For cinephiles and horror junkies, this quarantine is the perfect time to catch up on classics of the horror genre. Shudder, a horror and genre film streaming service catering to every taste whether it’s a classic of the genre, a deep cut or a genre-bending art-house film, will satiate your every need for perpetual cinematic bloodshed. Here are some picks for the best that Shudder has to offer.
Two classics from John Carpenter: “Halloween” (1978) and “The Fog” (1980)
As mentioned, Shudder curates a great selection of classic horror, and its catalog wouldn’t be complete without at least a few films directed by the master himself. These two classics, filmed in succession and both starring Jamie-Lee Curtis, are perfect for a double-feature. “Halloween” is one of the films which created our idea of the slasher, and “The Fog” is a classic among genre enthusiasts and an early entry in Carpenter’s illustrious career. It is his first film of the 1980s, a decade he helped to define with his films. His irreplaceable style is felt today in numerous facets of pop-culture, especially those which look to emulate the 80s such as “Stranger Things” (which has numerous nods to the works of the director). “Halloween” is undoubtedly a staple of horror, and Carpenter’s original score is equally as iconic. If anyone has not seen “Halloween” and claims to be a fan of horror, please watch it right now on Shudder before your horror card is revoked. It’s for your own good.
“Secret Window” (2004)
This film, directed by David Koepp and starring Johnny Depp, is a tense psychological thriller that may serve as a more accessible jumping on point for those who aren’t as acquainted with the more gruesome tendencies of horror films. Based on a story by Stephen King, it plays out as a perfectly paced mystery paperback that will have you burning the midnight oil. However, that won’t be necessary as it is thankfully only two hours.
“One Cut of the Dead” (2019)
This delightful Japanese zombie comedy is a love-letter to filmmaking, and that is all that can be said without spoiling it. It is best to go in knowing as little as possible, but rest assured, it is quite the gem. While zombie comedies are nothing new with various filmmakers making their own renditions of a classic genre, such as “The Evil Dead” trilogy, “Shaun of the Dead” or “Zombieland,” “One Cut of the Dead” is fresh and possibly a new classic of the genre. Zombies haven’t been funny in a while, but this film is packed with energy and a pure love of film and filmmaking.
Takashi Miike’s brutal late 90s classic is a sadistic depiction of the male gaze. Its reputation precedes it, and watching somebody watch “Audition” may be just as enjoyable as watching the film itself. It is essential viewing for every horror fan, not only because of its notorious violence, but also because it is one of the best examples of the genre to explore social issues. It discusses the dynamic between men and women in a truly grueling fashion, yet it all still feels necessary in order to tell the story. It is nightmarish tale about the psychological torture that we play on each other as men and women, and what that torture would look like if it was not simply psychological.