Earlier today, I posted a list of 10 horror stars who I believe should’ve won the Best Actor award at the Oscars. The list was made because I feel like the Academy snubs horror with such regularity that it’s long become commonplace to see the best of our genre get ignored, regardless of the effort and expertise that went into making such films.
This dismissal is frustrating because it hits every aspect of a film, from the direction to the original score to the costume design to the editing.
People work their asses off to make sure that a horror movie is effective, and seeing that dedication and hard work go unnoticed by those that consider themselves to be the top of the pyramid is maddening, insulting, and we need to call it out every chance that we get. And as the saying goes, “Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.”
That’s why I’m highlighting 10 performances by actresses in horror films over the years that deserved recognition but didn’t get any. Join me below, and let me know whom you think I left out by leaving a comment!
Nicole Kidman – The Others
A brilliant ghost story with a poignant twist, Nicole Kidman’s performance as a mother who has to look out for two disabled children while awaiting word from her husband, who is at war, is astounding. She is both cruel and caring, steadfast yet haunted. She portrays a character whose faith is tested in a time when she has to be at her strongest, something she pulls off with seemingly astounding ease. The film was both a box office and critical success, which makes it all the more puzzling why Kidman didn’t get a nod for Best Actress.
Ivana Baquero – Pan’s Labyrinth
When I was at Bloody-Disgusting, the debate on whether or not Pan’s Labyrinth is a horror film was something that boggled my mind. Yes, it’s a war drama. Yes, it’s a fantasy. But how can anyone deny that it’s a horror film? Featuring monsters, both from the imagination and in reality, and a desperate attempt to survive a horribly violent situation, Baquero’s journey as Ofelia is one of struggle, desperation, and terror. By god, that young girl nailed that role in such a way that I can’t imagine the film without her. Child actors are often unexperienced and pretty annoying to watch. But not here. Baquero was Ofelia; it’s that simple.
Sigourney Weaver – Alien 3
I’m in the minority of people who think Alien 3 is a fantastic film, despite having one of the most troubled productions I’ve ever heard of. Weaver’s portrayal of Ellen Ripley in this film is such a wonderful evolution of her character, one that she embraced and played fantastically. From an unknowing and unwilling participant (Alien) to a warrior mother (Aliens) to a broken, defeated victim, Weaver has taken Ripley on an amazing journey and has always given the role the dedication and gravitas it so richly deserves. While her performance in Aliens got her a Best Actress nomination, I feel like it was in this film that she gave Ripley her best work.