Amidst uncertainty surrounding the return of cinema, streaming services are flourishing. And now, one is catering to a niche market with a passion for horror.

Shudder is one of the newest additions to a long list of streaming services, but it is unlike any other I have ever seen. Most services, like Netflix, Stan, or Amazon Prime, have films from all genres, Shudder only has horror. Like most streaming services, due to licensing issues on limited releases, the American selection on the platform is much larger than the Australian. However, if you have a love for the horror genre, I would highly recommend Shudder.

Despite glimpses of Hollywood returning to normal, many theatres around Australia have closed and major film releases continue to be pushed back, all thanks to the pandemic. Additionally, regular cinema attendees continue to face uncertainty from an industry that has suffered tremendously, all thanks to the pandemic.

Cinema
Cinemas are facing increasing pressure during the pandemic. Source: CC

So what does Shudder have to do with all of this?

Even before the pandemic, audiences were captivated by the accessibility and practicality of streaming services. Watching a film or binging a TV show has become a popular way for audiences to unwind in these trying times, all in the comfort of their own home. Shudder is simply targeting a specific audience and providing them with original horror content, including smaller releases and classics of the genre.

The Five horror films to sink your teeth into review features just some of many releases that I feel are worth looking at, especially if you’re a horror fan like myself.

Australia is a little behind the eightball when it comes to streaming services, but they have still significantly grown in popularity across the country. However, the costs for those at home aren’t the only ones to consider here. Profits from the cinema industry are slipping while streaming services are taking off.

This was reflected in the Motion Picture Association of America’s 2019 THEME report. Home and mobile entertainment accounted for a combined spending of US $58.8B, more than half of the total global entertainment spending that year, and a 14% increase compared to 2018.

In addition to the falling profits for cinemas, audience numbers are also slipping. In the United States and Canada, the domestic box office admission rate fell by 5% between 2017 and 2018. An important statistic when you consider North America’s leading position in the streaming evolution and the historically high revenue from its cinema industry.

Film
The film industry is evolving. Source: CC

Another element to consider is the quality of the programs we watch at home. Streaming services are now producing films and series that are winning highly esteemed awards, such as Oscars and Golden Globes. Marriage Story, The Irishman, and documentaries like the Taylor Swift Miss Americana film are just a few of the incredibly popular, award-winning, Netflix original films.

What we know for sure is that streaming is growing, and soon, when a new film is released we will reach for our devices before purchasing a cinema ticket. Or if we are in the mood for a horror film, we will look to streaming services like Shudder.

For those interested, Shudder costs $6.99 AUD a month, or $69.99 annually and can be used on PC and Mac, smartphones, and tablets. If you want to take a look at what they offer without paying, there is also a seven-day trial available.

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