10 Suspense Movies Shudder Subscribers Must Watch

Founded in 2015, AMC’s Shudder defied convention by catering to fans of the horror genre. Offering everything from the niche to the nefarious and nauseating, Shudder has a surprisingly robust selection of movies and TV series, even including several of its own original productions.

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While thrillers occupy a somewhat loosely defined subsection of the genre, they are often the most touching. From thrilling century-old trailblazers to modern murder mysteries, here are the best Shudder thrillers that subscribers absolutely must watch.


Dogtooth (2009)

A chilling poignant foreign film, dog tooth was director Yorgos Lanthimos’ second effort. The film debuted in 2009 and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

A couple keep their adult children safe from the outside world, telling them they can only leave once they lose a ‘dog tooth’. Held in line by fear and violence, things go from bad to worse until the film reaches its disturbing, if somewhat uplifting, conclusion. It is a must for fans of foreign films.

The Amusement Park (1975)

A cropped shot of the promotional poster for the horror movie The Amusement Park.

An almost forgotten film directed by horror film legend, George Romero, The amusement park originally created in 1975 and was intended as a public service announcement intended to draw attention to the crisis of elder abuse. However, the film was later shelved and it was not made available to the general public until Shudder added it to its lineup in 2021.

An unconventional thriller that’s part call to action and part auteur horror, The amusement park made a weird watch today. The horror doesn’t necessarily stem from the acts depicted on screen – although some are very vulgar – but rather from the film’s parable of real events.

Possum (2018)

A promotional image for the 2018 film Possum.

An adaptation of a short story of the same name, Opossum tells the story of a tormented puppeteer returning to his childhood home in hopes of finding a solution to the abuse he suffered there. Traveling with him, however, is a monstrous, malformed spider-like creature he calls Opossum. Meant to represent the emotional burdens he carries with him, the man tries to get rid of Possum once and for all, but can’t manage to escape.

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A disturbing film that never quite delivers the emotional catharsis viewers crave, Opossum is nonetheless a raw and touching film that will stick with audiences long after the credits roll.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

A still from the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Created in 1920, the German expressionist silent film The Office of Dr. Caligari is sometimes considered the first authentic horror film of all time. Featuring weird elements that would later be incorporated into famous classics like psychology, Halloweenand shutter islandthere is no denying the importance of the film.

The film centers on a man telling the story of a sleepwalker who commits murder under the orders of a mysterious Dr. Calagari. Halfway through, however, it is revealed that the man telling the story is the same sleepwalker. He was revealed to be the patient of a mental institution, and the viewer must analyze which details were genuine and which were fabricated.

Stranger by the Lake (2013)

A still from the 2013 erotic thriller Stranger by the Lake.

A French erotic thriller, Stranger by the lake tells the story of Franck, a man who develops an attraction for another man named Michel, whom he meets on a nudist beach. However, things go awry when Franck sees Michel drowning another man, though he denies any knowledge of the matter to investigators.

Ultimately, Stranger by the lake is an exploration of the extremes to which humans can be driven by lust. It’s a chilling film that can remind viewers of their own tragic fallibilities — romantic or otherwise.

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)

A promotional image for the 2019 thriller Dogs Don't Wear Pants.

After a man loses his wife in a tragic drowning accident, he turns to a dominatrix and combines his grief with a new form of kinky pleasure. However, this new breath of life threatens to be his undoing as he falls further and further down the rabbit hole of sexual taboo.

Conceived as a black comedy, according to Variety, Dogs don’t wear pants is a commentary on the darker parts of the human psyche. It can be incredibly nasty in places, and while it’s not necessarily an edge-of-your-seat thriller, it still makes for an engaging watch.

The House of the Wolf (2020)

An image from the 2020 stop-motion animated film The Wolf House.

Based on the infamous real-world “colony of dignity” cult, The wolf’s house is an avant-garde but unmistakably chilling stop-motion movie that’s less of a film and more of a moving art gallery. Telling the story of a woman who escaped from a compound run by religious extremists, the film explores how indoctrination can distort the perceptions of cult followers.

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Much of the story is told through paintings that move and stretch across the walls of a house. It’s bizarre and surreal, and those who like a bit of arthouse mixed in with their horror are sure to remember The wolf’s house in high esteem.

Compliance (2012)

An image from the 2012 thriller Compliance.

The slogan “inspired by true events” doesn’t hold much sway among horror fans these days. After movies like The Blair Witch Project and paranormal activity kicked the concept into the ground, audiences are often dubious when they claim the events of a movie actually happened.

However, 2012 Compliance is a shocking and realistic depiction of an otherwise incredible event. When an unknown caller pretending to be a police officer convinces restaurant workers that one of their ranks has committed a robbery, they are led down a twisted path and forced to do things that will leave viewers squirming in their seats.

Buried (2010)

Ryan Reynolds in the movie Buried.

2010s Buried stars Ryan Renolds in one of the most suffocating settings a film can have. Renolds plays a man who wakes up to find he’s been buried alive in a coffin. With only a zippo lighter and a blackberry, he works desperately to free himself.

Although it may seem a bit cumbersome due to its small size, Buried is an intense race against time that showcases Reynolds’ acting skills. Culminating in a devastating conclusion, it’s an underrated effort that Shudder subscribers shouldn’t miss.

Auditions (2000)

Asami holding a needle in the 2000 horror film Audition.

An adaptation of a Japanese horror novel of the same name, Hearing centers on a film producer who attempts to hook up his friend Aoyama with a woman through a fake casting audition. Aoyama falls in love with a woman named Asami, but, after a few dates, she disappears. Aoyama tracks her down but reveals a disturbing set of circumstances in the process. When he finally finds her, she drugs and tortures him.

A film of legendary brutality, Hearing is a gripping production from start to finish. It’s a classic in its own right, and it’s an oft-overlooked thriller with plenty of rewatch value and deserving of far greater recognition.

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