Recommendations from the Shudder Hotline – Week 1 (April 2021)

Shudder has officially kicked off its Halfway to Halloween Month this April by bringing back the beloved Shudder Hotline!  Unlike any other streaming service, fans can call in once a week during an hour window and get personalized recommendations from Shudder curator Sam Zimmerman!

So we decided to call in and ask Sam for 4 awesome recommendations, and he didn’t disappoint.  The request was a slasher, a supernatural movie, a monster movie, and a piece of sci-fi horror.  The phone call was followed by an immediate marathon of all 4 movies and here’s what we thought!

Slasher – White of the Eye (1987)
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Directed by Donald Cammell, Screenplay by Donald Cammell and China Kong, Based on the Andrew and Laurence Klavan

More of a serial killer mystery, White of the Eye is incredibly tense and remains a hidden gem from the late 80s that most people have never heard of.  It keeps its audience in suspense and guessing if the main character truly is the monster that the police (and his wife) suspect he is.

And while it does have its share of violence and gore, it uses it very sparingly and effectively so as to have maximum impact.  At times, it feels like an interesting blend of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Law & Order.  It doesn’t necessarily scare its audience, but instead leaves them disturbed long after watching.

Supernatural – Outcast (2010)
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Directed by Colm McCarthy, Written by Colm and Tom K. McCarthy

Set in Scotland, this supernatural mystery/thriller centers around a neighborhood with a dark secret of black magic.  The witchcraft elements are kept very much on the fringe, giving the whole movie a gritty, and realistic tone.

It’s shot in standard definition, with a lot of handheld camera to give it an almost documentary feel.  Granted, it has a low budget and it shows, feeling very BBC Original.  But what really carries it is the sense of mystery, and a collection of characters, each with their own secret.

The film is led by Kate Dickie, who brilliantly portrays unhinged as she did in Game of Thrones and The Witch.

Monster – Night of the Lepus (1972)
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Directed by William F. Claxton, Screenplay by Don Holliday and Gene R. Kearney, Based on the Novel by Russell Braddon

Since it’s Easter weekend, Sam couldn’t not recommend this awesomely campy gem from the early 70s.  Night of the Lepus stars Janet Leigh (Psycho) and DeForest Kelley (Star Trek), and features a small town under attack from giant mutant rabbits (yes, you read that right).

The rabbits grow very large and develop a taste for human flesh.  What makes it so entertaining though is the movie mostly uses really rabbits, but with miniature sets so it looks like they’re giant.  The result is absolutely hilarious as the characters are funning in fear, then it cuts to normal sized rabbits running around an obvious fake model of the building.

Then at times, we even get an actor in costume for the close ups when people are being attacked.  It’s the epitome of a cheesy monster movie that’s fun to watch and laugh at, and with there being so few Easter horror movies (or Easter movies in general), it’s a great watch this weekend!

Sci-Fi – Blind Sun (2015)
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Written and Directed by Joyce A. Nashawati

Starting as a sci-fi adjacent drama, Blind Sun features an immigrant in Greece as he housesits for a well-off French family.  Initially, it’s all quite close to home and infuriating with how he’s treated by the locals.

They don’t trust him, and he’s met with an overall sense of animosity.  This continues into territory that gets very surreal and dark as the movie goes on.  It’s a slow burn that’s both a blend of arthouse and stylistic that will definitely make you think.  Plus, out of all the movies from this list, it’s by far the best shot with absolutely amazing cinematography of the Greek countryside and coast.

White of the Eye, Outcast, Night of the Lepus, and Blind Sun are all streaming on Shudder!

We’ll be back next week with another set of awesome recommendations from Shudder curator himself, Sam Zimmerman.  Until then, stay scared and enjoy Halfway to Halloween Month!

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The Shudder Hotline is open every Friday in April from 3-4pm ET

For more reviews, rankings, lists, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube!


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