Mayhem Miller as the reanimated bride

Get an Education in Horror With These Spooky New Series From Shudder

'Queer for Fear' is a standout docuseries on queer horror.

With Halloween only weeks away, many film fans are hitting the theaters to see the latest horror offerings (Smile, Halloween Ends), while others are revisiting seasonal favorites from the comfort of home. Many of us are doing both, catching up on the films we missed while indulging in the classics. But if you’re looking for something that is both entertaining and educational, two new docuseries on Shudder will most certainly fit the bill. The horror streamer has debuted two essential new shows that delve into the history of horror and why we love it so.

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The first is Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror, a four-part docuseries directed and executive produced by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods). The stylish and inventive series uses talking heads, film clips, and inspired animation (from Jeremiah Dickey) to showcase the queer creators who were foundational in the horror genre. From the gothic literature of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Oscar Wilde to the queer writers and directors of Universal’s classic monster movies, Queer for Fear unpacks all the subtext and themes that have long resonated with the LGBTQ+ audience. In addition to charting the history of the genre, the series also focuses on directors like James Whale and Alfred Hitchcock. A particularly poignant segment sees horror director and son of Anthony Perkins, Oz Perkins, discuss his father’s pivotal role in Psycho and his life in the closet.

The series features an all-star cast of talking heads, with queer actors, writers, and directors like Lea DeLaria (Orange Is the New Black), Justin Simien (Dear White People), Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), Mark Gatiss (Dracula, Sherlock), Kimberly Peirce (Carrie, Boys Don’t Cry), Leslye Headland (Russian Doll), Oz Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter), and many more. The series also features drag stars Alaska Thunderfuck and Ben DeLaCreme in horror-inspired looks.

The second series, The 101 Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time, is more of a standard clip show countdown. While it lacks the style and verve of Queer for Fear, 101 Scariest delivers a well researched and comprehensive look at the history of horror, with a variety of films that range from iconic blockbusters to little-known fare. Horror directors like Edgar Wright (Last Night in Soho), Joe Dante (Gremlins), Fede Álvarez (Don’t Breathe), and Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) are joined by historians, experts, and fans like Dr. Rebekah McKendry (All the Creatures Were Stirring), Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Tananarive Due (Horror Noire), and Dana Gould (Stan Against Evil) to unpack why these moments are so visceral and long-lasting.

The series will no doubt remind you of your favorite scares, and give you plenty of new films to add to your must-watch list. I highly recommend watching this one with friends, for the inevitable horror debates that the series will inspire.

Queer for Fear and The 101 Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time are currently streaming on Shudder.

(featured image: Shudder)

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Image of Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.