This is some seriously big news for horror film purists—historic news, even. After so many years of none of Universal’s classic monster movies being available to stream via major streaming services, they’re finally about to arrive … on AMC’s Shudder.
We’ve written extensively about Shudder in the past—it’s a horror and thriller-based streaming service backed by the TV station AMC, which has pioneered the conception of genre-based streaming services, much in the same way that WWE Network did for wrestling fans, which helped prove the viability of niche streaming. I have a Shudder subscription myself, and have often found it a valuable resource for easily seeing films that Netflix wouldn’t dare touch with a 10-foot pole. But I never really expected Shudder would pull off this kind of coup. This is like a Halloween Miracle.
When we say “Universal Monster movies,” we’re talking about the bigs: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and more. These classic films are must-sees for students of horror history, but access to them has become increasingly difficult over the years—Netflix doesn’t even have The Wolf Man via its DVD service right now! All in all, Shudder will be adding six of these films—certainly an impressive total, although one wishes they could have gone all the way and included other classics such as Son of Frankenstein. But it’s very likely that they already paid a hefty sum for the right to display these Universal classics, so kudos to whichever bigwig decided to open the coffers. One wonders if this has anything to do with Universal’s so-called “Dark Universe,” which is seeking to reboot all of the classic monster movies—or at least it was before the critical drubbing and weak U.S. box office of 2017’s The Mummy left the future of the series in doubt.
Here’s the full list of films coming to Shudder, which all arrive today, along with their short descriptions.
Dracula, 1931 – Bela Lugosi stars in the Universal’s classic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s essential vampire tale.
Frankenstein, 1931 – Boris Karloff is the screen’s most memorable creature in the story of Dr. Frankenstein, who pieces together salvaged body parts to create a human monster.
Bride of Frankenstein, 1935 – Karloff returns as the screen’s most misunderstood monster and Elsa Lanchester stars as his ill-fated bride in one of horror’s all-time greats.
The Invisible Man, 1933 – Claude Rains stars as a mysterious doctor who discovers a serum that makes him invisible and slowly drives him to commit acts of terror.
The Mummy, 1932 – Boris Karloff stars as the mummy Im-Ho-Tep, a high priest who is revived by British archaeologists 3,700 years after being embalmed alive.
The Wolf Man, 1941 – Lon Chaney Jr. stars in this horror masterpiece about a man who is attacked by a werewolf and then becomes one himself at each full moon.