Recommendations from Shudder’s Hotline – Week 1

As part of April’s “Halfway to Halloween” festivities, Shudder has resurrected their famous movie recommendation hotline. It’s simple, and quite a bit of fun.

Every Friday in April (from 3-4pm ET), you call the hotline number, speak directly with one of their curators, discuss what your preferences are, and the curator gives you awesome recommendations from Shudder’s library.

It’s an incredibly unique and personal experience that no other streaming service comes close to offering.

So I decided to call that number yesterday, and get recommendations for four different subgenres of horror: slasher/serial killer, supernatural/paranormal, monster, and sci-fi horror.

I then watched all the recommended movies and put together a mini-review for each one. Enjoy!

The Furies (2019) – Slasher/Serial Killer
Written and Directed by Tony D’Aquino

This Shudder exclusive from Australia takes a familiar trope (hunting people for sport) and puts a feminist spin on it. In the spirit of The Most Dangerous Game, The Hunt, The Belko Experiment, Battle Royale, and The Hunger Games, it goes all out and holds nothing back in its beautifully brutal gore.

But it also has something to say, albeit in a subtle way. A lot films that try to include a political/social message fall flat because they can’t help but shove that message down the audience’s collective throat. The Furies however, is a gory slasher first and foremost, but it’s ideas elevate it above mindless horror.

Demon (2016) – Supernatural/Paranormal
Directed by Marcin Wrona, Written by Marcin Wrona and Pawel Masiona

This Polish thriller takes typical wedding anxiety and fuses it with demonic horror. Dybbuks have always been a great source of folklore, but have only been utilized in a handful of films (such as The Possession).

It’s cool idea that has fun with it by using comedy, and as long as you don’t mind reading subtitles (which you shouldn’t), it’s an interesting watch.

They also recommended the recently released Daniel Isn’t Real. You can see our full review of that here.

Humanoids from the Deep (1980) – Monster
Directed by Barbara Peeters and Jimmy T. Murakami, Screenplay by William Martin, Story by Frank Arnold and Martin B. Cohen

Sometimes, you can’t go wrong with a grindhouse classic, and for our monster movie recommendation, Humanoids from the Deep fit that perfectly.

This early 80’s Roger Corman production has everything you would come to expect: cheesy but fun story and acting, gratuitous nudity, but genuinely inventive practical effects.

If you’re a fan of intentional camp, you will be rewarded by the legitimately amazing costume/makeup effects. The creatures themselves look awesome, even by today’s standards, and are far superior than any CGI effect they would use today.

Empathy, Inc. (2019) – Sci-Fi
Directed by Yedidya Gorsetman, Written by Mark Leidner

Shot in black and white, Empathy, Inc. starts as a slow-burn with intellectual, class warfare, and film noir vibes, but it gets very dark and very disturbing. It boasts strong performances, and feels very independent, but in a good way.

Without giving away too much, in involves a sort of virtual reality experience to allow someone to literally walk around as someone else. This cool premise, along with a nostalgic-sounding synth soundtrack adds to the style.

All of these movies are streaming currently on Shudder! Special thanks to curator Sam Zimmerman for the great recommendations, and for being such a cool person too.

For more reviews, rankings, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

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