What to Watch on Shudder: Antiviral and More

This week’s guide of what to watch on Shudder features Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral, zombie sequel [Rec] 2, and Dark Skies

What to Watch on Shudder: Antiviral

Brandon Cronenberg carries on his father David’s tradition of science fiction/body horror with Antiviral. At times uncomfortable viewing, the film nevertheless compels. Antiviral is about the employee of a clinic which sells injections of viruses harvested from celebrities to their obsessed fans. The premise of the film is fantastic, and so is some celebrity worship to the extreme with an interesting and unusual tangent. The theme and imagery create a distinctive atmosphere. Clinical and dystopian, there is nothing about the film that feels comfortable. Yet it is a great watch. Read a full review of Antiviral here.

What to Watch on Shudder: [Rec] 2

Sequels can be a mixed bag, but [Rec] 2 is certainly one of the better ones. The film picks up straight after the events of the first film, and focuses on a SWAT team and doctor who are sent in the building to retrieve blood samples. The film gives hints to the cause of the outbreak, and offers tension, gore and some great scares. The film is a must-see for fans of the first film, and indeed the zombie sub-genre generally.

What to Watch on Shudder: Dark Skies

Given the premise and advertising, it would be forgivable to think Dark Skies is a homage or a rip off of Hitchcock’s The Birds. Yet the film takes a different tangent. The film is about a suburban family whose lives are disrupted by a series of strange events. Scott Stewart’s film combines science fiction and horror. The film is a little generic; at times it feels as if it could be an episode from The Twilight Zone. Nevertheless, there are a few good scares, and a decent atmosphere prevails. Dark Skies stars Keri Russell and J.K. Simmons.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.

What To Watch On Shudder: Repulsion and More

Here’s what to watch on Shudder this week, including Repulsion, The Love Witch, and short The Grey Matter

What to Watch on Shudder: Repulsion

Roman Polanski’s Repulsion is one of the director’s best films. Released in 1965, the film was Polanski’s first English-language film. The film is about a young Belgian woman living with her sister in London, who descends into a perilous state. Catherine Deneuve delivers a great performance as Carol, the young woman whose mental state slowly unravels in Polanski’s psychological thriller. Repulsion is a landmark genre film, one that lingers after the credits have rolled. Read a full review of Repulsion here.

What to Watch on Shudder: The Love Witch

Anna Biller’s The Love Witch is an amiable pastiche of late 1960s/early 1970s exploitation films. The film is about a modern witch (set in that period), who uses spells to make men fall in love with her. Biller adds a feminist approach to the exploitation film, offering a protagonist with a commanding presence, and seemingly-strong male characters who buckle under the title character’s charms. Anna Biller is something of a one-woman film crew; she directs, writes, produces, and edits the film, as well as being responsible for art direction, production design, costumes, and music. The Love Witch is a visual feast, it is a colourful, alluring film that does not skimp on the gore.

What to Watch on Shudder: The Grey Matter

Directed by Peter McCoubrey and Luke McCoubrey, The Grey Matter is a short comedy horror. An office worker wakes up in an alley with a head injury and a later personality transformation, which seems him attract the attention of a beautiful colleague. The Grey Matter combines comedy with horror tropes, and does so in a light and engaging way. The short film offers decent special effects, and a story fit for its eighteen-minute run time.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.

What to Watch on Shudder: Dracula (1958) and More

Films that include vampires, waxworks and bogeymen all feature in this week’s guide to what to watch on Shudder…

What to Watch on Shudder: Dracula (1958)

Hammer’s 1958 version of Dracula is one of the seminal adaptations of Bram Stoker’s classic novel. Known as Horror of Dracula in the United States, the film sees the first outing of Christopher Lee as the iconic vampire. Hammer’s interpretation of Dracula really emphasises the seductive nature of the title character. Gone are the less savoury descriptions that can be found in the novel. Dracula is both ruthless and seductive in this 1958 version. Like most adaptations of Stoker’s most famous work, there are a number of difference between the book and the film. Nevertheless, the gothic reigns supreme; the themes of otherness and duality are prominent. Dracula is one of the classic vampire films, and features perhaps the best-known Van Helsing: Peter Cushing. Read a full review here.

What to Watch on Shudder: Waxwork

Anthony Hickox’s Waxwork feels very much of its decade. Released in 1988, the film is probably best described as a camp horror. Waxwork focuses on a group of older teens who are invited to a party at a Waxwork museum which has mysteriously popped up in their suburban town. Featuring some of the great horror icons, the name of the game is to stay alive. Those looking for real chills may be disappointed as the emphasis of Hickox’s film is on comedy horror. There is some gore and trepidation, however film concentrates on fun aspects of the premise. This is supplemented by the who’s who of the horror world; Count Dracula, Jack the Ripper, Mr Hyde and many more. Starring Gremlins’ Zach Galligan, Waxwork is a great choice for a not so serious horror.

What to Watch on Shudder: Child Eater

Writer-director Erlingur Thoroddsen’s short Child Eater certainly does not shy away from the macabre. The film is about a young boy who is having nightmares about a bogeyman, and the babysitter who must protect him. Child Eater combines a number of horror tropes – the urban legend, the monster in the closet, the gory climax – in a most compelling fashion. Refreshingly, the film does not give the ending many may expect. Thoroddsen remade the short as a feature-length film in 2016.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.

What To Watch On Shudder: Cube And More

Here is this week’s what to watch on Shudder, which features Cube, The Hills Have Eyes, and short The Banishing

What to Watch on Shudder: Cube

Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 film Cube is quite the thriller. The film is about a group of strangers who wake up in a cubed structure, each of which are unsure how or why they are there. The film features enough mystery, tension, and gore to please most viewers. Reportedly inspired by an episode of The Twilight Zone, Natali’s film is inventive and occasionally wince-inducing. There are aspects of Cube itself which could be considered an inspiration on later horror movies, including Saw. Cube is a great feature debut from director Natali, who went on to make Splice and direct episodes of Westworld and Hannibal.

What to Watch on Shudder: The Hills Have Eyes

The late, great Wes Craven’s sophomore picture The Hills Have Eyes still packs a punch forty years later. The 1977 film is about a family who are targeted by savages after being stranded in the Nevada desert. The film has the requisite tension and striking scenes that we have come to expect from Craven. The Hills Have Eyes features performances by Dee Wallace and Michael Berryman, in an early, but memorable role. The film was remade in 2006, but it is this original that has become a cult classic.

What to Watch on Shudder: The Banishing

Director Erlingur Thoroddsen’s twelve-minute short The Banishing is a great watch. The film is about a teenager who tries to protect her younger sister from the spirit that haunts her. Thoroddsen’s film delivers a haunting atmosphere that rachets up fear. This is aided by a memorable score. The story is well executed, and the ending is a great way to bow out. It is easy to see why The Banishing won awards.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.

What to Watch on Shudder: Witchfinder General and More

Here’s what to watch on Shudder this weekend, featuring Witchfinder General, The Lair of the White Worm, and short The Puppet Man

What to Watch on Shudder: Witchfinder General

Vincent Price gives a memorable performance in 1968’s Witchfinder General. Directed by Michael Reeves, the British horror is a highly fictionalised account of the exploits of seventeenth-century witch hunter Matthew Hopkins. Played by Price, Hopkins one of the nastiest characters in British horror. At the time of its release, Witchfinder General was criticised for being sadistic. Nevertheless, the film later found admirers, and rightly so. Contemporary viewers will find resonance in the theme of the state as an evil entity. Perhaps the most striking aspect about the film is the journey of the hero (played by Ian Ogilvy). Witchfinder General delivers a horrifying conclusion, and one that justifies the film’s place as a cult classic.

What to Watch on Shudder: The Lair of the White Worm

Ken Russell’s 1988 film The Lair of the White Worm has a wonderfully camp quality to it. A loose adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1911 novel, in reality the film bears little resemblance to Stoker’s story. Russell moves the action to the modern day, and focuses on an archeology student who finds an usual skull at the site of an old convent in Derbyshire. The resulting mystery of this, and indeed the snakes that appear, bring in the current lord of the manor, as well as a mysterious lady who owns a nearby stately home. Featuring early roles for Peter Capaldi, Hugh Grant, and Amanda Donohoe, The Lair of the White Worm offers some great camp excess. The dream/hallucination sequences are absurd but immensely watchable trips. Certainly not the finest of horror films, nevertheless Russell’s picture is a lot of fun.

What to Watch on Shudder: The Puppet Man

Jacqueline Castel’s 2016 short The Puppet Man feels like a homage to eighties horror movies. The film is about a group of young adults who visit a deserted bar, but they are not alone. There are several references to classic 1980s horror, and even a cameo from John Carpenter. Castel offers great cinematography, with The Puppet Man looking every inch the retro picture. Moreover, the score is quintessential eighties horror.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.

What To Watch on Shudder: Tenebrae and More

This week’s guide to what to watch on Shudder features Tenebrae, Halloween II, and short film I Want You Inside Me

What to Watch on Shudder: Tenebrae

Dario Argento’s 1982 giallo classic Tenebrae is a must-see for fans of the sub-genre and horror in general. Taking place in Rome (but with English dialogue), the film is about an American writer who is stalked by a killer obsessed with murdering people relating to the writer’s latest work. The film was actually inspired real experiences; Argento received death threats over the telephone, and he wanted to explore senseless killings, which he had heard about in Los Angeles. Starring Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, and Daria Nicolodi, the film combines mystery with a violent slasher. The visuals are impeccably styled, and there is a Hitchcockian air which permeates the film. With striking flashbacks and a high body count, Tenebrae is great viewing.

What to Watch on Shudder: Halloween II

The first sequel to quintessential horror Halloween is well worth a watch. Released in 1981, the film takes an usual step as far as sequels go. Events in the film pick up moments after the ending of the 1978 film, as Dr Loomis searches for Michael Myers whilst Laurie is taken to hospital. Halloween II reveals a twist in the central relationship, which has an impact on the rest of the film series. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, the film is a gory slasher. So much so, that several edits were made to the death scenes when the film was shown on US television.

What to Watch on Shudder: I Want You Inside Me

Director Alice Shindelar’s 2016 short I Want You Inside Me is a coming-of-age film crossed with horror. Written by Alex Cannon, the film is about a teenage girl who wants to lose her virginity to a guy from her high school. His disappear act, however, leaves her mystified. The film has a sufficient hook to keep viewers engaged for the thirteen-minute run time, and is worth watching alone for the surprising finale.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.

What To Watch on Shudder: The Mummy and More

There are frights aplenty on horror streaming platform Shudder. Here’s what to what to watch on Shudder this week, featuring The Mummy (1959), Battle Royale, and short Jack Attack

What to Watch on Shudder: The Mummy (1959)

Ahead of next week’s release of action-horror remake The Mummy, check out the 1959 Hammer version. The film was released by the studio one year after Dracula, and features the classic Hammer pairing of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. This version’s plot varies slightly from the 1932 Universal film, but the crux remains the same. Terence Fisher’s film offers plenty of that Hammer charm, even if the ‘brown face’ makes the film feel dated. The title character itself is a pretty horrifying concoction. This is one thing that hasn’t aged.

What to Watch on Shudder: Battle Royale

Battle Royale is a Japanese horror classic. The 2000 film’s influence can be seen most prominently in the The Hunger Games series of films. Battle Royale is about forty-two school students sent to a deserted island, who are forced to compete until only one survives. If this dystopian premise is not horrifying enough, director Kinji Fukasaka does not skimp on the gore. The film is visceral, yet not without a satirical dark humour. Controversial at the time of its release, Battle Royale certainly packs a punch.

What to Watch on Shudder: Jack Attack

2013 short Jack Attack is worth nine minutes of your time. Written and directed by Bryan Norton and Antonio Padovan, the film has won a number of awards at genre film festivals. Jack Attack is about a young boy and his babysitter who decide to carve a pumpkin on Halloween. To say anymore would give the game away. Suffice to say, the film has a freaky outcome with some decent special effects.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.