This weekend marks the 90th annual Academy Awards. And if that wasn’t cool enough, this year we have two, count ’em, two horror movies getting tons of love from the Academy. Yes, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water and Jordan Peele’s Get Out are nominated for a bunch of Oscars, including top honors such as Best Picture and Best Director to name a few.
I don’t think I need to tell any of you guys that it is more than a rarity that a single horror film gets a single Oscar nomination, let alone two films in the same year snagging multiple top honors. This is truly a year to remember, folks. And it is with this in mind we wanted to take a look back at some horror films that SHOULD have received some Oscar love, but sadly didn’t.
So let’s get to it!
To start things off with a bang, John Carpenter’s Halloween is hands down one of the best and most beloved horror films of all time. How the film managed to snag zero Oscar nominations is kind of baffling. Nominations this film should have easily scored are Best Picture, Best Director (John Carpenter), Best Original Screenplay (John Carpenter and Debra Hill), and, duh, Best Score (John Carpenter). Again, how this film didn’t manage to garner even a best Sound Editing nomination is something we will all puzzle at for the rest of time.
David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is a film that will stand the test of time, no question. Poignant, timely, and above all else, scary as all hell, the film is one of the few horror movies to garner universal love right out of the gate. And yet it didn’t get so much as single stature, let alone a “thanks for the effort.” Nominations this film should have gathered include Best Director (David Robert Mitchell), Best Actress (Maika Monroe), Best Cinematography (Mike Gioulakis), and Best Score (Rich Vreeland).
I know Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook is a film that has fallen out of favor with quite a few horror fans, but all the same, the movie was a tremendous effort by first-time director Kent and the film should have at least scored nominations for Best Director (Jennifer Kent), Original Screenplay (Jennifer Kent), Best Costume Design (Heather Wallace), and Best Actress (Essie Davis). However, the film scored zero nominations and has instead become an LGBT icon. Time is a strange beast.
How in the holy hell did Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of horror The Shining get shut out of the Oscars? This is one of the biggest mind-blowers of all time. I mean Kubrick should have been a sure thing for a Best Director nod, along with a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay (which he co-wrote with Diane Johnson). And how Jack Nicholson didn’t get a nomination for Best Actor is about as balls-to-the-wall crazy as his performance. While the academy notoriously loves Kubrick and Nicolson, they seemed to forget the two Hollywood heavyweights existed when this film hit. So sad and too bad.
I might get a bit of guff for this entry but all the same, if nothing else, I truly believe that Kevin Williamson’s subversive screenplay should have scored a Best Original Screenplay nod. On top of that, I genuinely believe director Wes Craven desperately deserved a nod for his work as Best Director. Hell, and while we’re at it, how about a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Drew Barrymore? Her performance is a showstopper and one for the ages. I love Scream with all my heart and it deserved more. Plain and simple.
Okay, maybe when this film was initially released it was looked down upon by the powers that be as little more than an early example of torture porn. But with the amount of undying love the film has rightfully gathered over the years since, the Academy should have been progressive enough to nominate the film for AT LEAST Best Picture. And Sound Design. And Score. And Best Director. Etc. But no, the film was just too much of a gut-punch and the year’s Golden Statutes were better placed in the hands of Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s comedy crime caper The Sting. Okay, Academy. Whatever you say.
George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is yet another utter classic of the genre that remains yet another film snubbed by the Oscars. This film is the definition of a “game changer” and the fact that the Academy boarded up its windows as George A. Romero’s revolutionary black & white horror film came stumbling out of the drive-ins and up to the gates of Hollywood is a simple act of cowardice. Nominations the film should have easily snagged include Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay (George A. Romero and John Russo), Best Director (George A. Romero), and Best Cinematography (George A. Romero).
Writer-director Robert Egger’s period horror film The Witch blew the doors off the film world altogether when it hit a few years back. But then the Academy Awards hid their eyes from the horrors contained within and merely acted like it didn’t exist out there in the dark woods. For shame. Nominations this film should have conjured include Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay (Robert Eggers), Best Actress (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Best Director (Robert Eggers). Hell, Black Phillip even deserved a Best Scary-Ass Goat nomination. Sadly none of these nominations came to pass.
How did John Carpenter’s creature feature classic The Thing managed to sneak past the Oscars? It didn’t. The Academy just straight up ignored Carpenter’s triumph. This film, perhaps above all others should have snagged Carpenter his Best Director nomination (if not a full-on win). But considering the Academy turned their noses up to Kurt Russell’s beard (Best Beard should totally be a new category) it looks like Carpenter will never get the love he deserves for his contributions to the genre. Plus the fact that the film didn’t garner a Best Make-Up Effects nomination (let alone a clean-cut win) is something that just shows how much the Academy looks down on horror. And that is f*cking tragic.
The movie heard round the world aka Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In should have been able to sink its teeth into at least a nomination for Best Foreign Film. But the Academy wasn’t even up for offering the film that, so now we have to wonder about the ceremony’s legitimacy altogether (as if we didn’t already). Let the Right One In – and even Matt Reeves’ remake – deserved much more than the freezing cold shoulder they were presented with. Weak, weak, weak.
Director Neil Marshall’s The Descent is one of the few horror films of the past decade, or so, that everyone not only cowers in fear of, but respects like a f*cking Clint Eastwood motion picture. And for good reason too. The Descent should have slaughtered the Oscars back in 2006, but instead, it was “forgotten” in the darkness like its lead heroine. Great, now I’m all sad and introspective. Seriously this list is getting ridiculous! Where was the love for The Descent, Academy?! Ugh. The film should have been nominated for at least Best Director (Neil Marshall) and Best Original Screenplay (Neil Marshall).
Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game is a more recent entry on the list, and along with Get Out and The Shape of Water, should have snagged Oscar nominations galore. Maybe it’s because the film was released on Netflix? Maybe. Let’s just say that’s the reason the film didn’t score nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and – duh, Best Actress for Carla Gugino. Yeah, let’s just say it was because it was a Netflix original film. That’ll help me sleep at night… until the Moonlight Man appears with his box of nightmares and finger-bones that is.
I absolutely adored first-time writer-director Julia Ducournau’s French cannibal flick Raw. Sure it’s a hard film to stomach, no question about that, but thinking about how this fine film was completely snubbed for at least Best Actress (Julia Ducournau), Best Cinematography (Ruben Impens), and Best Foreign Film Oscar nominations makes me want to throw up worse than when I first peeped that Brazilian waxing scene in the film itself. Gack! I need a moment. Gack! What a gorgeously moving motion picture. Gack!
Writer-director Alejandro Amenábar’s gothic ghost story The Others is a super prestige horror film and should have conjured up multiple nominations. At the very least the film deserved nods for Best Director (Alejandro Amenábar) and Best Cinematography (Javier Aguirresarobe) with no questions asked. Along with that, the film should have been awarded Best Actress for Nicole Kidman and Best Nightmare Hag for the blind woman who loves to throw open closet doors all willy-nilly. But not a single nomination was sent The Others’ way. And to put it bluntly, that is bull and shit.
I know, right?? It is f*cking crazy to think that writer-director Dario Argento’s masterpiece of technicolor terror Suspiria didn’t get a nomination for Best Cinematography (Luciano Tovoli) or Best Score (Dario Argento and Goblin). I mean the film is a staple of gorgeous cinematography from our galaxy to the next, and Goblin’s score (“La, la, la, la, la, la, la”) is the stuff of nightmares on ice. You messed up here, Oscars. Screw you and your gold naked men. Dario Argento’s Suspiria is an utter masterpiece and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
I love Stephen King’s novel “IT” more than I love my own children. Sure I don’t have any kids but still, the poor little ones are going to have their work cut out for them once they grace this mortal coil. It’s with this in mind that it surprises the hell out of me that I didn’t hate Andy Muschietti’s recent adaptation. In fact, I loved it. And the fact that the film didn’t gather any Oscar love is a crime that the likes of even Pennywise himself would be stunned at the sight of. Nominations the film should have scored with its hands tied behind its back are Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman), Best Supporting Actor (Bill Skarsgard) and Best Supporting Actress (Sophia Lillis).
To sum up here before I get too upset and start sending emails to no one in particular, let me say that three other films I believe needed more Oscar love. They are Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (Best Director for Craven and Best Actor for Robert Englund), Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room needed nominations for every single category, and Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe needed something, anything, even Best Sound Editing or whatever, just something. Urgh. Now my stomach hurts.
And there you have it. That is our rundown of horror films that deserved love from the Academy Awards but got nada. What do you think? Let us know below!
The 90th annual Academy Awards takes place on Sunday, March 4.