The Best Non-Horror Movies To Stream On Shudder

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When it comes to horror, fans know exactly where to find many of the best horror movies ever made: Shudder. However, not everybody enjoys being scared, but that is no reason for them to avoid getting a Shudder subscription of their own either.

Despite being better known for its scariest movies, there are plenty of great non-horror movies available on Shudder, too. Ranging from grounded crime dramas to intense mysteries and even laugh-out-loud satire, these are the best movies available on the “all-horror streaming service” that more easily scared subscribers might be able to handle.

Pat Healy and Ethan Embry in Cheap Thrills

(Image credit: New Artists Alliance)

Cheap Thrills (2014)

Pat Healy is known for stealing the show in frightening titles like Starry Eyes or Amazon Prime’s Them. However, he leads this comparatively lighter thriller as a family man who finds the solution to his financial problems in the form of a morbidly curious couple (David Koechner and Sara Paxton) who invite him and an old friend (Ethan Embry) to participate in a series of grisly dares for cash rewards. The feature-length debut of E.L. Katz, Cheap Thrills is an increasingly intense and, sometimes, darkly funny gem that forces you to question how far you would go if you were in the protagonist's shoes.

Stream Cheap Thrills on Shudder.

Graham Greene in Clearcut

(Image credit: Cinexus Capital Corporation)

Clearcut (1991)

How far would you go to stand up for your culture and protect the land you call home from those who wish to destroy it for self-serving purposes? Arthur (Academy Award nominated Dances with Wolves star, Graham Greene), is willing to go to torturous means to punish a greedy logger. While not frightening enough to be considered horror, Clearcut is still one of the more brutal takes on the Neo-Western genre and offers a thought-provoking perspective on the rights of Indigenous people.

Stream Clearcut on Shudder.

Meera Rohit Kumbhani and Nick Thune in Dave Made A Maze

(Image credit: Butter Stories)

Dave Made A Maze (2017)

Cardboard boxes can be a source of endless fun with a little imagination. However, the strangely spacious and bizarrely dangerous cardboard world that Nick Thune’s title character in Dave Made a Maze builds is somehow not imaginary and, much to his and his friends’ horror, seemingly impossible to escape. Co-writer and director Bill Watterson adds a thick layer of child-like whimsy to this fun and hilarious adventure fantasy to make it something truly one-of-a-kind.

Stream Dave Made a Maze on Shudder.

Patrick Floersheim in Deadly Games

(Image credit: L.M. Productions)

Deadly Games (1989)

Can you imagine how much crazier Home Alone might have been if – instead of a couple of ordinary, petty thieves – young Kevin McCallister was forced to take on Santa Claus himself? That is, sort of, the case in Deadly Games, in which a boy must defend himself and his grandfather from a murderous intruder dressed as Old St. Nick. Also known as Dial Code Santa Claus (when translated from its original French title), this would have earned a spot on our list of holiday-themed hororr movies if not for its more ‘80s action thriller-inspired tone. 

Stream Deadly Games on Shudder.

Kiefer Sutherland and Reese Witherspoon in Freeway

(Image credit: The Kushner-Locke Company)

Freeway (1996)

Future Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon leads this crime drama about a troubled teen and her life-changing encounter with a perverted serial killer (Kiefer Sutherland) after running away to her grandmother’s house. Executive produced by Oliver Stone, Freeway is writer and director Matthew Bright’s very grim, modernized take on the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

Stream Freeway on Shudder.

Lincoln Maazel in The Amusement Park

(Image credit: RLJ Entertainment)

The Amusement Park (1975)

Director George A. Romero is best known for, basically, inventing zombie movies, but in this once “lost” and recently restored special, he explores a more common and pernicious fear: aging. The Amusement Park – starring Lincoln Maazel as a man having a terrible day at a place meant for fun – just might count as a horror movie for older audiences, but for younger viewers, it provdes a thought-provoking lesson on age discrimination through a compelling and dreamlike allegory.

Stream The Amusement Park on Shudder.

Donna Wilkes in Angel

(Image credit: Adams Apple Film Company)

Angel (1984)

Jaws 2 actor Donna Wilkes plays the title role of Angel, which follows a straight-A high school student forced to roam the streets as a sex worker to get by. However, when a deranged killer begins targeting other young women of the same profession, she must take matters into her hands in co-writer and drector Robert Vincent O’Neil’s influential exploitation thriller with a bold, feminist edge.

Stream Angel on Shudder.

Coherence cast

(Image credit: Oscilloscope)

Coherence (2013)

A group of adult friends (including the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast’s Nicholas Brendan) reunite for a dinner party as a comet passes overhead, causing a strange predicament that puts the guests at odds with each other and, in a particularly startling way, with themselves. I will not reveal anything else about Coherence, and not just to prevent spoilers, but to put you at the same speed as the cast, who actually went into the production almost completely blind to how the events would unfold. Writer and director James Ward Byrkit had them improvise almost everything they said and did, making this thoroughly engrossing sci-fi brain teaser an especially astonishing achievement.

Stream Coherence on Shudder.

Matilda Lutz in Revenge

(Image credit: Shudder)

Revenge (2018)

The action thriller genre has thankfully evolved into a more prominent vessel for female empowerment in cinema, and one of the most definitive, yet underrated, examples of that is this aptly-titled Shudder original. When her married boyfriend’s hunting buddies interrupt a romantic getaway in the Moroccan desert, things take a traumatic turn for Jen (Matilda Anne Ingrid Lutz). She then decides to give the men a taste of their own medicine in Revenge – a bold, bloody, and beautiful cat and mouse game from French writer and director Coralie Fargeat.

Stream Revenge on Shudder.

Issa Lopez directed Tigers Are Not Afraid.

(Image credit: Videocine)

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

Imagine if The Goonies was a depressingly grim Spanish-language crime thriller with a unique fairy tale twist. This Shudder original about a group of children forced to fend for themselves in Mexico City while caught up in an ongoing drug war would most likely be the result. We may be focusing specifically on films outside of the horror genre here, yet Tigers Are Not Afraid teeters that line – not just by its frightening fantasy elements, but its upsettingly grounded depiction of urban horrors that often go unseen.

Stream Tigers Are Not Afraid on Shudder.

Denise Richards in Tammy and the T-Rex

(Image credit: Greenline Productions)

Tammy And The T-Rex (1994)

While it technically qualifies as a horror-comedy movie, I could never, in good conscience, associate this cult favorite with the root genre because the concept alone is just too hilarious. It stars a young Paul Walker as a high school football player who tries to reach out to his cheerleader girlfriend (Denise Richards) after his brain is placed into a mechanical dinosaur by a mad scientist. Of all the trashy guilty pleasures available on Shudder, Tammy and the T-Rex may be the most shamelessly cheesy of them all and it only came out in the ‘90s.

Stream Tammy and the T-Rex on Shudder.

Roland Møller and Lola Le Lann in A Bluebird in my Heart

(Image credit: Shudder)

A Bluebird In My Heart (2018)

French filmmaker Jérémie Guez is known for penning many eclectic films of an intense variety – perhaps, most notably, the acclaimed Paris-set zombie flick The Night Eats the World. His feature-length directorial debut, however, is a Shudder exclusive of a more earnest and realistic nature, yet is still quite bleak. Based on the novel by Dannie M. Martin, A Bluebird in my Heart stars Roland Møller (whom you might recognize from Skyscraper) as Danny – an ex-con seeking redemption while on parole in Belgium, until the teenage girl he recently befriends is assaulted, reawakening his violent tendencies.

Stream A Bluebird in my Heart on Shudder.

Suzee Slater in Chopping Mall

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Chopping Mall (1986)

This cult favorite produced by B-movie monarch Roger Corman may commonly be associated with the slasher genre and “uniquely” crossed with science fiction. However, I have a hard time calling what is easily one of the cheesiest movies on Shudder anything more than a comedy because there is not a damn thing in this movie that will scare you, but more than enough to make you laugh. Chopping Mall – about a group of clueless teens trapped in a shopping center and stalked by its army of killer security robots (yep, that’s the plot) – is a definitive staple of "so bad it’s good" cinema that I, personally,  believe is more "bad" than "good" but still…

Stream Chopping Mall on Shudder.

Sometimes a movie that does not necessarily qualify as horror can be just as enjoyable as the scariest offerings on Shudder. Show these to your more squeamish loved ones so you can all have a good time with the creepiest streaming platform around. 

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.