My dad loved scary movies. He couldn’t get enough of those B-grade horror flicks with cheesy special effects and terrible acting – titles like “Blood Hunters” and “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.” Real guilty pleasures. I guess his enthusiasm was infectious because I developed my own taste for the macabre as a young kid. I obsessed over movies like “Creepshow” and “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” That childhood sense of giddiness over monsters, ghosts, killers, and demons translated quite easily into my adulthood. I’m always looking for the next good scare. It’s a fun to remember my dad in that way – with a good horror flick. Fright seekers can now get their fix with these top horror movie streaming services.
Probably the most high-profile of the horror movie streaming apps. The app features a clean, easy-to-navigate user interface, not unlike Netflix’s design layout. The selection of films is excellent – a wide variety of subgenre selections with plenty of premium titles to make this app more than worth its price. There are biggies like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Hellraiser,” and “The Evil Dead.” Then, they have more obscure titles: “Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou,” “Mirror, Mirror,” and “Sleepaway Camp.” They even feature films that are not strictly horror per se but are disturbing nonetheless: “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “Irreversible,” “In a Glass Cage,” and “Compliance.” It’s an impressive selection of titles.
The app also features ShudderTV, a curated channel of programmed genre titles. You can tune in at any time. The channel is updated weekly and it is always on. I also like the Collections tab, which organizes the titles by specific subgenres and guest curator selections. Collections like Gross Anatomy, Psychos and Madmen, and Unhappy Holidays make for a great way to discover cool movies. Shudder also produces its own exclusive content. Exclusive series titles like “Wolf Creek,” “Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories,” and “Missions” really stand out. I can’t say enough about this app. I love it.
Annual membership is only $47.88 or you can pay a monthly fee of $4.99. There is a 7-day free trial, which is nice. The app is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android, and VRV. If you are a student, be sure to check out their 30% off Student Discount program. Cool stuff.
It’s not strictly horror. Pulp is the right word. This is the place to find blood-splattered bikinis, gore-covered samurais, and sex-crazed cults. If you seek titles like “Bigfoot vs. Zombies,” “Killer Ants,” and “Sexy Battle Girls,” then look no further. Featuring everything from Japanese pink cinema to cult classics to giallo movies (Italian grindhouse titles from the 1960s and ‘70s), this is the app of choice for gorehounds. If you find yourself attending midnight screenings in full costume, then this is the app for you. Movies are categorized by genre. There is also a cool Collections tab with themes like Bad Science!, Blood Bath and Beyond, and Strange & Sexy.
The app is free to download, and registration is also free. There is a subscription tier called Pulp+ that only costs $4.99 per month, allowing you to stream ad-free. The subscription service also gives you access to exclusive content like directors’ cuts and bonus features. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
I spent some time looking through the titles available on Screambox, and while the app itself is similar to Shudder, I did not recognize many of the titles on Screambox at first glance. That’s both a good and bad thing. It’s good in the sense that the app seems to offer many more new titles for me to sink my teeth into. But, at the same time, it also means there are a lot of low-budget, B-grade movies. Not that there’s anything wrong with those low-budget features. Hell, my dad loved that kind of cheap entertainment. Low-budget movies aren’t necessarily bad movies. Let’s be honest though: most of them are pretty bad. I was impressed with titles like “Audition,” “Cannibal Holocaust,” “Carnival of Souls,” and “The Woman.” But, most titles are unknown to me, and I think I’m pretty good with horror movies. Screambox needs better content. That’s just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.
The app has its strong points, though. The categories and subcategories are legit. Within the main categories of Killers, Supernatural, Monsters, Psychological, and Extreme, there are subcategories. For example, Monsters has Zombies, Vampires, and Aliens. Supernatural has Ghosts & Spirits, Possession & Demons, and Witches, Occult & Religion. I can dig it. Membership is only $35.88 annually. That’s $2.99 per month, and you get a 7-day free trial. Movies are presented uncut and commercial-free. New titles are added weekly. Oh, and there’s no commitment; you can cancel anytime.
It’s free. Sold, right? Me, too. Like a free Netflix of horror, the service features some okay titles. Of course, since it’s free, most of the titles are schlock. Nothing wrong with schlock, though. Users are treated to such delightful gems as “The Clown at Midnight, “Croczilla,” and “Jack Olantern.” There are some more impressive titles, though: “Shivers,” “The Stepford Wives,” “The Last House on the Left,” “Repulsion,” “Suspiria,” and “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage.” If you’ve never seen those movies, check them out. They are classics.
The ads are rather annoying, to say the least, but beggars can’t be choosers. Their app platform is Popcornflix, which is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, and Blackberry World. You can get it on Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, and Xbox and Xbox 360.
It’s heartening to see so many new and exciting ways to access this type of under-served content. Horror fans should rejoice. I wish my dad was still around to see this. I can picture it now: we’d kick back with some popcorn and settle in for some good scares. Just like the good old days when I was a kid. These services bring it all back to me. The memories. Sleepovers with friends. Late night movie marathons. Restless nights filled with unsettling dreams. It’s all right here at our fingertips. Enjoy!