A sickly woman smiles evily at man in "The Sadness"

The 10 Best Shudder Original Movies

Is it cold outside? Not really, but I’m SHUDDERING anyway. I’ve also shuddered—I mean shuttered—all the windows and doors. Why? Because I’m holed up watching the best original horror movies on Shudder. What are they? Read on.

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Mad God

A grotesque monster grimaces in "Mad God"

If there’s anything I learned from Bioshock (and OceanGate) it’s never EVER under ANY circumstances enter any kind of diving bell or bathysphere or anything that’s meant to go down. If only the main character from Mad God got the memo. Phil Tippett’s stop motion masterpiece centers around an assassin who travels to the underworld to carry out a grim mission. This movie is unadulterated nightmare fuel featuring dystopian wastelands and dark factories that churn out horrible monsters. This world was created by a mad god indeed.

La Llorana

A woman lies half submerged in water in "La Llorana"

La Llorana or “The Weeping Woman” is a famous ghost in Mexican folklore. She appears near bodies of water, weeping over the corpses of her drowned children. If you hear her, it’s already too late. Jayro Bustamante’s La Llorana reimagines the myth in Guatemala, where the ghostly woman haunts former dictator Enrique Monteverde and his family for his role in the Guatemalan Genocide, which was the massacre of Mayan civilians during the Guatemalan Civil War. As he faces trial for the genocide, the ghost appears to bring justice that the dead were denied.

VHS 94

A sewer monsters lurks in a tunnel in "VHS 94"

The VHS series is a horror anthology within a horror anthology. The films all center around found footage recordings involving the paranormal and the malign. Alien abductions. Sewer monsters. Evil robots. The horrors in VHS are myriad. VHS 94 is arguably the finest entry in the series, featuring all sorts of spooky stories! Like the one about the militia that decides to use a rabid vampire in order to stage a coup! Because what could possibly go wrong? It’s sound military strategy!

The Advent Calendar

A woman holds a little figure of a person in "The Advent Calendar"

Advent Calendars are supposed to be nice, comforting things. Little countdowns to Christmas morning! And every day the calendar asks you to open up one of its little doors and get a little mini gift for the holidays. But what if your calendar asks you to do something evil in exchange for those gifts? What if those gifts could be anything you want. Real bonafide Christmas miracles, if you know what I mean. Would you do it? Patrick Ridremont’s The Advent Calendar asks that question of a paraplegic woman named Eve. Unsurprisingly, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Do it for the plot, Eve. We love to see it.


Cropped portion of Impetigore movie poster.

I don’t know what “Impetigore” means, but boy howdy it sure sounds violent! I’m in! Impetigore is about a young woman who discovers that she has inherited an ancestral home in a remote Indonesian village. Hell yeah! Real estate! But after all, the #1 adage in real estate is “location, location, location” and THIS location is CURSED. Literally. Her neighbors are none too friendly, and the spiritual vibes at the place are real bad. But perhaps the young woman misunderstands the true source of the curse. Maybe she has to look within to find the answers.

The Sadness

A sickly woman smiles evily at man in "The Sadness"

The Sadness is less of a “it’s a rainy winter day” kind of bummer, and more of a “I’m about to get ripped about by these virulent townspeople” kind of bummer. A young couple in Taipei discovers that they are in ground zero for the Alvin Virus, a flu-like disease that causes victims to become violent and hostile. It’s got all the thrills and scares of outbreak films like 28 Days Later and Train To Busan. Except the villains aren’t zombies. They’re just sick people. Really angry sick people.


A spooky children's toy phone stares in the darkness in "Skinamarink"

Skinamarink is a groundbreaking film that pioneered the genre of “avant-garde horror”. The plot centers around two young children who wake in the night to discover that their parents have disappeared, and the doors and windows of their home are slowly disappearing too. A spectral presence begins to call out to the children, twisting their once-familiar surroundings into a nightmarish facsimile of reality. It’s a hard film to watch. Scary as hell, yes, but really more of a tragedy. The long, slow, agonizing death of innocence at the hands of forces beyond human understanding.

Fried Barry

A delirious looking man stares in a neon city in "Friend Barry"

Horror meets Trainspotting. Hell yeah. A heroin addict named Barry is already struggling to get his life under control. The alien being that has taken possession of his body is making things even harder. Wearing Barry’s body like a meat suit, the alien decides to explore the unfamiliar world in the most human way possible: by going on an absolute bender. The alien navigates nightlife and the criminal underworld all while trying to keep Barry under control, but Barry himself is prepared to fight to get his life back.


A freaked out man holds a severed leg while bathed in purple light in "Glorious"

Now THIS is how you do eldritch horror. Glorious is about a recently divorced Wes who ends up in a truck stop bathroom after an all night bender. After vomiting his guts out, the man hears an alien voice contacting him from the other side. And by “other side” I don’t mean another dimension. I mean from the glory hole between the stalls. The being tells him that it is in eldritch demigod that is fleeing from its primordial father, who created it to someday destroy the universe. Only Wes can help the god avert the destruction … through corporeal sacrifice.

When Evil Lurks

A man and a tiny bloody hand in When Evil Lurks.

Alright, you wanted horror? This movie is really horrifying. When Evil Lurks is the story of two brothers who discover a village that is plagued by demonic possession. The brothers race to stop the demons from reviving rotting human corpses and driving people to suicide and murder, but there’s only so much you can do against malevolent supernatural forces at the end of the day. This film is a true gorefest, sickeningly violent and not for the feint of heart. But in case you’re wondering, yes, it is absolutely worth a watch. Just sure to keep a trashcan close to you at all times, you might wanna throw up.

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.