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Shudder

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4/5 User rating

shudder.com

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As a horror geek, finding good horror movies and series on popular streaming websites is a feat. Most of the time horror media are bunched together as one genre. Real horror fans know how truly unfair that is. In the horror genre, there are multiple sub-genres that play an important part in choosing your show. That’s where Shudder comes in.

Shudder is a streaming site created for the horror fanatic. It’s like Netflix, but with a lot more blood. Thankfully for viewers, Shudder’s website is surprisingly painless to use!

AMC Network fully launched the streaming website in 2016. The site claims to provide content for all horror fans. Casual fans and super-fans alike, delight at the fastest growing Horror streaming service provider on the web.

Website Design

The design of Shudder’s website has the viewer’s pers[ective in mind. In fact, their website design reminds us of another streaming website in particular. Shudder mimics similar designs as Netflix, in a few ways.

The Shudder logo is in the same place as the Netflix N, and their menu is set up the same, as well. Another similar feature is the way its library is displayed. The boxes are almost in the same exact places.

Although the website looks like a rip-off of another, it’s very suiting. I would call Shudder the Netflix of Horror. The site operates in the same manner and puts up older content, along with providing its own original content too.

My favorite part about the website is the horror-themed navigation system. At the top menu, when you hover over the words the text squirms kind of like tv static would. There are also various other easter eggs around the site, as their social media links. Besides their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter links a small “Stalk Us” is captioned.

Content

There’s a fairly large selection of content available on Shudder. Around 500 titles of films and series are on the website.

Some of the films are very exclusive. There is a long list of items that are exclusive to their sites like Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, and Haunt. The site produces its own original content called Shudder Originals. All of the shows like Creepshow, Monster Vision, and The Wrath are only viewable on Shudder.

One of the nice things about Shudder is that the curators have broken the genre down even further into sub-genres. You will find categories like Creature Features, Unhappy Holidays, Smart Slashers, and Flesh-Eating Frenzy. There are many more fun categories as well as collection curated by guests of the website. The guests are usually celebrities.

Shudder TV is another part of the content you will receive when you sign up for the website. There is a constant live television feed of horror on this page. It is great if you feel like watching something random.

The Shudder blog is frequently updated. It keeps viewers informed on what will be coming out soon. It also offers exclusive behind the scenes information.

Desktop & Mobile Accessibility

Desktop accessibility is great. As previously mentioned before, Shudder feels almost exactly like Netflix. The major difference is the content. The videos play great. The sound quality is very good.

The mobile browser is a replica of the desktop browser. It works in the same manner. There are no apparent problems with it. However, it is difficult to find a button to download the app, so instead, I just searched for it in the app store.

The app is visually stunning. It gets a little more flavor than the website. When you open the app, as it loads the blank screen is an old wall that looks like the wallpaper is peeling. The app is situated a bit differently than the website, but that’s a good thing.

You can really tell they optimized the benefit of having an app. The top right is the settings and the top right is the search bar. The bottom menu is simple and visually appealing. From left to right the menu reads featured, shudder tv, collections, and browse. Each category has a small icon that suits its name. My List and Newly Added are the first horizontal lists in view.

Positives

There are so many positive things about using Shudder. It is a very useful streaming service, especially for horror fanatics. The layout is beautiful and streamlined. It is an easy to use site and application. The overall price of the service is great! $4.99 per month if you buy annually is incredible.

A really cool part of the site is accessing Shudder TV. If you don’t feel like watching whatever random stream is up you can check out some other options. For example, in place of a regular Yule Log burning, the website chooses to offer a Ghoul Log. It is decorated like Halloween with a pumpkin and accompanied by some spooky noises.

The horror-themed navigation buttons are a great addition. Near the social media links it says Stalk Us, so that was clever. The top menu has static-like letters when you hover on it like a tv. The logo is an interesting one. It is the Shudder text with all caps in a text that looks similar to the broken mirror glass. Some of the text also turns blood red when you hover over it.

The blog is another good feature. Being able to keep up with all of the original content is great. Behind the scenes look at shows you like is another cool perk.

One feature that can be viewed as a positive or negative is the title list. There are some pretty obscure titles on the site. For people who prefer main-stream horror, this isn’t awesome. There are some bigger horror titles on the site, but primarily it is made up of seldom heard of movies. On the other hand, if you are a huge horror fan who has seen it all, the obscure titles are positive.

Finally, the very curated collections are amazing. The creators handpick the titles that go into them. Guests of the website also have a special spot on the site. Filmmakers, actors, and horror icons alike create lists of their favorite horror films and series to share with viewers.

Negatives

There aren’t very many negative features when it comes to Shudder. It is a well put together site with some great features. Since I have to choose a few things I will start with their library. The library isn’t exactly small, with over 500 titles. However, we hope it continues to grow in the future. It would be great to see them add some more mainstream titles to their lineup.

Continuing on the point of the library, a lot of the titles are obscure and unheard of. This can be positive or negative. In the case of some, it is a bummer not to see more memorable titles. However, categorization makes it very easy to find something to watch.

A very small negative is that there is no autoplay feature. I assumed since I was watching a series that the second episode would automatically play, but it did not. It is not a huge inconvenience, but I’m not sure why they did not include this in the design.

Lastly, the search function is not very good. Most large streaming sites will search for keywords in movies or titles that are related. In Shudder’s case, unless the title has the word you are searching for in it, you are out of luck.

Improvements Needed

The biggest improvement that could be made for Shudder would be to optimize searching. It is a lot easier to be able to search for keywords instead of only titles. Another great improvement would be a library expansion.

Summary

Every horror lover should have a subscription to Shudder. It has a flawless web browser and app design. The content is varied and the site is constantly bringing in new and exciting material.

There are far more positive aspects of using this site than negative. In fact, there are very few improvements that could be made to optimize it. Some of my favorite features include guest collections, sub-genres, and Ghoul-Log.

Likes & Hates:
The price tag is as low as $4.99 per month, paid annually
The blog offers exclusive information
There are unique original series
Horror-themed navigation is fun
The Ghoul-Log is a must-see
Categories and collections are interesting
The titles are mostly obscure
The search function is not optimal