5 horror films I watched on Shudder last week

Films to watch on ShudderI got a Shudder subscription, the Netflix of horror. Shudder is a subscription service for the horror, thriller, and suspense genres. Enjoy exceptional originals, movies, TV series, podcasts, and live streaming events.

That means more horror films, always a plus. What I like about this streaming platform is you can really select what type of genre of horror you fall under. Gore, giallos, cult, indie, it is all there. As well as essential classics like Halloween, you can also check out newer releases, as well as a range of television shows and original series.

Here is a list of five films I watched on Shudder with no idea of what to expect from them.

#1 Revenge (2017)

The first film and I’ll be honest the main reason I was convinced to join is for the french film, Revenge (2017). Critically I’ve heard so much about it, not to mention the OTT pink typography on the front cover.

Revenge uses Lolita innocence and turns it dark. This is about violence towards women. A stereotype which is reclaimed by the lead victim, Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) when goes on a killing spree and changes from Lolita into Rambo.

On the topic on gender studies, you can clearly see that the director Coralie Fargeat has embraced horror tropes such as the rape revenge genre and given it a feminist touch. Fargeat reverts the male gaze theory (sorry film school here) by not sexualising the female body but instead makes us gaze and ‘objectify’ the naked main villain.

#2 One Cut of the Dead (2017)

Wow no joke 40 or so minutes into One Cut of The Dead, I was thinking this film is quite bad. Then, all of a sudden it completely turned out to be one of the endearing film I have seen.

Without giving too much away, One Cut of The Dead is about a film crew making a zombie film and as it turns out, real zombies are disrupting the film in progress and killing the actors.

Actor Takayuki Hamatsu who plays the director in One Cut of The Dead is so convincing as a ‘Ed Wood’ type character. For example Wood used Bela Lugosi in his last film Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) and Lugosi died during production. Wood had continued to keep the film going by replacing Lugosi with a completely different looking actor. Likewise Hamatsu embodies this craziness proving that the show must go on even though the crew are actually dying.

#3 Tetsuo (1989)

A Japanese cyber punk horror, this is definitely the strangest and most surreal film thus far.

If you’ve seen the weird and wonderful world of David Lynch’s, Eraserhead (1977) this is same amount of full on. But take away its white noise and catastrophe, Tetsuo is simply a story about a couple who do a hit and run on a character called the metal fetishist (Shin’ya Tsukamoto the director himself). It is then the metal fetishist who seeks out his revenge.

Just like Lynch, you also get David Cronenberg’s body horror goodness which is emphasised through body mutilations. Skin is punctured and ripped back on many occasions revealing an abnormal growth emerging and taking over the perpetrators body. Icky stuff.

But there is a side to Tetsuo which is calm. The use of black and white cinematography and lack of dialogue softens the intensity and horror elements, yet make the pain more susceptible to our senses.

#4 Don’t Go in the Woods (1981)

This slasher, banned in the 80s due to censorship laws has not been released till 2007 on DVD. Watching it now, Don’t Go in the Woods is not scary at all but does manage to be funny due to the fact that this is a ‘so bad it’s good’ film.

Jumping straight into it we learn that the woods are dangerous and it is rather stupid to venture into them alone. So about 5 people are slayed within the first 15 minutes of the narrative.

But soon, the silliness rubs off and you do get over Don’t Go in the Woods. There are dubbing issues and dialogues that don’t go anywhere not to mention characters who walk into a scenario without an explanation.

If you think that this is the horror version of The Room (2003, Tommy Wiseau) like I did, then you’ll love this. I promise though, you will only survive if you have a smile on your face.

#5 Donnie Darko (2001)

This is my second viewing of Donnie Darko. The first time was in the 2000s and I didn’t get around the hype. Now, I do.

I have no interest in debunking what Donnie Darko is about. If anything, I found myself taking a mental illness perspective. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) sufferers from schizophrenia which is demonstrated through having an imaginary friend called Frank, (James Duval). Who is dressed as a disturbing rabbit.

Donnie Darko has dated and does come across as corny. Could be from Gyllenhaal’s emo vibe or Frank’s vocals which is reminiscent of Darth Varder, I don’t know. But I took to this awkward world and realised that Donnie Darko depicts growing up and being bulled at school like no other, and is beautifully accompanied with a bangin 80s soundtrack. The music is arranged in such a way that vocalises the sadness and helplessness belonging to Darko and the characters who make up this world.

This is a film that you will be into or not, which may revert over the years. As a film, Donnie Darko has done it’s job and made this a memorable and divisive experience. A narrative you can have many conversations about and from this list, this is the film from Shudder I still talk about.

Shudder subscriptions are available with a free 7 day trial and from $4.75 per month. UK users are also encouraged to sign up – if you’re a horror fan of course.


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