April marks the halfway point to Halloween, and leave it to Shudder to honor that in a big way. Their annual “Halfway to Halloween” celebration returns with a packed schedule full of new originals and exclusives to keep you in the holiday spirit all month long.
The killer lineup of new original series and films joins Shudder’s massive library and offers an overwhelming selection at your disposal. Unsure what to watch? Shudder has revived their “Halfway to Halloween” hotline in which Shudder’s VP of programming, Samuel Zimmerman, makes personal recommendations to callers every Friday in April.
Below, we have our own recommendations to ring in Halloween’s halfway point. For those of you still waiting to get Shudder, there’s no better time than now: Use promo code HALF2022 here to get 50% off for the next six months.
Oliver Reed stars as Grandeur, complete with the sex appeal that has all of Loudun’s ladies swooning, including the hunchbacked Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave). Jeanne is exceptionally lustful of Grandeur, which pushes over into wrathful jealousy when she learns of his relationship with the young and stunning Madeleine (Gemma Jones). Cue the demonic seduction accusations, and hysteria and chaos ensue. The Devils was always intended to be incendiary. Horror at its most depraved and sadistic tends to make casual viewers uncomfortable. Ken Russell’s 1971 epic takes it to a whole new squeamish level with its nightmarish visuals steeped in some historical accuracy. Don’t miss this wild ride as it makes a rare streaming appearance this month.
The overnight stock crew of a local grocery store finds themselves falling victim to an unseen killer in this highly infectious late ’80s slasher. The deaths are delightfully gruesome and inventive; look for this killer to make excellent use of grocery store items as weapons. Look for a stacked cast, too, with notable names like Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, and Evil Dead II’s Dan Hicks. One of the better and underseen slashers of the decade, Intruder also delivers a small cameo by Bruce Campbell. Considering frequent Raimi collaborator Scott Spiegel directed it, the connections to Evil Dead II are endless. Loved the bread slicer moment in Fear Street Part 1: 1994? Intruder delivers gory and inspired grocery store kills in spades.
Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) thinks he’s in for a night of necking with Mae (Jenny Wright), the pretty gal he’s just met. But as the sun starts to rise, Mae’s family arrives to collect her and destroy her uneaten meal. The only hitch? She’s turned Caleb into a vampire, and he’ll have to prove he fits in with the bloodthirsty clan that includes patriarch Jesse Hooker (Lance Henriksen). His companion, Diamondback (Jenette Goldstein), has a progeny in Homer (Joshua John Miller). Director Kathryn Bigelow and co-writer Eric Red blended the western with horror, creating one of the most unconventional and engaging vampire films of all time. These vicious vamps are unforgettable, and Near Dark isn’t the easiest to come by on streaming or physical media. Like The Devils above, don’t miss your chance this month.
Director Brad Anderson’s first horror movie revels in atmosphere and ambiguity, delivering psychological chills and lingering questions. A straightforward asbestos cleaning job at an abandoned mental hospital becomes anything but when a former patient’s audio tapes are unearthed. The institute’s past comes back to haunt, and the cleaning crew succumbs to its darkness. The eerie chamber piece stars Peter Mullan, David Caruso, Josh Lucas, Larry Fessenden, and Brendon Sexton III.
Trick ‘r Treat
It’s near impossible to exclude Trick ‘r Treat from any Halloween horror watchlist, so what better way to celebrate Halfway to Halloween than with this holiday staple? Writer/Director Michael Dougherty seamlessly interweaves five tales of terror, all set on Halloween night, and each representing a different rule or facet of the holiday. And then there’s Sam, the physical embodiment of Samhain, who’s crossed over from celluloid into reality to become a proper Halloween mascot, merch and all.
“Cursed Films II” – April 7
Shudder’s acclaimed docu-series is back with a new batch of cursed titles to demystify and humanize: The Wizard of Oz, Rosemary’s Baby, Stalker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Cannibal Holocaust. Each episode features new interviews with FX expert and former Mythbusters host Adam Savage, Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, actor Bill Pullman, and director Ruggero Deodato, among many others. We can also expect creator Jay Cheel to deliver unexpected revelations behind these films with an unflinching eye, as he did in season one with The Crow or Twilight Zone: The Movie.
See For Me – April 7
Sophie (Skyler Davenport) was once a highly successful and renowned skier, but going blind has cut her career short. When Sophie takes on a cat-sitting job at a secluded mansion, she even hides her blindness from the owner. Then, three thieves break in, not realizing anyone is home. Sophie’s only means of defense and evasion comes from a phone app that allows an army vet and gamer, Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy), to operate remotely as her eyes. See for Me offers an authentic performance with a visually impaired actor and gives Sophie agency with flawed complexity. It’s what keeps Randall Okita’s stylish thriller fresh and fascinating; even after the home invasion thrills evolve into something far more surprising.
The Cellar – April 15
The Cellar arrives on Shudder hot on the heels of its SXSW World Premiere. Filmed on location in Roscommon, Ireland, Brendan Muldowney’s feature tells the story of Keira Woods (Elisha Cuthbert), whose daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house in the country. Keira soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home that she will have to face or risk losing her family’s souls forever. Our own Trace Thurman said of the film in his review, “It’s wonderful to see Elisha Cuthbert back in the genre, and Muldowney manages to eke out a few genuine chills in the third act.”
“The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula” Seasons 1-3 – April 18
After its biggest-ever hit fourth season and its first as a Shudder Original, the streaming service will also become home to all past seasons. The beloved reality series is a competition created and hosted by The Boulet Brothers to find the world’s next Dragula Supermonster. Each season, a new group of drag artists vies for the title and crown through a series of challenges to demonstrate their mastery of the four pillars of Dragula: drag, horror, filth, and glamour. It’s a reality show competition that embraces horror and horror-inspired creativity significantly.
“The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs” Season 4 – April 29
Horror host Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl close out “Halfway to Halloween” by kicking off their series’ fourth season. This season’s premiere will also celebrate The Last Drive-In’s 100th movie since Joe Bob’s first Shudder marathon in 2018, with surprise special guests. New episodes will air every Friday.
Halfway to Halloween runs all through April and features a basket of tricks and treats. Subscribe now using promo code HALF2022 to get 50% off for the next six months.