In this sub-section of Shock Depot, you will be able to publish your horror on streaming services articles. In this sub-section of the website, you’ll also be able to read articles about the cultural, organizational, psychological, and social (to name a mere handful of aspects) impacts of VoDs in the viewing habits of horror fans.
Is the offer of horror on streaming services worth a subscription? Are video-on-demand streamers like Shudder or Netflix a good choice for horror fans in general and horror movie and horror TV series buffs in particular?
Do you think you know VoD streaming services? Discounting Netflix (est. 1997), they are a relatively new technology. Their effects in the body, mind, and soul are yet to be studied, even if there are some studies already available.
Nevertheless, what is obvious is that they open new avenues for horror enjoyment that are worth considering due to their freshness, exclusivity, and convenience benefits.
The Bad News First
How I titled this part of the article is just a witty way of dodging the fact that until the next section I will give a personal opinion only, so take it with one (or two) grains of salt.
I don’t know you, but when I gave up the responsibility of studying, curating, procuring, and watching my personal choice of audiovisual horror entertainment, things went downhill.
The sole action of subscribing to a VoD service and delegating my daily nightly movie to it was a rather dry, if sober, experience.
Maybe, in my case, it was more of a negative than a positive experience because, by the time I joined a VoD for the first time, I had been watching horror movies non-stop, practically every night, for twelve years already.
Let’s suppose that I didn’t watch 5-6 horror movies a week for twelve years. Let’s put the figure at a baseline of four horror movies per week. After twelve years, it makes a large amount of around 2300 movies.
I sincerely don’t believe that after a season of horror cinema watching like that one, that VoDs would have anything that would wow me.
Things to excite me and amuse me, maybe, but not what you’d call wowing me. I was too sophisticated and coming back from almost everything in audiovisual horror already!
When I subscribed to a VoD for the first time, to Netflix in 2018, I had a very skewed concept of what it would be.
I thought that Netflix was going to be an exciting experience that will dwarf my efforts in horror movie watching up to then.
I had a concept of Netflix that was just a prejudiced assumption. What I imagined Netflix was going to be, it wasn’t, and by a long shot.
In time, I learned that there’s another streamer that is what I thought Netflix was going to be but with a few catches.
What I Expected from of VoD vs What I Got
What did I think Netflix was going to be? I thought it was like a massive library comprehending practically the whole story of (not just) horror cinema, for me to watch at my beck and call.
I was a bit tired of having to deal with the actual owning of audiovisual items. Furthermore, I had been, since 2013, preparing myself to change to a streamer horror watcher, rather than a collecting horror movie watcher, and finally did the jump to 99% streaming, 1% collecting.
That Netflix wasn’t what I expected wasn’t a reason for me to reject it. Far from it, Netflix knew how to become unmissable and a must-have for me, especially due to their original content.
Like I said, after a year or eighteen months since I had subscribed to Netflix, I realized there exists a service that has practically everything that exists as audiovisual horror content.
That service is Amazon Prime Video. Still, Prime Video has a catch, actually 2 catches-22 about their library.
In Prime Video, when you subscribe you have a certain portion of the library that you can stream as much as you like, unrestricted, to your heart’s content. Yet the rest of the movies, you have to either rent them digitally or buy a digital copy.
Don’t Get Misled about The ‘Tube
What about YouTube? I don’t know about the YouTube Premium plan, but I know that without even having to register, you can find and watch very rare horror movies on YouTube.
I dare say that in my small experience looking for rare horror movies on YouTube, I have found things that I couldn’t get elsewhere.
Yet, a constant drawback of resorting to YouTube was that many times the quality of the movie did leave a lot to be desired.
Even if you scrap the movie from YouTube, and save it on your disk to make it more viewable, you’re bound to discover something: in general, you can’t polish a floater.
No matter how much post-processing you apply to some low-resolution movies on YouTube, it’s going to keep looking bad.
If anything, it will be 3-5% less of an eyesore than before the manual enhancements you applied to it.
If you haven’t paid for a VoD service, and you think it’s going to be something like YouTube, kill those preconceptions, and kill them right now. YouTube is a special case due to the nature of the content.
The ultimate library of original community content and infringing community uploads may beat even Amazon Prime’s, but you know the rule of percentages when it comes to such a gargantuan mass of content.
But, for me, the freedom of the platform doesn’t make up for the deception sometimes one has to suffer when you find that the movie you need to watch, that someone shared, is in a low, pixelated resolution.
It’s common for the general of the watchers to dislike filters, due to the fixes of filters being a solution that sacrifices fidelity for better looks.
Most do computer operations to enhance the image by putting stuff where it isn’t in the original thing.
Many resent this, I included. You end watching something that is just a distorted reflection of the real thing. If you have experience watching movies in high resolution, the effects to dress bad copies get in the way of the enjoyment because you can’t stop noticing them.
I think that if you download movies from streamers like YouTube, that host low-resolution media, you can get by with a video player that supports filters (like for instance SMPlayer). But you should use them sparingly, and only the ones that don’t mess the actual image by adding stuff.
My recommendation would be to use de-interlacing (one of the two Yadiff options if using SMPlayer) and one or two filters maximum.
Streamers are Cultural Filters
Since I started watching movies almost every night, to learn how to construct a movie story that I could write as a script, I didn’t watch movies that are horror only.
Horror was the staple genre that I watched the most, yes. But my movie search unfolded into a choice of at least seven different genres.
I had different phases, like for instance a cyberpunk movies phase. After I had watched most of the best cyberpunk movies, I graduated to crime movies.
I mean relatively recent crime moves, like “Point Break”, “Blood In Blood Out”, “Dead Presidents” or “Young Thugs: Nostalgia”, to give just four disparate examples.
I can say that I enjoyed them, but most of the time I felt I was out of my league watching them and that I would rather have spent those hours watching horror.
Anyway, the crime movie-watching years (that were one or two at the most) served me to ease me down from contemporary movies. To a kind of movie that was much more agreeable to me than regular crime dramas and thrillers of the present.
Black cinema, also known as noir movies of the 1940s and 1950s. Also to the most popular crooks and coppers movies of the 1930s.
After my noir phase, I diversified to other unlikely genres for horror fans, like for instance experimental cinema, French new wave movies, and punk films. Well, all of that kind of died as soon as I started watching movies on streamers.
The point I want to make, we need to explore a lot of lines of thought. About how VoD streamers influence and change horror fans, buffs, and cineastes. This area of Shock Depot is the place to do it.
You are Invited to Submit Guest Posts
If you desire to think about this change in the game, what it means to us as horror fans, horror workers, and horror followers, and share your findings, opinions, and thoughts, you are invited to submit content in this area.
Please write horror on streaming services articles that are substantial. If in doubt, err on the overdoing it camp rather than on the under-performing side. Which is to say, write an article that is at least 1400 words. But also, don’t overdo the over-doing, don’t go over the 3500 words count.
Submit Your Horror on VoDs Contents
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© Bholenath Valsan 2021 — Horror on Streaming Services Articles