The 20 Best Movies on Shudder to Watch Right Now

A frighteningly good collection of horror, thriller, and supernatural movies

Shudder is a streaming platform with a goal: scaring the life out of you. It hosts classics, new gems, obscure oddities, and even some insightful documentaries about all things grim and scary.

Here are some of the best originals and exclusives you can watch on Shudder right now.

Because horror movies may include some sensitive content, we've included links to each item's entry on Does the Dog Die? These pages will give you a (mostly spoiler-free) rundown of each film's potentially sensitive or triggering content.

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The Advent Calendar (2021): The Scariest Box of Chocolates

The Advent Calendar

IMDb rating: 6.3/10

Starring: Eugénie Derouand, Honorine Magnier, Clément Olivieri

Director: Patrick Ridremont

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Advent Calendars are supposed to help you (or kids) pass the time until Christmas and reward patience with delicious candy. In this movie, however, the eponymous box has its own ideas. Eva (Derouand) receives it on her birthday, and it promises to grant her deepest wish as long as she follows its rules: eat every candy, never skip a day, and keep the box until she's opened all of its doors.

Obviously, a catch is involved, and the price of Eva's wish becomes increasingly bloody and sinister. The Advent Calendar takes a well-covered premise and delivers some interesting twists and a fantastic atmosphere.

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After Midnight (2019): The Most Romantic Movie that Might Have a Monster

Jeremy Gardner in After Midnight

IMDb rating: 5.3/10

Starring: Jeremy Gardner, Brea Grant

Directors: Jeremy Gardner, Christian Stella

Rating: TV-MA

Runtime: 1 hour, 23 minutes

Hank (Gardner) suffers a shock to his stable, predictable life when his girlfriend Abby (Grant) leaves suddenly. Around the same time, Hank notices signs of an unknown creature outside of his house. As events grow increasingly tense, Hank begins to question everything.

Come for the sharp writing and great characters, and stay for the karaoke.

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Anything for Jackson (2020): Scariest Movie About Devil-Worshipping Grandparents

Anything for Jackson

IMDb rating: 6.3/10

Starring: Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos

Director: Justin G. Dyck

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

This dark, devilish film concerns Audrey (McCarthy) and Henry (Richings), an elderly couple grieving the death of their grandson. They're also devoutly religious, but not in the way you think; they hope to call upon infernal powers to bring Jackson's soul back to Earth. Caught in the middle is Becker (Mantelos), a pregnant woman whose unborn child is key to the plan.

Audrey and Henry quickly get in over their heads, and their home becomes host to a series of unsettling spirits. Keep an eye out for a small part from Troy Jones (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark), whose skills as a contortionist have brought some uniquely disturbing characters to life.

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Blood Quantum (2019): A Unique Take on the Zombiepocalypse

Blood Quantum

IMDb rating: 5.6/10

Starring: Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Forrest Goodluck

Director: Jeff Barnaby

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Horror fans have seen so many versions of what might happen if the dead returned with a taste for the living, that it's easy to think it's all been covered. Blood Quantum manages to surprise with a cool setup and great perspective.

This one takes place on a Canadian Mi'gmaq reservation and has a twist: First Nations people are immune to zombies. The tension comes not only from the undead but also from the characters' conflict about whether they have a duty to protect or help people from the outside. The zombie threat becomes secondary to the persisting effects of colonialism and displacement, and Blood Quantum delivers a solid, gory zombie story with an interesting angle.

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Boys from County Hell (2020): A Horror-Comedy with a Gnarly Vampire

Boys from County Hell

IMDb rating: 5.9/10

Starring: Jack Rowan, Nigel O'Neill, Louisa Harland

Director: Chris Baugh

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes

It's easy to forget that horror movies are supposed to be fun, and this Irish horror-comedy provides a great reminder. Two aimless friends unwittingly release an ancient vampire from his centuries-long sleep. Along with being charming, Boys from County Hell distinguishes itself with a truly horrifying-looking vampire who doesn't even need to be invited into your house to drink your blood. Instead, he has a way of just pulling it out of your body with his mind.

This one has some solid gags, mostly regarding some creative, improvised "wooden stakes" and which vampire myths are real. It also has a good story that has these slacker characters get it together to save their home, friends, and family from the monster.

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The Cleansing Hour (2019): Evil Goes Live

The Cleansing Hour

IMDb rating: 6.0/10

Starring: Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, Alix Angelis

Director: Damien LeVeck

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes

The Cleansing Hour tells the story of Max (Guzman), an internet personality who has made his name with faked exorcisms. You can probably guess where this is going: His latest livestream goes awry when Max finds himself facing off with a real demon.

It's not the most original premise, but The Cleansing Hour still delivers a fun time with some nice twists and a clever use of a Google Glass-style AR eyepiece. Remember Google Glass?

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Color Out of Space (2019): Best Lovecraft Adaptation

Color Out of Space

IMDb rating: 6.1/10

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur

Director: Richard Stanley

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes

Nicolas Cage is in great form in this adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space." Director Richard Stanley's surrealist sensibilities are on full, beautiful display here as a family and the countryside surrounding their farm fall victim to the weird effects of a bizarre, fuchsia-spewing meteorite. Eventually, it all descends into madness, body horror, and Cage occasionally breaks into a silly voice.

Color Out of Space is so creepy that even Tommy Chong will manage to chill your bones, and you'll never look at alpacas the same way again.

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The Furies (2019): A Slasher ... Buddy Movie?

The Furies

IMDb rating: 5.3/10

Starring: Airlie Dodds, Linda Ngo, Taylor Ferguson

Director: Tony D'Aquino

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 22 minutes

We've all seen movies about women fleeing through the woods from masked killers, but The Furies isn't just another slasher. This version of the trope puts equal numbers of killers and possible victims against each other. But each killer has one "Beauty" he must protect, but the targets don't know which "Beast" is theirs. This extra dynamic makes The Furies a fresh spin on some conventions that can feel pretty tired sometimes.

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Haunt (2019): The Smartest Kids in Horror


IMDb rating: 6.2/10

Starring: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn Alisa McClain

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes

We're used to movies about kids who have seen horror movies, which usually means that they talk about how dangerous or stupid the thing they're doing is before the villain immediately proves them right. Haunt avoids this trope by just making the main characters, who are stuck in a Halloween attraction with a bunch of guys who want to kill them, genuinely smart. They stick together, don't enter dark hallways unless they have to, and don't trust the mysterious stranger offering help.

Haunt has some genuinely scary moments, along with characters you genuinely want to make it out alive. And even if you don't watch it, be sure to check out Lissie's cover of the White Zombie classic "Dragula," which plays over the closing credits.

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The Head Hunter (2018): A Monster Hunter With a Grudge

The Head Hunter

IMDb rating: 5.4/10

Starring: Christopher Rygh Cora Kaufman

Director: Jordan Downey

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 12 minutes

People who like their scares quiet and moody will enjoy this tale of a monster hunter who lives a solitary life on the fringe of civilization. He has his day job, but his thoughts are stuck on the beast that claimed his daughter. This dark, understated fable tells a good story in less than an hour and a half, and it packs its relatively short runtime with atmosphere and impressive creature effects.

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Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019) – Best Alternative History of Hollywood

Horror Noire

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Starring: Rusty Cundieff, Tananarive Due, Robin R. Means Coleman

Director: Xavier Burgin

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 23 minutes

This documentary is a must-see for horror fans and presents a history of the genre from the Black American perspective. The rough timeline goes from director D.W. Griffith's cinematic hate crime The Birth of a Nation to Jordan Peele's instant classic Get Out, with some stops at Night of the Living Dead, Blacula, and Tales from the Hood.

You're guaranteed to learn something new from this insightful work, which also features a panel of iconic actors that includes Kelly Jo Minter (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5), Tony Todd (Candyman), and Keith David (The Thing).

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Host (2020): Best Movie that Takes Place on Zoom


IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Starring: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb

Director: Rob Savage

Rating: NR

Runtime: 57 minutes

We'd all spent a lot of time on video calls by the time this movie came out during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that alone was pretty scary. Add in a failed seance and an offended demon, and these characters have an even worse time than scheduled "face time" with their boss.

This is the shortest film on this list, but it packs a lot of scares in, including a notable one that somehow makes whimsical face filters sinister.

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Impetigore (2019): No Such Thing as a Free House


IMDb rating: 6.6/10

Starring: Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, Marissa Anita

Director: Joko Anwar

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 46 minutes

Indonesia has put out some memorable and unique horror movies, and Shudder has plenty on offer. This creeper tells the story of Maya, who returns to her family's village with the promise of inheriting a house. And then, a series of bad things happen, but you probably expected that. Impetigore is an atmospheric, slow-burn tale that still delivers some horrific visuals and genuine surprises.

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Lucky (2020): Best Movie About Constant, Inescapable Peril


IMDb rating: 5.0/10

Starring: Brea Grant, Leith M. Burke, Dhruv Uday Singh

Director: Natasha Kermani

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 23 minutes

Brea Grant pulls double duty as writer and star in Lucky. She plays May, a woman plagued by a masked man who breaks into her house every night. As the incidents escalate, May finds herself with another problem: Nobody believes that the intruder is real.

Lucky balances humor, tension, and effective social commentary in a movie that is as beautifully shot as it is harrowing.

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Mandy (2018): That Movie Where Nicolas Cage Is Weird


IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache

Director: Panos Cosmatos

Rating: NR

Runtime: 2 hours, 1 minute

Mandy isn't the scariest movie on Shudder, but it is one of the most memorable. Instead of a purple rock, this one has Nic Cage going up against a gang of demonic biker cannibals and their leaders, a hippie drug cult. The dialogue is sparse, the violence is constant, and everything after about the 45-minute mark looks like the cover of a death-metal album.

Even if you dislike Mandy, you probably won't ever forget it.

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The Medium (2021): Best Fake Documentary about Generational Trauma

The Medium

IMDb rating: 6.6/10

Starring: Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Sawanee Utoomma, Sirani Yankittikan

Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun

Rating: NR

Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes

You have to hand it to a movie that spends most of its runtime not trying to figure out if the misfortunes that befall its characters are the work of a ghost, but specifically which spirit is doing it. So it is with The Medium, a mockumentary that starts out covering Nim (Utoomma), the shaman of an isolated community who provides help and guidance via the local goddess who works through her.

The goddess, Bayan, has "inhabited" the women of Nim's family for generations, and you probably don't need to ask to know that this is the round in which it all goes wrong. Be advised that this one gets pretty rough (remember to check the Does the Dog Die link), and it has some truly terrifying scenes even for long-time fans of extreme horror.

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The Mortuary Collection (2019): A Fun, Atmospheric Anthology

The Mortuary Collection

IMDb rating: 6.4/10

Starring: Clancy Brown, Caitlin Fisher

Director: Ryan Spindell

Rating: Not Rated

Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Recently, anthology movies like the VHS series have used a different director for each segment. The Mortuary Collection bucks this trend with a single writer and director, which gives the individual stories more unity and consistency between each other.

That's not to say that they're similar, however. Segments include a tentacled monster, gruesome body horror, and ghosts. Clancy Brown makes a delightful Crypt-Keeper, delivering his stories to his incredulous guest (Fisher).

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Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019): A Moving Documentary About an Infamous Horror Film

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Starring: Mark Patton, Jack Sholder, Robert Englund

Directors: Roman Chimienti, Tyler Jensen

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Actor Mark Patton's career should have taken off after he landed the lead in the eagerly anticipated sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. Instead, the film, now a cult classic, has earned a reputation as "the gayest horror movie ever made," and Patton found himself taking most of the blame for the reaction.

Scream, Queen! recounts Patton's life after Nightmare 2 and how he's worked to reconcile – and reclaim – the film's legacy. While it focuses on the star, it also includes interviews and appearances from the cast and crew and provides new insight into the classic series' most bizarre entry.

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Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017): A Dark Fairy Tale of Modern-Day Mexico

Tigers Are Not Afraid

IMDb rating: 6.9/10

Starring: Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, Nery Arredondo

Director: Issa López

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 23 minutes

Tigers Are Not Afraid is a "fairy tale" in the original sense of the term, which means it features a lot of trauma and peril befalling children, and you should not expect a happy ending. This haunting and beautiful film follows Estrella (Lara), a child in Mexico who falls in with a gang of orphan boys after her mother disappears.

This one is a must-see for fans of Guillermo Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth. But even if you haven't seen those films, Tigers Are Not Afraid will impress you with its lovely visuals and often heartbreaking story.

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Vicious Fun (2020): Horror Fandom Gets Too Real

Vicious Fun

IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Starring: Evan Marsh, Amber Goldfarb, Ari Millen

Director: Cody Calahan

Rating: NR

Runtime: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Vicious Fun takes place in the neon-soaked 1980s and features Joel (Marsh), a film critic who gets in over his head when he stumbles into a meeting of a support group for serial killers. Unable to maintain his cover long enough to escape, Joel's only hope for survival is Carrie (Goldfarb), a mysterious woman who is no less bloodthirsty than the monsters pursuing Joel.

Despite its admittedly silly premise, Vicious Fun is a charming, enjoyable, and extremely violent movie that provides laughs and gnarly makeup, and gore effects in equal measure.

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