Fortean Times - - Reviews / Films -

De­spite the wild claims, the In­ter­net has not changed every­thing. I mean, I still eat my Coco Pops with a rudi­men­tary spoon and I can’t see Google or Ama­zon stuff­ing it into my mouth through some new-fan­gled screen tube. What it has changed, how­ever, is the way we con­sume en­ter­tain­ment – and that in­cludes the hum­ble hor­ror film. Gone are the days when we’d trawl mar­ket stalls for ob­scure sec­ond­hand Ital­ian hor­ror flicks or spend all our pocket money im­port­ing a rare slasher movie onVHS from a sweaty fella in Texas. Now pretty much any scary film is a fin­ger tap away – so what’s the best place for get­ting your dig­i­tal (and le­gal) hor­ror fix?

Well, this month we’ve got Shud­der – the stream­ing ser­vice claim­ing to of­fer the very best in hor­ror, thriller and su­per­nat­u­ral flicks. I was wor­ried a pure hor­ror ser­vice would be bulging with cheap mod­ern hor­ror knock-offs, the likes of which I keep see­ing on su­per­mar­ket shelves. You know – end­less found-footage movies or Con­jur­ing clones. But what’s ac­tu­ally on of­fer here is a lovely mix of re­cent and retro.

Of the newish films, there are solid choices like the thought­ful and creepy Lake Mungo or the slick and nifty

The In­keep­ers. I also en­joyed the mon­ster movie Dig­ging

Up The Mar­row, in which Ray Wise thinks he’s found a race of un­der­ground mu­tants. Es­pe­cially wel­come is the bril­liant adap­tion of The Whis­perer in the Dark­ness by the HP Love­craft His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety (which fea­tures Charles Fort as a char­ac­ter, no less!).

The retro se­lec­tion

It’s like a friend rock­ing up and say­ing “Hey! Look at my hor­ror film col­lec­tion!”

re­ally tick­les too: like the psy­che­delic 70s Omen rip-off

The Vis­i­tor (be­low) – as star-stud­ded as it is ut­terly bizarre. There’s also the bril­liant and lit­tle seen

Blue Sun­shine from 1978, about peo­ple who go bald and homi­ci­dal 10 years af­ter tak­ing some bad LSD (look­ing lovely in HD I might add – the film, not the baldies). Witch trial shocker

Mark of the Devil, Big­foot creeper The Leg­end of Boggy Creek and un­der-rated slasher

Mad­man all fea­ture. Heck, even Faces of Death is on here – I doubt you’ll ever see that on Net­flix. If you like your hor­ror dis­gust­ing and ex­treme, you’ll find We Are The Flesh and the

Hu­man Cen­tipede movies too, among oth­ers. All are cu­rated un­der handy col­lec­tion head­ings too, from ‘Giallo’ to ‘Ham­mer Movies’ to ‘Slashics’

As with most stream­ing ser­vices, you can get a free month’s trial; but I reckon you’ll be tempted to pay the £4.99 a month to keep it go­ing, since they add to the se­lec­tion ev­ery week. I just no­ticed they’d put up a doc­u­men­tary on the mak­ing of Fright Night, that clocks in at over two hours long! Plus, the chan­nel even makes its own orig­i­nal con­tent and short films.

You’ll find Shud­der on most (but not all) plat­forms, so you can watch these films any­where (although, if some­one spots you on the bus watch­ing Hu­man Cen­tipede 2, don’t ex­pect them to sit next to you!) Which is an­other bonus of this ser­vice, I guess. Shud­der is a bit like a friend rock­ing up say­ing “Hey! Look at my hor­ror film col­lec­tion”. In this case, they ac­tu­ally have de­cent taste, and a few lit­tle gems you’ve al­ways wanted to see.

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