The Movie Waffler 25 Essential Horror Movies Now Streaming on Shudder UK | The Movie Waffler

25 Essential Horror Movies Now Streaming on Shudder UK

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We've picked 25 of the best movies currently available on the horror themed streaming service.

Words by Eric Hillis

Since its inception in 2016, horror themed streaming service Shudder has grown significantly, amassing a catalogue of genre classics, new releases and their own Shudder Originals. We've trawled through Shudder UK's library to bring you 25 movies we recommend subscribing to check out. All titles are available at time of writing but may be subject to removal in the future. Visit to sign up or try their seven day free trial.

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Ryan Reynolds awakens to find himself confined to a coffin buried God knows how many feet beneath the earth. Director Rodrigo Cortés commendably commits to his unique premise, keeping his camera inside the coffin for the duration of the movie, with Reynolds communicating with the outside world only through a cellphone with a rapidly dwindling battery. Not one for claustrophobia sufferers.

If you're like me, you're no doubt dying to get back to cinemas as soon as the current COVID-19 lockdown ends, but Lamberto Bava's 1985 shocker might turn you off ever returning to a movie theatre. A Berlin cinema erupts in mayhem when a screening of a cursed film turns the assembled cinemagoers into bloodthirsty demons.

Horror author Clive Barker brought his distinctive nightmarish visions to cinemagoers with his directorial debut, an adaptation of his novella 'The Hellbound Heart'. Heavy on S&M imagery, Hellraiser introduced horror fans to the iconic villain Pinhead, who would become the figurehead of a long-running franchise that never lived up to the promise of Barker's low budget original.

Robert Altman's closest brush with the horror genre stars Susannah York as a children's author subjected to an increasingly tangible series of schizophrenic hallucinations while residing in a remote country home. Altman channels the likes of Persona and Repulsion, and his unconventional camerawork and disjointed editing add to the feeling of unease, but it's York's disturbing performance that gets under our skin.

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It Follows
Arguably the best horror movie of the last decade, David Robert Mitchell's film has the novel premise of a curse passed through sexual intercourse. Maika Monroe is the teen who finds herself the latest recipient of said curse, but vows to defeat it on her own terms. Mitchell's haunting film captures the feeling of uncertainty that dogs so many of us in our late teen years.

King Cohen
This documentary explores the career of the late, great genre filmmaker Larry Cohen, devoting plenty of time to all his works. Featuring interviews with Cohen himself, along with collaborators like actors Michael Moriarty and Fred Williamson, King Cohen is as bustling with energy as the films of its subject, and equally entertaining.

Mark of the Devil
Michael Armstrong's period folk horror doesn't get spoken about as often as its contemporaries like Witchfinder General and Blood on Satan's Claw, but it's just as good. Udo Kier plays an 18th century witch hunter who begins to suspect his job may not be as moral as his master (Herbert Lom) has led him to believe. Upon its theatrical release in the US, cinemagoers were presented with 'Sick Bags', lest they chuck up their popcorn in the aisles.

A young Jennifer Connelly communicating telepathically with insects, a deformed homicidal child and a razor-wielding chimpanzee are just some of the offbeat delights on offer in Dario Argento's most bonkers movie (and that's saying something). It also features one of Donald Pleasence's most endearing performances as the kindly entomologist who befriends Connelly. You'll never listen to Iron Maiden in quite the same way again.

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French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat finds a way to put a fresh spin on the rape revenge genre while simultaneously delivering the dubious thrills such movies offer our demented lizard brains. Matilda Lutz is the young woman who turns the tables on her attackers, fuelled by hallucinogenic peyote and tattooing herself with a beer can logo (yes, seriously!).

Sequence Break
One of a couple of movies on this list that could also be labelled under the 'Romance' tag. Sequence Break follows Oz (Chase Williamson), an introverted young man who becomes obsessed with a mysterious stand-up arcade game. Meanwhile he embarks on a relationship with a young woman (Fabianne Therese) who tries her best to shake him out of his rut. Graham Skipper's film is a smart look at how many young men retreat from reality.

After establishing himself with a string of oddball comedies, Brian de Palma began his obsession with channelling Hitchcock with this 1972 thriller. Margot Kidder plays the dual roles of an aspiring actress and her homicidal, separated former conjoined twin. Adding to the Hitchcockian vibe is a moody score by Bernard Herrmann.

Brian Yuzna's 1989 thriller falls into the sub-genre of sci-fi movies in which a protagonist discovers that society's powers that be are not what they appear (see also Invasion of the Body Snatchers and They Live). In this case it's a Beverly Hills high-schooler (Billy Warlock) who learns that the town's socialites are part of a cannibalistic cult.

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Another entry that blends horror, sci-fi and romance. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's film is the story of the relationship between an American fugitive (Lou Taylor Pucci) and a beautiful European woman (Nadia Hilker) who may have a connection to a spate of disappearing tourists. Think Before Sunrise by way of Lovecraft.

Brandon Christensen emerged as a filmmaker to watch with this debut feature. It's a low-key tale of a young mother (Christie Burke) who becomes convinced that a supernatural force is attempting to steal her baby. Eschewing gore and elaborate FX, Christensen's film plays like a throwback to '70s TV horror movies, and Burke delivers a knockout performance.

After dabbling in supernatural horror with Suspiria and Inferno, Argento returned to his Giallo roots with this thriller. Anthony Franciosa plays an American author visiting Italy who determines to track down a serial killer who seems to be inspired by his novels. Boasting more style than a Milan catwalk, Tenebrae is a visual feast, including a famous scene in which Argento's camera prowls the outside of an apartment building as the killer wreaks havoc within.

The Baby
Easily the sleaziest movie on this list, director Ted Post's film is focussed on a social worker (Anjanette Comerwho comes into contact with a 21-year-old man with the mind of an infant and the screwed up women of his family. Fearing she may take 'Baby' away form their incestuous clutches, the women plot to off the meddling social worker.

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The Cat O' Nine Tails
The final Argento movie on our list is one of his early Giallo offerings. This one boasts a unique and charming crime-fighting duo - a blind man (Karl Malden) and his niece (Cinzia De Carolis) - who team up to solve the mystery behind a series of murders that seem connected to a blackmail threat they overheard.

The Changeling
Peter Medak's film has a reputation as one of the creepiest films of its era. Well, that's half true. The first half of the movie is indeed skin-crawling, as George C. Scott finds himself alone in a house with an unseen supernatural presence. In the second half the movie morphs into a less involving political thriller, but horror fans should check it out for the thrills of its early portions.

The Devil's Candy
This Heavy Metal themed horror succeeds by giving us protagonists that we genuinely grow to like in a lank haired artist (Ethan Embry) and his precocious daughter (Kiara Glasco). It's essentially a standard haunted house movie with a metal twist, but Sean Byrne directs with confidence and class.

The Furies
Australian horror movies are known for their intensity and that's the case with director Tony D'Aquino's riff on The Most Dangerous Game. Women are being abducted from city streets only to awake in the outback, where they are pitted against each other in a battle to outwit the masked men hunting them down.

The Hills Have Eyes

The Hills Have Eyes
Speaking of intensity. Wes Craven's grimy thriller sees a suburban family menaced by a cannibalistic clan while travelling through the desert. An era defining classic of horror cinema.

The Reflecting Skin
Philip Ridley's coming of age vampire movie sees Viggo Mortensen in an early role as the older brother of Seth (Jeremy Cooper), an eight-year-old boy confronted with the terrors of the world when a series of murders plague his rural Idaho community. Ridley defies Gothic horror conventions with his sun-drenched, wide-open setting.

The Transfiguration
More coming of age vampirism here in director Michael O'Shea's New York set mood piece. Eric Ruffin plays Milo, a teenage social outcast who, like the titular protagonist of George A. Romero's Martin, convinces himself that he's a vampire. Can Sophie (Chloe Levine), a troubled young neighbour who shows an interest in Milo, bring him to his senses before it's too late?

And yet more vampires in this Australian horror. Chantal Contouri plays a young woman kidnapped by 'The Brotherhood', an organisation that believes her to be the direct descendant of the infamous Countess Elizabeth Bathory, aka 'Countess Dracula'.

Brandon Christensen's second feature sees him continue his theme of young mothers menaced by supernatural forces. Keegan Connor Tracy impresses as a woman who comes to realise her young son's imaginary friend is all too real, and has malevolent intentions.

What are your favourite movies on Shudder? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @themoviewaffler.