The latest addition to the Nordic horror scene is Xstream, the SVOD service that specializes in horror films. -Horror never goes out of style, the company says.
The Nordic region’s first horror film (subscription) on-demand video service launched a few days ago. Based in Sweden and available only to Nordic customers, Xstream uses the technology of Vimeo’s OTT platform to deliver horror, sci-fi and fantasy films that to a large extent will not be found on mega VOD channels like Netflix or HBO. The films are subtitled in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Finnish.
Xstream is a collaboration between the Swedish streaming service GazeNet and film distributor Take One, which at the moment is the service’s sole supplier. Xstream is managed by Jimmy Sehlin (GazeNet), Albert Avramovic (Take One), and Anna Lindström (GazeNet). They are of course horror fans themselves; Anna’s favourite movies includes older classics like Metropolis, Psycho and Nosferatu, as well as newer classics such as Friday the 13th, The Exorcist and Halloween. Jimmy has been into disaster and zombie themed movies, but enjoys the whole spectrum of genre films, including the extreme ones, from which the company’s name was taken. Nordic Fantasy asked the team a few questions:
Nordic Fantasy: As a small start-up, what are your selling points compared to international stream giants?
Xstream: We want Xstream to be an interesting and entertaining complement for the subscribers in terms of niche content and we take pride in being one of few local platforms in the Nordics. Netflix and HBO are international players and we will need to work in a different way to find our space and grow. For us, the horror and fantasy genres are and have [always] been very interesting genres. Horror has been around for a long time and we have worked with launching horror films for a long time, and they never go out of style. These are genres that have many loyal and curious fans. Big budget or low budget, they still attract fans all over the world.
Currently, Xstream has 100+ titles and plan to expand with movies being added every week. Looking at the selection today, there are mostly independent B-movies and direct-to-video movies on the menu, but the idea is to broaden the catalogue with both theatrical mainstream and classic horror films in the future.
Nordic Fantasy: How about local Nordic movies?
Xstream: We’d love to promote local productions, but for the time being and to get started we have focused on content outside of the Nordic area. Further down the road we’ll of course be looking for local content as well. There are films that has come out (and are about to come) from the Nordics in recent years by some very impressive talent. The variation goes from nazi zombies to mean bugs and psycho killers etc. It wouldn’t be fair to pick [only a few favourites] since they´re all so different [and] really stand out in their own sub-genres. Every film maker that manage to nail and complete a production deserves respect and attention. Small or big, it’s really a huge achievement to make a full feature film. The films as end product must always be the primary, rather than if it comes from a specific production house [or a certain] producer/director, male or female. We’ll always try our best to support every individual that puts his/her heart and soul into their work.
Nordic Fantasy: How can one watch Xstream’s films?
Xstream: [Customers] can watch our content on most devices using a browser. Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox is recommended for best performance. You can also stream our films using the VHX app (a free download) which is available for iOS and Android. The app also support viewing on tvOS and via Chromecast, but the subtitles however don’t work on these devices in the current version of the app. We do have plans to produce our own branded Xstream apps further on, which will support even more platforms.