We live in an unprecedented age of streaming and video on-demand. This started with Netflix on Jan. 15, 2007 when the company introduced a “Watch Now” feature on its website. This allowed members to watch movies or television shows straight from their laptops. This streaming option pioneered what would later become the start of the streaming service wars as Hulu officially launched a year later on March 12, 2008. Fast forward 13 years later, and streaming services have essentially replaced broadcast television with new services like HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock launching left and right. However, there are some streaming services that seem to have gone unnoticed, so here are five underrated streaming services for your viewing pleasure.

Streaming Wars: Which streaming service is the best for college students?

1. Shudder

This service is for all the horror movie lovers out there. Shudder offers a wide variety of horror films and television shows that are divided into sanguinary categories like “Supernatural,” “Creature Feature,” “Killers” and my personal favorite, “Cult.” Shudder also features exclusive podcasts and original series for your viewing pleasure. The service costs $5.99 a month and allows viewers to start with a free seven-day trial.


-       "Super Dark Times (2017)"

-       "Heathers (1989)"

-       "Tenebre (1982)"

-       "Mandy (2018)"

-       "Halloween (1978)"

-       "The Hills Have Eyes (1977)"

-       "The Void (2016)"

-       "The Love Witch (2016)" 

-       "The Invisible Man (1933)" 

2. Criterion Channel

Launched by the Criterion Collection, the Criterion Channel is a streaming service that houses important classic and contemporary films. The site has an extensive oeuvre of influential arthouse films and documentaries from all over the world which includes tons of supplemental video extras, interviews, and commentaries about the films. Costing $10.99 a month with no ads and a free two-week trial, I personally believe the Criterion Channel is a necessary investment for those who love movies, especially weird, artsy ones.


-       "Boyhood (2014)"

-       "Rashomon (1950)"

-       "8 12(1963)"

-       "The Great Beauty (2013)"

-       "The 400 Blows (1959)"

-       "Paris Is Burning (1990)"

-       "Bicycle Thieves (1948)"

-       "Fish Tank (2009)"

-       "The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

-      "Frances Ha (2013)"

Quibi bites the dust and plans on shutting down after six months

3. Kanopy

Put your wallets down because this streaming service is free for all college students. Containing nearly 15,000 films and documentaries, Kanopy offers a wide variety of content intended for educational purposes with programs about history, science and health. This service is definitely one to have on your devices.


-       "Lady Bird (2017)"

-       "Cleo From 5 to 7 (1962)"

-       "Breathless (1960)"

-       "What We Do in the Shadows (2014)"

-       "I Am Not Your Negro (2016)"

-       "In the Mood for Love (2000)"

-       "Hereditary (2018)"

-       "Amy (2015)"

-      "Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children (2020)"

-      "Headhunters (2011)"

4. Tubi TV

Tubi TV includes over 5,000 movies that rotate on the site monthly. It’s completely free, although there are ads that play in between whatever movie or show you are watching. The TV show options are a little sparse, mainly housing older shows and a lot of British-based series. However, where else will you be able to watch all of “Alf” and David Fincher’s “Fight Club” for free? Nowhere except Tubi.


-       "Wayne’s World (1992)"

-       "Cartel Land (2015)"

-       "Cosmos: A Spacetime Adventure (2014)"

-       "You’ve Got Mail (1998)"

-       "Grease (1978)"

-       "Memento (2000)"

-       "Battle Royale (2000)"

-       "We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)"

-      "Donnie Darko (2001)"

-      "Frailty (2002)"

 5. Fandor

Like the Criterion Channel, Fandor is another streaming service that is marketed toward those who view themselves as hardcore film lovers. Starting at $9.99 per month with a free one-week trial, the site offers thousands of movies and shows from across the globe that are exclusive to the site. The options are hardly what you could call mainstream, but it has some really cool movies, including a wide variety of “blaxploitation” films. It’s a great service that I recommend checking out for all your offbeat viewing pleasures.


-       "Boy (2010)"

-       "Dolemite (1975)"

-       "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)"

-       "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2010, Swedish version)"

-        "Polytechnique (2009)"

-        "Dark Star (1979)"

-       "Oldboy (2003)"

-       "Slacker (1991)"

-       "Dogtooth (2009)"

-       "Poison (1991)"

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