Fire TV or Roku.
If you’re not interested in the live-TV function but want to browse the movie selection, TV series, and documentaries, the Prime Video add-on isn’t bad; it’s just a bit more painful to navigate.
How much is Shudder?
A Shudder subscription through the standalone app costs either $5.99 a month or $56.99 per year. If you sign up through Prime, it’s also $5.99 monthly, but you do miss out on certain aspects of the experience that way.
There’s a free same-day trial available for new members, and you can watch Shudder on a variety of devices, including:
- Your PC or laptop
- Apple and Android
- Amazon Fire TV
The Shudder app is notably absent from PlayStation consoles, and the Xbox version has been having technical issues—freezing and stuttering—in the last month or so.
What to watch on Shudder
Shudder’s on-demand library is organized into various collections, making it a piece of cake to dig into: “Shudder Essentials,” the Mario Bava collection, “Horror Noire” (Black horror), “Vengeance Is Hers,” “Foundations of Horror,” “Smart Slashers,” “Bloodthirsty” (vampire flicks), and so on.
Within those categories are Shudder streaming exclusives—meaning you’d have to pay to rent them elsewhere—such as Psycho Goreman, the two-part ’80s docuseries In Search of Darkness, original films like Scare Me and Spiral, Color Out of Space, Satanic Panic, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, Mandy, Summer of ’84, and Found Footage 3D.
It’s also got the classics: The Wicker Man, The Howling, Hellraiser, Re-Animator, The Changeling, John Carpenter’s Halloween, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The House of the Devil. If you subscribed a long time ago and found the movie selection lacking, it might surprise you how much has been added in the last couple years.
Shudder’s series offerings include Creepshow (the 2019 anthology series), The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, Eli Roth’s History of Horror, AMC’s NOS4A2, and Visitations with Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah, a podcast about artists and creativity. For those of us who wish it was Halloween all year round, this service is a blast.
What is Shudder TV?
If you’re accessing Shudder through the standalone app, which is really the ideal way to enjoy it, one of the big features is its 24-hour live channels. As of this writing, there are three Shudder TV streams: “It Came from Shudder,” “Psychological Horror,” and “Slashics.”
On Friday nights, you can also tune in for The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, hosted by Joe Bob Briggs and Diana Prince, a.k.a. Darcy the Mail Girl. It’s a variety show with a couple scary movies, plenty of commentary, and the occasional guest star.
For those interested in connecting on places like Reddit and Discord, Shudder’s also got a thriving fan community, as well, and a lot of those folks participate in weekly live-tweets of The Last Drive-In on Fridays.
Is Shudder worth it?
It’s fairly easy to search for specific titles on Shudder, manage your watch list, and casually browse the different sections built around subgenres and themes (“Queer Horror,” “A Good Scare,” and so on). It’s a service that’s fun to use; stumbling on new titles and picking out what you’re going to watch is part of the experience. And it does a good job of nudging you in the proper direction.
Folks who watch their media on an Xbox may want to hold off till that version of the app gets fixed. (There’s no ETA on it, but Shudder’s aware of the problem.) Bugs are a common complaint among users in general, particularly when Joe Bob goes live on Friday nights, though there are far worse apps out there. It can also depend on what device you’re using.
Regardless, you owe it to yourself to give the week-long trial a look—it’s perfect for a weekend movie marathon.
If you’re in the mood for horror, you’re looking in the right place.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.