I am a sucker for all things weird. Whether that be Weird with a capital W or just weird as in bizarre, I love it all. The stranger and more ambiguous the better. The winter doldrums are in full effect right now and I need something to get me out of my funk. Nothing does that faster than having to figure out WTAF I just watched. Shudder is known for these sorts of oddballs. The kind of movies you can’t forget or get out of your head. They are all those bizarro movies that are hard to find and even harder to explain. These movies are the ones you want all your friends to watch right away so you can dissect them. The movies, not your friends I mean.
Incident In A Ghostland
On the first night in their new home, Colleen and her daughters suffer a terrifying home invasion. Sixteen years later, eldest Beth reunites with her family at the dark house where Colleen and Vera still live. Something strange is happening, again. From the director of MARTYRS, comes a frightening, visceral new horror story. A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE.
Cast: Crystal Reed, Mylene Farmer, Taylor Hickson, Emilia Jones, Anatasia Philips
This one makes my list because the ending is just such a head-scratcher. The Big Bads are definitely terrifyingly strange and when the credits roll you want to read everything you can get your hands on about that crazy ending.
Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci, Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) is a young American fleeing to Europe to escape his past. While backpacking along the Italian coast, everything changes during a stop at an idyllic Italian village, where he meets and instantly connects with the enchanting and mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker). A flirtatious romance begins to bloom between the two; however, Evan soon realizes that Louise has been harboring a monstrous, primordial secret that puts both their relationship and their lives in jeopardy. A beautiful, fluid genre-bender from directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution), SPRING is an unforgettable romance of mythical proportions.
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Francesco Carnelutti
Moorehead and Benson who directed and wrote Spring have made quite a name for themselves being the new Kings of Weird. Spring is the most cosmic weird of their films and in many ways the most beautiful. It’s gorgeous and maddening and really creepy.
Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to a remote lake cottage for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.
Cast: Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Ben Huber, Hanna Brown
Director Leigh Janiak does one hell of a wild ride through a new marriage. There is an excellent amount of body horror and the ending is as ambiguous as it gets. This one is both W and w weird. Added bonus Harry Treadway of CBS All Access’s Picard stars.
A blood-soaked man limping down a deserted road is rushed by officer Carter to a nearby hospital with a skeleton crew. Trapped inside by hooded figures, Carter discovers that the patients and staff are transforming into something inhuman.
Cast: Ellen Wong, Aaron Poole, Kenneth Walsh
This a perfect addition to the Best Weird Movies on Shudder because it features a whole lot of Eldritch Terror. The kind of Lovecraftian horror fans of Color Out Of Space would love. It is full wackadoo. It is also very scary.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
The first Iranian Vampire Western, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. Amped by a mix of Iranian rock, techno and Morricone-inspired riffs, its airy, anamorphic, black-and-white aesthetic and artfully drawn-out scenes combine the simmering tension of Sergio Leone with the surrealism of David Lynch.
Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Mozhan Marno, Marshall Manesh, Dominic Rains
This one is less Weird and more weirrrddddd. Seriously the description would be enough to solidify its place on the Best Weird Movies on Shudder. An Iranian Vampire Western? Hell ya! In addition to that, it is also really well shot and wildly creative.
In this folktale of love and survival in 19th century Estonia, peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, but Hans is inexplicably infatuated by the visiting German baroness that possesses all that he longs for. For Liina, winning Hans’ requited love proves incredibly complicated in this dark, harsh landscape where spirits, werewolves, plagues, and the devil himself converge, where thievery is rampant, and where souls are highly regarded, but come quite cheap. With alluring black and white cinematography, Rainer Sarnet vividly captures these motley lives as they toil to exist—is existence worth anything if it lacks a soul?
Cast: Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Taavi Eelmaa
There is no weirder movie on this list. It’s black and white surreal goodness for those who like things a little adventurous. It is also a stunning fairy tale told through the lens of horrific weirdness. For fans of this subgenre, it is a necessity.
The quiet life of devoted couple Red (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) takes a dark and bizarre turn when a nightmarish cult and their maniacal leader (Linus Roache) seek to possess Mandy…body and soul. A shocking assault on the innocent pair leads to a spiraling, surreal, bloody rampage of all out, mind-altering vengeance. A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouéré, Bill Duke
There are demon bikers, chainsaw sword fights, full-frontal male nudity, and Nic Cage delivering the most bonkers performance ever. He was made to play Red. Gonzo doesn’t even begin to describe this film by Panos Cosmatos. After watching if you are curious about Abraxus, demons, and Gnosticism check out our explainer.
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I hope we have given you some new movies to consider. Snuggle down and enjoy the Best Weird Movies on Shudder. Let us know what you enjoyed this weekend. Don’t forget to use the promo code SIGNAL for a whole month free! Catch us back each week with a new Shudder list.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.