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Shudder Review 2021

We've tested Shudder for more than a year and we're pleased to say that the horror streaming service is a value-packed horror buffet.

Best horror streaming service

Price: $4.75–$5.99/mo.

Free trial: 7 days

On-demand library: 500+ titles

Live channels: 3

What is Shudder?

Shudder is a (mostly) on-demand horror streaming TV service owned by AMC. Shudder offers a blend of classic and contemporary horror movies, shows, and podcasts—many of them exclusive or original. It also has Shudder TV, a live channel with three themed streams.

You can sign up for Shudder directly, or add it to services like Amazon Prime Video (through Prime Channels) or YouTube TV (as an add-on). Real horror fans will wanna sign up directly, because the Shudder app offers the best experience.

Is Shudder good?

Is Shudder good? You bet your chainsaw it is. Curated by horror fans, the app offers chills, thrills, and power drills in a cool, vivid, grindhouse-esque design reminiscent of the VHS-rental palaces that once were our temples.

That feeling, coupled with the all-you-can-eat buffet aspect of it, is easily worth six bucks a month—as long as you’re using the Shudder app itself and not its Prime Video Channel (more on that later).

Shudder pros and cons

Pros

  • Low price
  • Best library of any horror streaming service
  • Exclusive and original movies and shows
  • Fun user experience with Shudder app

Cons

  • Weak experience as an add-on

Shudder deals and promotions

Shudder has no deals aside from a free seven-day trial. You can, however, save 20% with an annual Shudder subscription, which drops your payment from $5.99 to $4.75 a month.

But, keep an eye out for Amazon to put Prime Channels on sale. That’s how I first signed up for Shudder—at half off for the first three months. It’s a good way to sample the Shudder library on the cheap, but we recommend subscribing to Shudder directly for a richer experience.

Shudder plans and pricing

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change.

Shudder has one plan and serves it three ways: through its own app, YouTube TV, or Amazon Prime Video. The Shudder app is by far the best experience for real horror fans. But keep reading for deeper dives on each.

Shudder vs. the competition

Price Free trial Library size (estimated) Streams Resolution (up to) Details
$5.99/mo. or $56.99/yr. 7 days 500+ 1 1080p View plan
$6.99/mo. or $59.99/yr. 7 days 500+ 3 1080p View plan
$4.99/mo. or $35.88/yr, 7 days 400+ 3 1080p View plan
$2.99/mo. or $29.99/yr. 7 days 55+ Unavailable 1080p View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change.

In this table, Shudder and its rivals appear evenly matched. What you don’t see, however, is Shudder’s superior library, design, and value. We’ll discuss that more later in this review.

Shudder app

The best way to experience Shudder is through the Shudder app. It has the most features, a fun—but not perfect—interface and user experience, and it’s the cheapest way to subscribe if you go with the annual subscription (you save $1.24 a month). Also, it’s compatible with many devices. So whether your streaming box of choice is a Roku or an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you’ll have easy access to the app, too.

Try Shudder now

Shudder through Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Fire TV devices support the Shudder app, or you can subscribe to Shudder through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels. It’s the same price ($5.99 a month), but with some key differences:

  • There’s no annual subscription option (so no 20% savings like with the app).
  • You have to watch Prime Video Channels with the Prime Video app or your web browser.
  • No Shudder live channel—but it’s free for anyone to watch online at Shudder.tv
  • You’ll have 3 simultaneous streams instead of one.

So, if you gotta watch Cannibal Holocaust through Amazon, do it via the Shudder app, not the Prime Video Channel. That way, you can enjoy the fun and full functionality of the Shudder app on your preferred device and still have access to the cheaper annual subscription.

But if you can live with Prime Video’s frustrating user experience, you can share Shudder with two of your people. That’s something you can’t do in the Shudder app since it gives you only one stream. But you can also get three streams with our last option, YouTube TV.

Shudder through YouTube TV

Besides also offering three streams, YouTube TV charges only $5 a month for its Shudder add-on. That’s almost as good a deal as the Shudder annual subscription—but with the freedom of month-to-month billing.

Unfortunately, as with Prime Video Channels, you have to use YouTube TV’s app to watch Shudder, and you can’t get Shudder TV, the live channel. Still, the YouTube TV option should appeal to the livestreaming service’s current customers and rookie cord-cutters.

Try Shudder on YouTube TV

Shudder movies and shows

While small, Shudder’s library beats those of rival horror streaming services like Screambox and Full Moon Features in both quality and quantity.

Our last count revealed Shudder offers 356 movies (96 exclusive or original), 40 series (19 exclusive or original), and 7 podcasts (1 original)—in many flavors:

  • Gory chunk-blowers
  • Psychological thrillers
  • Creature features
  • Horror comedies
  • Supernatural tales
  • Body horror
  • J-horror
  • K-horror
  • Giallo
  • Apocalypse flicks
  • Cult/midnight movies
  • Exploitation films
  • Documentaries
  • Zombies

Shudder on-demand shows and movies

Netflix and Prime Video subscribers may notice a lot of overlapping content with Shudder. That’s no surprise. But the point of a service like Shudder is to consolidate great horror content in one place to avoid the waking nightmare of endless browsing.

Movies

    • The Beyond (1981)
    • Halloween (1978)
    • Audition (1999)
    • Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
    • Re-Animator (1985)
    • Angst (1983)
    • Tourist Trap (1979)
    • Deep Red (1975)
    • Terrified / Aterrados (2017)
    • Deadbeat at Dawn (1988)
    • The Wailing (2016)
    • Society (1989)
    • Ichi the Killer (2001)
    • Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)
    • Turbo Kid (2015)
    • Hellraiser (1987)
    • Ginger Snaps (2000)
    • The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
    • Liquid Sky (1982)

Series

  • Channel Zero
  • Creepshow
  • Dario Argento’s Door Into Darkness
  • Eli Roth’s History of Horror
  • Holliston
  • NOS4A2
  • The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs
  • Todd & the Book of Pure Evil

Podcasts

    • Deadly Manners
    • Congeria
    • Darkest Night

Shudder original and exclusive shows and movies

Shudder shines in its exclusive and original content—34% of its library is either exclusively licensed to, or created by, Shudder. And it’s great stuff, as you’ll see below.

Movies

  • Psycho Goreman (2020)
  • Fried Barry (2020)
  • The Queen of Black Magic (1981 and 2019 versions)
  • The Mortuary Collection (2019)
  • Color Out of Space (2020)
  • Kuso (2017)
  • Phantasm: Remastered (1979)
  • Summer of 84 (2018)
  • Horror Noire (2019)
  • Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2020)
  • Revenge (2018)

Series

  • Creepshow
  • The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs
  • A Discovery of Witches
  • The Dead Lands
  • Wolf Creek
  • Deadwax

Podcasts

  • Horror Noire Uncut
  • She Kills
  • The Narrow Caves
  • Video Palace

Shudder live TV

Shudder’s titles stream live 24/7, and ad-free, on the app’s Shudder TV tab. You can choose from three different channels: It Came from Shudder (exclusives and originals), Psychological Thrillers (tense mind-scramblers), and Slashics (slasher movies).

Unfortunately, on some devices—like our Android phone, you can’t change channels. Shudder TV plays whichever feed you last watched on the last device you used to watch the service. (So, if you were watching Slashics, you can’t switch to Psychological Thrillers.)

Try Shudder now

Shudder specs and features

As streaming service features go, Shudder is a mixed bag. Aesthetically, it’s superb, blending nostalgia with modern design. Functionally, it’s smooth—but not as intuitive in some areas (like watchlist location). But we wish it had offline viewing, more user profiles, and more streams.

Streams User profiles Price

1

1 Included View plan

3

6 Included View plan

3

6 Included View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change.

Officially, Shudder allows only one stream at a time. But in our tests, we were able to watch Shudder on three devices at once. Obviously, we can’t guarantee that this will work for you. That being said, subscribing through Prime Video or YouTube TV will get you three streams, as well as six user profiles. But you still won’t get to use the swanky Shudder app.

Offline viewing

Shudder does not support downloading titles for offline viewing. Gaaaaaaahhh. Full Moon Features and Screambox do support downloads.

Compatible devices

Amazon Fire TV devices
Android phones and tablets
Apple TV devices
Google Chromecast
iPhones and iPads
Roku devices
Xbox One
Web browsers
Shudder

As you can see, there is no shortage of device options with Shudder—ditto for its rivals. You probably already own at least one of these Shudder-compatible devices.

We tested the Shudder app on a Windows 10 laptop, a Samsung Galaxy S8, and the Xbox One through a 55” LG smart TV. We also tested Shudder’s Prime Video Channel through the Prime Video app on Xbox One.

Shudder broadcasts in full HD, and everything we watched—on both the app and Prime Video Channel—looked great on our devices. Also, we had no connection issues. So Shudder has reliable streaming quality.

Streaming quality and interface

A scene from The Screengrab of the Last Drive-In
A scene from The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs as viewed on a 55” LG smart TV through the Xbox One.

Interface and playback features

Pause
Rewind
Fast-forward
10-second jump
Onscreen volume control
Subtitles
Commercials
Live On-Demand
N Y
N Y
N Y
N Y (backwards-only on PC)
Y Y
Y Y
N N

Across all of our devices, Shudder’s interface is about the same—easy to browse and watch, with the standard playback features. The exception, as noted previously, is watching Shudder on Prime Video Channels and its frustrating Prime Video app.

The Shudder app really stands out on Xbox One, though. It’s easy to browse—similar to Netflix—and search. And when you click on a title, Shudder flashes a fullscreen version of the thumbnail art, which triggers some of that video-store browsing nostalgia.

Shudder Menu
The Shudder home page as viewed on a 55” LG smart TV via Xbox One.

Final take: Is Shudder worth it?

To borrow a favorite phrase from the late horror film critic Chas Balun, Shudder really “delivers the gross-eries.” There’s enough content to keep you busy for some time, so it’s worth $5.99 a month—and the annual subscription ($56.99 a year, or $4.75 a month) really cranks up the value.

But the annual Shudder subscription is available only when you sign up directly through Shudder—but that’s okay, ’cause the Shudder app is hands-down the best experience. Avoid going through Prime Video Channels or YouTube TV.

Shudder FAQ

How much is Shudder a month?

Shudder costs $5.99 a month or $56.99 a year ($4.75 monthly, which is a 20% discount).

Is Shudder worth it?

Shudder is absolutely worth it. It has the largest catalog of any horror streaming service, with classics, cult favorites, and top-notch exclusive and original content—plus a devilishly fun user experience. Real horror fans should get the annual Shudder subscription, which is $56.99 a year (which works out to $4.75 monthly—a 20% discount). Sign up for a free 7-day trial to check it out.

Is Shudder free with Prime?

Shudder is not free with Amazon Prime, but you can subscribe to Shudder through Amazon Prime Video Channels for the same price ($5.99 a month). You’ll also get the same 7-day free trial and three simultaneous streams (Shudder allows only one).

That said, the best Shudder experience is through its mobile app, which supports Amazon Fire TV devices. We highly recommend it over Shudder’s Prime Video Channel.

Which is better: Shudder or Screambox?

Shudder is far better than Screambox in terms of quality, quantity, and user experience. We don’t recommend Screambox—to learn why, read our review (coming soon).

Is it easy to cancel Shudder?

It’s pretty easy to cancel your Shudder subscription. If you subscribed through Shudder, click on My Account while signed into the Shudder app. Then, under Membership Settings, click Cancel Membership.

If you subscribe to Shudder through a third party (Amazon, the Apple Store, Google Play, iTunes, Roku, or YouTube TV), you’ll have to have to go through them instead of Shudder. But the steps are similar.

How many devices can use Shudder?

Shudder supports Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku devices, as well as Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, Google Chromecast, and Xbox One. For more on device compatibility, see this section.

If you’re wondering how many devices can watch Shudder at the same time, the official answer is one. But in our testing we were able to watch on three devices at once. Of course, we can’t promise that this will work for you—Shudder could shut that down at any time.

But if you subscribe to Shudder through Amazon Prime Channels or YouTube TV, you’ll be able to watch on up to three devices without fail. We recommend subscribing to Shudder directly, though, since it’s a much better experience.

Can I watch Shudder on multiple devices simultaneously?

Officially, Shudder supports only one stream at a time. But when we tested this, we were able to watch on up to three devices. Since that’s not Shudder’s intent, we can’t guarantee it will work for you. If you want more streams, subscribing to Shudder through Prime Video Channels or YouTube TV will allow you to stream Shudder on three devices at a time without fail.

What makes Shudder different from cable?

Shudder, like any other streaming service, differs from cable TV in that the service costs less, has no contracts, and comes to you over the internet instead of a cable connection. And, as a predominantly on-demand service, Shudder has only three live channels.

How does Shudder work?

Shudder works like any other streaming service. Just sign up directly through Shudder (or add Shudder to your Amazon Prime Video Channels or YouTube TV subscription), download the app on your chosen device, and watch the heads roll.

Is Shudder free?

No. But you can try Shudder free for seven days. After that, it’s $5.99 a month or $56.99 a year for an annual subscription (a 20% discount, dropping your payment to $4.75 a month).

How can you get Shudder?

We recommend subscribing to Shudder directly. Then you can use the Shudder app—the best way to experience the service—on a variety of devices.

Shudder is also available as an add-on through Amazon Prime Video Channels or YouTube TV, but you won’t be able to use the Shudder mobile app.

All methods include a free 7-day trial.

Is there a Shudder gift card?

No, but you can sign up for an account in your friend or relative’s name, then give them the username and password.