Peacock Vs Shudder: Where Can You Stream The Best Horror Movies These Days?

I will be the first to admit that streaming debates are not my thing. The vast amount of streaming services that are out there right now makes it extremely hard to navigate the media landscape, and the market seems to be inching closer to reinventing cable. All I want to do is watch my silly little programs — I don't want to spend minutes combing through different libraries and searching "[INSERT MOVIE HERE] streaming" on Google to do so! Unfortunately, this is the climate that I and many others must navigate, and because I'm not smart enough to think of a better solution, I must do the best with what I have.

If you're a horror fan like I am, then navigating the streaming world is even harder. There are just so many movies that either aren't available, are only available on the most niche service possible, or have some sort of limitation to the version that's streaming. That isn't to say that there aren't platforms with legitimately great horror movies on them. With the announcement of a brand-new "Friday the 13th" series and the pre-existing "Chucky" SyFy series on Peacock, the NBCUniversal streamer has claimed to be a go-to place for horror. However, more niche services like Shudder also have strong libraries that can satisfy the tastes of any horror fan. You've also got stuff like Netflix, HBO Max, and countless others, so which ones are really the best? Let's investigate.

Examining the quality ratio

Sure, Peacock has some of the heaviest hitters in the genre. However, there's only so much that a couple of marquee slashers can do to justify your standing as a streaming service for horror fans. When taking a look at Peacock's current slate of horror movies, it seems to be a pretty even mix of genuinely interesting fare and terrible-looking schlock. For every "Bride of Frankenstein" or "The House of the Devil," you get a "Hansel and Gretel Get Baked" or "Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist." Although, points absolutely have to be given to Peacock for having "Birdemic: Shock and Terror" in its library.

By virtue of it being a genre-specific service, Shudder is also bound to have some stinkers. Seriously, you could probably do some very productive things in the same amount of time it'd take you to watch "The Scary of Sixty-First." However, the ratio between good to bad movies is much broader on Shudder than it is on Peacock — movies like "Phenomena," "Ms .45," "Resurrection," and "Black Christmas" are just a handful of the titles available to watch. It also has access to more niche and difficult-to-find titles, such as Satoshi Kon's masterpiece "Perfect Blue." It also helps that it is a lot easier to get to these types of titles on Shudder thanks to its streamlined user interface, something that Peacock desperately needs to fix.

What about other platforms?

Although the majority of their original horrors might leave something to be desired, Netflix has managed to curate a somewhat decent selection of acquired horrors. You can't really say a library that includes "John Carpenter's Vampires" or "Ouija: Origin of Evil" is completely bad, although the rest of its selection is excruciatingly modern.

Disney+, predictably, only has a handful of horror-inspired movies, such as Henry Selick's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Werewolf By Night." Needless to say, you won't be getting much out of the streamer if you want to watch some horror. The same goes for Hulu, which has a couple of gems but is mostly filled with duds.

However, there is one major streaming platform that is arguably just as horror-friendly and centric as Shudder is, and that is HBO Max. While the user interface is still a bit frustrating, the streamer has a great selection of both modern and classic horror movies. What other platform can say they're the streaming home to "Barbarian," all of the Shōwa era "Godzilla" films, most of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series, "We're All Going to the World's Fair," and "Häxan?" Not many, I can tell you that!

Final thoughts

In order to answer the question I posed in this article's title, Shudder is ultimately the winner. Its eclectic library and easy-to-navigate UI just cannot be beaten. If you are a horror fan, it is an absolute must-have and goes nicely with pre-existing free streamers like Kanopy and Kino Cult.

Premium Peacock could be worth the money if you want to stream the Universal Classic Monsters and the "Chucky" series. However, you won't be getting much else if you do. Keep in mind that Peacock does have a free feature, but the Universal Classic Monsters and many other movies, such as "Halloween Ends," are locked behind that premium status. If you are looking for a more mainstream streamer to satisfy your horror needs, HBO Max will likely have you covered.

Ultimately, though, every streamer listed in this article could have much bigger libraries. The horror genre is so vast and historical, and yet, so many movies are still extremely difficult to find. Not only that, but even hard-to-obtain movies that do end up on streaming usually have limited runs before they're once again lost to the ether. Horror is a genre worth preserving in a permanent fashion, and as we've seen countless times before, streamers are no replacement for physical media. If there is anything else I hope readers get out of this article, it's that streaming services should be complimentary instead of definite. Otherwise, the genre will continue to be in a constant state of limbo.