New streaming service launches in Canada for horror fans: AMC's Shudder

TORONTO – Horror fans bemoaning a lack of great picks on Netflix can now consider shelling out for a new kid on the streaming-video block.

AMC’s Shudder launched in Canada on Thursday with a promise of offering a meaty selection of scary movies both old and new.

Some horror buffs, who once scoured the shelves of video stores for hidden gems, believe Netflix hasn’t delivered the gory goods over the years, says Colin Geddes, mastermind of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program and a curator for Shudder.

“You can look at Netflix as the Walmart and we’re the boutique,” he explains.

“We’re not necessarily trying to go with the mainstream.”

Geddes’s experience overseeing Midnight Madness gave him a solid reputation for unearthing future horror classics, which made him a prime candidate for AMC to pursue as Shudder’s co-curator when it launched in the U.S. last year.

“We’re going through catalogues of films … making sure we’re picking the good titles,” says Geddes, who works with Sam Zimmerman, former editor of horror-zine Fangoria, in selecting movies for Shudder.

The streaming service’s lineup of scary movies stretches from classics like Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes” and George A. Romero’s “The Crazies” to modern sensations like Takashi Miike’s “Audition” and the Spanish virus chiller “[Rec].”

Exclusive premieres are also in the offerings, such as French ghost story “Beyond the Walls” and “Sadako vs. Kayako,” the upcoming Japanese mash-up of “The Ring” and “The Grudge.”

Shudder expects to host about 200 genre titles ranging from monster movies to grindhouse flicks, which it says are mostly unavailable from other streaming companies.

A subscription costs $4.99 a month or $49.99 for a year. Shudder will stream in a web browser, on Apple and Google Android mobile devices, as well as the Roku set-top box.

Geddes hopes Shudder will help fill the widening void left in horror history.

“I really feel with the death of video stores and the (lack of) accessibility for films, we’re going to be suffering a film illiteracy very soon,” Geddes says.

“People are not going to be aware of older films just because they can’t see them.”

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