Is Shudder Worth It?

One question I see popping up often with horror fans is – is Shudder worth it?  Shudder, for those of you who don’t know, is a streaming service that deals primarily in horror content. The answer really depends on a few of factors. We will take you through all the pros and cons of this streaming channel so you can decide.

Cost

In the early days of streaming the big benefit of cutting the cord was cost. Cable bills easily run $50+ a month, where as a single streaming service was around $8-10. Things have started to shift. Prices have begun to increase and various streaming packages are now offered at different rates. Companies like Disney and BBC are pulling content in order to launch their own services. Nowadays most people pay for 2-3 streaming services at a time. Soon, we will have to pay for more. Every company wants their own piece of the action.

In some ways this huge ever growing section in the middle of the streaming-verse will defeat the cost argument against cable.  But, it still offers most customization. This is where Shudder comes out ahead – it offers the best of both worlds. Shudder is half the cost of most streaming services. At $4.99 a month it is affordable and you can cancel any time. Essentially for the same cost as renting a new movie for a weekend you get a whole channel for a month.

Our Verdict: Great price. One of the cheapest streaming services available. Easy to cancel and renew.   

Content

Movies

Every streaming service has the same kind of horror content – a hand full of big name titles, a moderate selection of mid ranges, and a whole slew of bottom of the barrel films. Amazon by far has the largest selection of the horror films for any of the major streaming services. It is a very impressive selection – by volume. The quality of the selection leaves a lot to be desired.

Shudder isn’t that different. However, its selection of high end horror is far more impressive than any other streaming services. Right now (October 2008) they have the original Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Re-Animator, Battle Royale, Phantasm, Rabid, The Beyond, Audition, A Tale of Two Sisters, Cabin Fever, The Fog, Sleepaway Camp, The Howling and the list goes on. Plus some really great smaller films like Right at your door, Fido, and the criminally underappreciated Spring.  

There is also, oddly,  a sci-fi section. Its small and little to do with horror, but with choices like Pi and Gattaca it’s hard to complain

Our Verdict:  The selection isn’t massive but it is highly respectable. If your new to horror and need to brush on on some classics or a hardcore fan looking to find a few hidden gems this is a great place to start.  

Shows

Horror shows are kind of a weird thing. In the movie world horror is a massive genre. For a multitude of reasons, the body of work is huge. It’s the same with literature, But the TV world is so competitive that horror is fairly sparse. There are some outright classics like Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone, but even twilight zone is equal parts horror and sci if. On Netflix you might get X-files and Dead Set and a few others. Both shows are great but overall pickings/ are slim.

The selection here isn’t great. Rut with shows like Fear Itself, Channel Zero, and Hammer House of Horror along with a slew of original content there’s enough to keep you occupied – at least for a little while. It’s a shame that some more of the classics aren’t available. It would also be nice to see more original content. That said it’s not much better and no worse than any other service.

Our verdict: A fair amount of content not available on other services. But, nothing overly amazing. About on par with other services.

Final verdict

With a free trial week and a price tag of $4.99 you should at least give it a try. Especially for October. If your not happy, you’re only out a few bucks. Look, Shudder is not the end all be all of streaming or even horror streaming. But, the value is hard to beat. The content you get for the price you pay is pretty impressive. We say it’s solid win for beginners and aficionados alike.

 

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