There's no shortage of horror movies to stream for free across Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But Shudder is a streaming service conceived specifically for audiences whose hearts yearn for the macabre, gruesome, and disturbed. The site has a vast catalogue of can't-miss scares from Ginger Snaps to Hellraiser to Night of the Living Dead to Halloween. But genre staples and cult classics aside, the real gems of Shudder are the streaming service's original and exclusive movies.
With more than 100 spine-chilling titles subscribers can't find anywhere else, where does one even start? While it's hard to narrow these many terrifying gems into a select few, here are the Shudder original and exclusive movies that truly stand out as the best of the best.
This Shudder exclusive is a must-watch for any Nic Cage fan—and for any fan of nightmarish, over-the-top gore-fests. Red Miller (Cage) lives isolated in the forest with his beloved girlfriend, Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough). Facially disfigured, Mandy spends most of her days immersed in fantasy novels. But when cult leader Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache) and his demon biker gang kidnap Mandy, Red sets out on a trippy rampage of revenge.
And if you're really a fan of Cage-centric horror, check out Color Out of Space, too!
For the last three decades, Anne Fedder (Barbara Crampton)—wife to a local Minister (Larry Fessenden)—has felt like her life is getting smaller and smaller. But when she meets "The Master" (Bonnie Aarons), everything changes. No longer a dutiful and obedient housewife, Anne's life has opened up with power, boldness, and revitalized sensuality. But as Anne's confidence rises, so does the town's bodycount...
Tigers Are Not Afraid
The haunting world of fairytales meets the gritty reality of Mexico's drug war in this highly acclaimed 2019 horror film. A group of orphans is on the run from the cartel, which took their parents' lives and the ghosts which linger behind from the violence. But the young children are armed with three magical wishes to help them along the way.
While the hit 2016 Korean zombie flick Train to Busan isn't a Shudder exclusive, its 2020 sequel, Peninsula, is. This film takes place four years after South Korea's decimation. Soldier Jung-seok (Dong-won Gang) thought he had escaped the wasteland of disease, but a covert operation drops him right back into the thick of it. It's supposed to be a simple retrieval mission, but when his crew stumbles upon a group of survivors, the worst of mankind comes to light.
This Shudder original isn't a work of fiction, but it's well worth watching. Horror Noire is a documentary which examines the role of Blackness in horror cinema history. From the exploitation of Black bodies and voices of the past (and present, let's be honest) to the shaping of the genre's future by Black minds, this film looks back on a century's worth of history. And if you can't get enough of this haunting documentary, check out the other offers on Shudder like In Search of Darkness Part I and II and Leap of Faith.
Related: 13 Essential Black Horror Movies
Set in Spain in the 1950s, an agoraphobic woman named Montse (Macarena Gómez) spends every day tucked away in her apartment with the sister she raised since birth. When their downstairs neighbor, Carlos (Hugo Silva), breaks a leg from a nasty fall down the stairs, Montse takes him in to care for him. But as Montse has taken a liking to the handsome young man, he may never see outside of the apartment again...
This 2017 flick stars horror greats Steven Yeun (of The Walking Dead fame) and Samara Weaving (as seen in Ready or Not). When attorney Derek Cho is unfairly fired, he thinks his day can't get any worse. Then he finds out the law firm is under quarantine as a deadly virus spreads throughout the white collar workers. The symptoms of the sickness make the infected act out their darkest and most depraved impulses. Determined to fight his way to the top floor and settle his score with the executives, Derek teams up with a former client with a vendetta of her own.
Do you love foreign horror? How about historical horror? Well, Monstrum is the best of both worlds. In the 16th century, the kingdom of Joseon (Korea today) was overrun with a terrible plague. But the fear of this sickness is nothing in comparison to the panic spreading over rumors of a fearsome beast. Yoon-gyeom, the most trusted general of King Jungjong, steps out of retirement to face down this horrifying threat.
The Mortuary Collection
For viewers who like their horror in short bursts, this anthology horror film is for you. A young woman finds shelter in a mortuary in the peculiar town of Raven's End. Inside, the enigmatic undertaker, Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown) unravels a series of unsettling tales about the town's history. But what's more terrifying that the town's unusual past is that the last of the undertaker's story is the young woman's own...
Joel (Evan Marsh) works for a horror magazine critiquing movies. But when he's bogged down by the feeling that his life is going nowhere, he accidentally finds himself in the middle of a self-help group for serial killers. One thing's for sure, Joel will have to adapt to his surroundings, or else end up on the chopping block. Can he get into the mindset of a killer to survive the night?