Shudder is an over-the-top, horror-centric streaming service that’s owned by AMC. You don’t need to have a cable subscription to use it and there are Shudder apps for all the TV devices that are popular among cord-cutters. Another nice thing about Shudder is that it costs much less than most other on-demand services. The monthly subscription option costs just $6/month, and that costs shrinks to $4.75 when you pay for a year of service in advance.
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How Did Shudder Get Started?
AMC began marketing Shudder in 2015, when it started sending out invitations to beta test the service. Beta testers received two months of free access in exchange for providing feedback. Initially, Shudder was only accessible through the Shudder website, but it released apps for iOS, Android and Roku shortly after the official launch.
By 2016, Shudder had used its corporate backing to accumulate streaming licenses for 500 horror films. That put Shudder ahead of its competitors, many of which lacked the resources to compete. This backed up Shudder’s claim that it’s “the largest uncut, ad-free selection of horrors, thrillers, and suspense.”
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The following year, Shudder started ramping up its production of originals. By 2018, Shudder had released around 20 different original shows and movies. There are now 44 different Shudder originals to enjoy, according to movie blog SlashFilm. Since the total number of titles in Shudder’s catalog has dropped to around 330, this suggests that the streaming service may be following Netflix’s business model. Both on-demand services seem to have made original content their number one priority.
More originals will make their way to Shudder in 2020. In an interview with Deadline, AMC boss Ed Carroll revealed that between eight and ten new series will land this year. That number represents a significant step up in production from previous years.
Where is Shudder Available?
Shudder’s current territories include the United States, Canada, the UK, and Ireland. A geographic block will stop you from signing up if you live outside those countries.
Who is Shudder For?
Shudder is obviously geared to appeal to true horror geeks. You won’t find mainstream horror classics like like Friday the 13th, Jaws or Alien in Shudder’s on-demand vault. Instead, you get lesser-known movies with cult appeal like C.H.U.D. and 1990: The Bronx Warriors. Shudder’s lineup of shows is particularly compelling. A growing lineup of original shows, movies and podcasts adds additional depth.
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However, a closer inspection of Shudder’s content reveals that there is a surprising amount of content that crosses into other genres. Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, for example, has creepy moments for sure– but it’s not really horror. It actually has more in common with Jessica Jones and other stories about super powered sleuths.
Since Shudder is cheap compared to other streaming services, it appeals to cord-cutters and anyone who wants to cut down on their entertainment spending. Even after the recent price hike, Shudder is still much cheaper than Netflix’s least expensive subscription option.
What Kind of Content is on Shudder?
Shudder keeps around 330 titles in its on-demand catalog. As licenses expire, titles disappear and are replaced by new ones.
The vault is categorized into a large number of different sub-genres, with names like Asian horror, Euro-trash, smart vampire movies, lost classics, demonic possessions and more. You can also filter the collection by era or search through international horror movies when you’re in the mood for something a little different.
In addition to on-demand content, you can also tune in and watch various horror-themed live streams. These streams loop curated content pulled from Shudder’s deep selection of horror titles. To get the live streams, you have to subscribe directly. There’s no way to access them if you subscribe through Amazon or YouTube TV.
Alex Munkachy is a freelance writer, game developer and hobby robotics enthusiast. You can find his blog about robotics news and reviews at robotfanatics.com.