Shudder is giving horror fans a 30-day free trial — here's what we'd recommend | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Shudder is giving horror fans a 30-day free trial — here's what we'd recommend

click to enlarge The Love Witch - PHOTO: OSCILLOSCOPE
Photo: Oscilloscope
The Love Witch
If you're a horror fan, you find a strange comfort in watching scary movies as an entertaining way to deal with stressful situations, like, say, a global pandemic. People can psychoanalyze this all they want, but I see it as a visceral release provided by an artificial terror I control. If it gets too gross or distressing, I know I can just shut it off and cleanse my palette with some Bob's Burgers (see this and other suggestions in our post about calming media).

For scarehounds like me, the Shudder streaming service is offering a 30-day free trial (use promo code SHUTIN) for isolators who need a little escape — they're even sharing special #ShudderShutIn picks on social media. We here at the CP have written about some of the creepy, cool, and darkly humorous titles available on the platform. See excerpts and links below:

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
click to enlarge A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night - PHOTO: KINO LORBER
Photo: Kino Lorber
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
"... A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a late holiday stocking for film fans, stuffed as it is with a jumble of genres, homages and arresting images. That said, it is wholly original: There isn't another film about an Iranian teenage girl vampire out there." (Read the rest of the CP review here.) 


Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019)

“'We’ve always loved horror. It’s just that horror, unfortunately, hasn’t always loved us.' So goes the voice-over introduction to Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, a new documentary about African-American representation in a genre defined by whiteness, from white teen victims to white, male killers like Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger." (Read the rest of the CP review here.)

The Love Witch (2016)

"Witch tales have long been a stand-in for narratives about female empowerment and sexuality, and [writer-director Anne Biller] fills her film with many nods to this conceit, from explicit sermonizing to winking jokes." (Read the rest of the CP review here.) 


Luz (2018)

"It’s described as a 'sensuous thriller that plays with the sensory perception of the audience” by first-time feature writer/director Tilman Singer, who goes on to call it a 'story about identity' and an homage to horror masters David Cronenberg, Dario Argento, and Lucio Fulci, before admitting that it’s 'purposely open to interpretation.' That's an understatement." (Read the rest of the CP review here.)

One Cut of the Dead (2017)
click to enlarge One Cut of the Dead - PHOTO: THIRD WINDOW FILMS
Photo: Third Window Films
One Cut of the Dead
"Originally released in 2017, One Cut of the Dead has quickly gained cult status for its highly inventive, fun-loving tribute to the creative minds behind horror, many of whom started their careers with little more than a camera and a single location."  (Read the rest of the CP review here.)

Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini (2015)

"Using the standard archival photos and grainy 8mm home-movie footage, we’re treated to images of a young [Tom Savini] as he describes how he frequented the neighborhood theater to watch movies, one of which, the 1957 Lon Chaney biopic Man of a Thousand Faces, inspired him to make his own monster masks and horror makeup."  (Read the rest of the CP review here.)


Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

"Tigers Are Not Afraid — first released in 2017 with the title Vuelven, meaning 'they come back' — is not exactly a horror film, though there are certainly spooky elements. It veers closer to fantasy, with magical realism woven in throughout, including the repeated image of a tiger, sometimes as a stuffed animal come to life, or as a straight-up tiger in an abandoned spa." (Read the rest of the CP review here.)

Train to Busan (2016)

"It’s as basic as 'zombies on a train,' but Sang-ho Yeon’s new thriller is a well-made example of the increasingly overdone genre." (Read the rest of the CP review here.)

The Transfiguration (2017)
click to enlarge The Transfiguration - PHOTO: STRAND RELEASING
Photo: Strand Releasing
The Transfiguration
"Writer-director Michael O’Shea’s debut film, The Transfiguration, is a coming-of-age horror story set in New York City. Its focus is teenage Milo (Eric Ruffin), who lives with his seemingly depressed older brother, and who is obsessed with vampires. Enough that Milo is attacking people and drinking their blood." (Read the rest of the CP review here.)

White God (2014)

"Viewers will surely be captivated by the film's cold open: a girl bicycling through a deserted Budapest followed by a pack of dozens of charging dogs. (Mundruczo cast 274 shelter dogs, trained them and used no CGI for the pack scenes.)" (Read the rest of the CP review here.)

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