Shudder: Host & other chillers to help you get your horror on

Host: A Shudder Original. Image Courtesy Shudder
Host: A Shudder Original. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Horror streaming platform Shudder rolls out new original and exclusive films each month for its subscribers. Here’s the horrifying skinny on some of our newer favorites.

Shudder Originals are the bomb, in my humble opinion. In fact, Mayhem was the film that enticed me into subscribing, since I really wanted to see it and it was only available on Shudder. Needless to say, I was not disappointed and I am now a third year subscriber.

While older Shudder originals/exclusives such as Mayhem and Revenge are excellent (and I highly recommend watching them), let’s talk about some newer films and throw a couple of series into the mix.

First up is Host, which most horror fans have probably heard about. Host was shot during quarantine, with the director and actors remotely connected through Zoom. It’s a novel approach and boy does it work!


Five young women have decided to hold a séance but instead of the traditional in-person approach, they are connecting via Zoom (aren’t we all, these days?). Despite the medium warning them to take this seriously, Jemma commits the cardinal sin of playing around, tricking the others into thinking she is experiencing some paranormal activity.

What results are some chilling practical effects scenes involving all of the participants, and these scenes will genuinely give you the heebie-jeebies. Writer-director Rob Savage pulls great performances out of his leads and tells an original tale in the bargain. He recommends watching Host on your laptop with headphones and I 100% agree with him.

Scare Package a Shudder Original. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Scare Package

If you are in the mood for something a little more fun with a high volume of blood and gore, check out Scare Package. Better yet, check it out on Shudder’s original series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs for commentary and fun facts.

Scare Package is an anthology film with each of the seven tales helmed by a different director. While some of the tales emphasize horror more than others, there is a high degree of silly comedy, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, it’s all in good fun and the over-the-top volume of gore just adds to that fun.

It’s very clear that the creators of Scare Package are true horror fans and it’s a delightful homage to the genre.

Color Out of Space

Color Out of Space is based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft and it stars Nicolas Cage in one of his trademark full-on crazy performances. In the beginning of the film, the character of Nathan actually seems fairly normal (except for the fact that he moves his family to his father’s old farm and populates it with alpacas). He, his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson) and their kids Lavinia, Benny and Jack (played by Madeleine Arthur, Brendan Meyer and Julian Hilliard) are settling in, but Lavinia is practicing Wicca and Benny finds solace in smoking weed.

One night, a supposed meteor crashes into their front yard and everything changes. Jack begins to talk to someone/something in the well, Theresa accidently cuts off two of her fingers and Benny starts to lose track of time. It only gets worse from there, and viewers are treated to trippy, bizarre events and gorgeous purple and fuchsia lighting.

Color Out of Space. Image Courtesy Shudder /

The story is tense, the special effects are mesmerizing and the performances are top-notch. In addition to the actors already mentioned, Tommy Chong plays a squatter named Ezra, who is living in the woods adjacent to the house. If you like “cosmic horror,” enjoy watching Nicolas Cage in meltdown mode and can handle special effects involving animal mutilation, watch Color Out of Space.

Shudder Original Series and Exclusive Content

Shudder also offers original series, including my personal favorites, The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and the horror anthology series Creepshow.

In the mood for a documentary? Horror Noire takes a deep dive into the role African-Americans have played in the horror genre, and includes interviews with actors like Tony Todd (Candy Man) and Keith David (The Thing, Pitch Black), directors such as Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) and film historian Tananarive Due.

Now that you have a handful of Shudder original and exclusive content to start off with, feel free to examine the Shudder library for more! Not a subscriber? Visit the Shudder website for a free 7-day trial subscription.

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Are you a fan of Shudder originals and exclusives? Tell us all about your favorites in the comments section.