5 out of 5
Presented by: Sam Zimmerman
covers season 1
These bite-sized, five-minute “guides” to different horror genres – slashers, haunted houses, giallo – are… perfect. They’re essentially isolated versions of what appeared on The Core, presented by a relaxed and charming and informative Sam Zimmerman, who curates the flicks for Shudder. As with the segments on Core, the way the referenced films are spoken to and about underlines that the streaming service is truly about horror, and the people doing important things – like curation – are actually fans who appreciate all the different sizes and shapes the genre can accommodate. As such, these aren’t cookie cutter lists, but they also work for newbies and old schoolers alike, giving appropriate nods to obvious classics while also making recommendations of some obscurities. And yes, sure, it’s an ad to watch these flicks on the channel, but there are some movies referenced that aren’t viewable there – underlining, again, that the motivating principle here is actually to be informative and not just sell you on a subscription – with Zimmerman clarifying what to watch on Shudder and what to seek out elsewhere.
Not everything on Shudder is fantastic, for sure, but programs like Shudder Guides, even in five-minute installments, have led me to never doubt my monthly payments for the channel.