I 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.
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.
On the topic of 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 films I have seen.
Actor Takayuki Hamatsu who plays the director in One Cut of The Dead is so convincing as an ‘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.
A Japanese cyberpunk horror, this is definitely the strangest and most surreal film thus far.
#3 Tetsuo (1989)
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)
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 slain 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.
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 Vader, I don’t know. But I took to this awkward world and realised that Donnie Darko depicts growing up and being bullied at school like no other, and is beautifully accompanied by a banging 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 its 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.
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