Long gone are the days when we had to patiently wait for new movies to debut on network TV or premium cable movie channels. And even though horror movies have been playing on TV nonstop in the days leading up to Halloween, once the holiday has come and gone, slasher films and monster flicks are only played every so often.
Thankfully, with just a few clicks—and a subscription—we can stream the titles we want, whenever and wherever we want them, on the flood of new streaming platforms available.
And while you can stream horror movies on popular services like Netflix and Amazon, there are now platforms made specifically for genre junkies. That means more options to watch all the terrifyingly awesome movies we love, as well as new titles we might not have been exposed to on other streaming platforms.
Two of the most prominent horror streaming services are Shudder and Screambox, and here's everything you need to know about them.
Owned by AMC, Shudder is the horror-centric streaming service that offers an expansive library with movies that are just screaming to be watched from around the world and across decades. Titles are curated by "horror aficionados" lead by Colin Geddes, with new additions added each month.
This service has just about any kind of movie that piques your interest in the genre. Titles include slasher films, thrillers, comedies, documentaries, serial killer films, the supernatural, and spoofs. There are more grotesque films like The Human Centipede, and even zombie flicks like Day of the Dead. If you are into insanely disturbing films, you can stream films like Antichrist (which is probably the most unsettling horror film I've ever seen), or if you prefer creepy vibes over gore, then check out In Their Skin, starring Selma Blair. Of course, there's also lots of content that includes murderers, monsters, blood, guts and the whole nine yards.
From cult favorites like Maniac to demon possessions like Apartment 143, the collections offer a little bit for every type of horror fan.
However, unlike other more mainstream platforms, Shudder does not offer original content—at least not yet.
In addition to on-demand movies, the platform also offers Shudder.tv, which is essentially a 24/7 horror channel with preprogrammed content. Hover over the category to read more details about the collection, and click on it to see all the titles offered. Users can also see a synopsis, reviews, and sometimes a trailer for that specific film.
Simply click on the Shudder.tv tab to automatically play the program.
Shudder packages its content into collections to make it easy to find a specific film in a subcategory you are in the mood for. Current collections include "Shudder Halloween," "Monster Mash," "Psychos And Mad Men," "Gross Anatomy," "Bad Genes & Killer Kids," and "Slashics." The site is organized and has a clean layout, so that you can get to streaming with just a few clicks.
Browsing all titles is easy as well, as the user can go through all movies offered, or choose to sort them by alphabetical order, by new releases, most watched or most reviewed. Movies can also be filtered by genres like "Horror Comedy" or "Psychological Thriller," or by monsters like "Evil Animals" or "Aliens."
A membership to Shudder costs $4.99 a month, or $49.99 a year, which isn't a steep price if you already have a subscription to another, more general streaming service. You can also sign up for a 14-day free trial to see if it suits your need to scream. AMC also allows members to stream movies from Shudder on mobile devices including iOS and Android, as well as Roku players.
|• Large library caters to all kinds of horror fans
• Equal mix of classics and new content
• Horror movies from around the world
• Affordable enough price to still keep another nonhorror-centric service
• Available for mobile devices
|• No horror TV series
• Some collections are smaller than others
Launched back in September 2014, Screambox is another streaming service that is "the ultimate destination for horror movie fans." The platform offers a large range of programming, also from all around the world, combining classics with new releases. And unlike Shudder, Screambox also offers TV series. What's cool about this service is subscribers can also create their own playlists and engage with other fans. It's pretty much an "all-you-can-kill menu" of chilling content with a more personal experience.
Screambox offers die-hard horror fans a little bit of everything from this genre. Titles include monster movies, supernatural scares, and survival films. This service's content includes torture films like Vile, haunted-house flicks like House of Good & Evil, and more brutal movies like Machete Joe Unrated.
Looking for something twisted? Check out Necromentia. Want to be chilled to the core with a good, old-fashioned ghost story? Then stream It Waits.
There are hundreds of titles available, and this platform offers not only horror movies, but it also features TV series, behind-the-scenes looks, and Screambox also connects users with filmmakers. New content is added weekly.
While Shudder packages its collections in boxes that are organized and user-friendly, Screambox's homepage has a look that resembles Netflix. There are sliding titles that highlight some titles, followed by various categories that include what's new on the platform, followed by horrifically clever category titles like "Home Sweet Horror," "Hell Hath No Fury," and "Reality Bites." Six titles are displayed, with the ability to hit the plus sign to reveal more.
There are also tabs on the top on the web page that include "Killers," "Monsters," and "Extreme" to better narrow your search. Once you select a tab, even more categories are broken down and displayed the same way as the homepage, such as "Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves & Classic Monsters," most suitably under the "Monster" tab.
Users can also search by movie title, genre and tags by clicking on the search icon.
Screambox only costs $3.99 per month, making it a budget-friendly option that won't make you feel too bad about adding yet another streaming platform to your already existing subscriptions to general serves like Netflix or Hulu. This service also offers a 30-day free trial.
What's icing on the cake is you can stream Screambox's content on mobile devices including iPads, Android tablets, smart TVS, Kindle Fire TV, Roku and XBox 360, with XBox One and PS4 coming soon.
|• Biggest library of horror content on a single streaming service
• Lots of categories with killer subcategories
• Cheap price
• Compatibility with many devices
|• While the addition of TV series is a pro, there is only one title
• No live TV option
• Harder to search than Shudder
If you already have a subscription to a popular streaming service like Netflix, you may wonder whether adding a horror-specific platform is worth it or not. But for less than $5 a month, you can't go wrong with adding either Shudder or Screambox because you will have access to tons of content that gives you goosebumps, with the ability to watch them on-the-go.
Screambox has more titles than Shudder, but the overall design of the latter is more user-friendly and visually appealing.
In conclusion, no matter which service you decide on, you'll be able to indulge in endless hours of hair-raising, bone-chilling, and heart-racing movies made especially with horror lovers in mind. Now go get your scare on.