When I first got Shudder it was because I had the lovely intention of watching Ken Russels rarely seen Uncut version of the film The Devils. But upon a quick search on the platform, it was revealed that The Devils was in fact on the US/North American version. So if you are reading this from there then congrats to you… Anyway! For those that do not know. Shudder is a new subscription-based horror platform that shows new and classic horror films and TV shows. We are here today to have a look at what classic horror films you should try to catch on Shudder right now.
Ringu – 1998
Hideo Nakata’s masterpiece that no matter who tells you has never been bettered (sorry Hollywood remake). There are so many aspects to Ringu that make it stand out from its contemporaries, but one of them has to be the slow nature of the film. It takes its thrilling time with you, but when it needs to make an effect on you, it does so with a rabid gusto that you are left breathless and chilled.
Audition – 1999
One of the few Takashi Miike films on Shudder, but without a doubt one of if not the best. (However you get the chance, you must watch the head meltingly weird Gozu) For those that have never seen Audition, you are in for a hell of a horror treat. You should go into the film as blind as possible from trailers or images, it is very important to see this fresh. You will be second-guessing everything. For those who have seen this unsettling classic before will never be disappointed with repeat viewings.
Read our review for Audition here.
Hellraiser – 1987
Once Hellraiser gets going, it becomes a relentless juggernaut of disturbing horror that cannot be forgotten. What truly helped Hellraiser stand out from all of the other sequels, prequels and direct to DVD or digital film releases afterwards was that the poor humans caught up with the cenobites. This was Clive Barker’s directorial debut and it was a welcome break from the drab run of the mill horror films audiences in the 80s were receiving like an endlessly poor factory. Ah. The suffering. The Sweet, sweet suffering.
Read our review for Hellraiser here.
Demons – 1985
Foolish people will always try and compare films with each other, especially when someone like Dario Argento is listed as a writer. Yet Demons is very much a Bava film. It is fairly obvious that this is the case just from the cinematography. Demons needs the prospective viewer to know little about who assisted with the creation of the film and enjoy the film itself. It is a film of utter madness and will cause you to look around you next time you go back to the cinema a little more cautious.
Let the Right One In – 2008
Where Let Me In is an okay film, it is needless and only exists for audiences who do not enjoy subtitles. There are next to no weak points in the film and is as close to perfect a horror can get. We feel empathy for both Oskar and Eli, we getting shockingly horrific moments and growth. One of the few horrors with an endless amount of heart. The less said about Let the Right One In the better if I am honest. It is simply a must-watch and should be the very top of your list.
Oldboy – 2005
In an absolutely perfect world, there was no remake. No matter what good intentions Spike Lee had and let us just keep it that way in our minds okay? Park Chan-Wook is a director that is too infrequent with his output (no matter how good that output is). But also needs to work more in the horror genre. His great talents as a horror auteur are seen in The Handmaiden, but not enough. Chan-Wook’s Oldboy is one of the greatest revenge stories ever told. It is a brutal film, physically and emotionally. Oldboy is a genre-bending film that deserves its entry into Shudder,
The Hills Have Eyes – 1977
In the 70s Wes Craven was brutal to the characters in his films and to the audience. The Last House on The Left will forever leave an impression on you for a number of reasons. One of which was for just how disturbing and cold it is, he wouldn’t double down, right? Well, The Hills Have Eyes seemingly gleefully continued this trend of pushing the boundaries of what could and should be seen in a film. Yet it is a truly fascinating film that tries its best to drive hope out of you with its opening. Craven slowly and methodically takes us on a journey we never wish to go and on a journey that helped influence hundreds of horror directors after him. As low budget and minimally written as The Hills Have Eyes is, it will stick with you.
Dark Water – 2002
Hideo Nakata followed up the widely successful Ringu with Dark Water. A film that just slowly drowns you in its sadness. This is a horror that has no serial killer or gore. Instead, it is replaced with a clever script and tremendous performances. Dark Water is a film about tragedy and abandonment as it is a horror film.
That’s our list for some of the classics currently on Shudder. If you want to sign up, Shudder currently have a free 30-day trial if you use the code SHUTIN. Very much worth it during this current time. Their collection is ever-growing and this month alone will add It Follows, Buried, Prevenge and Personal Shopper to its catalogue.