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10 Horror Stars Who Should Have Won Best Actress at the Oscars

Cécile de France – High Tension

France has produced some of the most extreme horror films our genre has seen, and much of it is thanks to the success and fascination with High Tension. Cécile de France’s performance as Marie evokes vulnerability, strength, rage, love, and desperation, all balled up together in a character who is so damaged that reality is an elusive fantasy. I was completely drawn in by de France’s performance and hope that she comes back to the genre.

Naomi Watts – The Ring

A stunningly beautiful movie, The Ring is one of those rare remakes that most horror fans have no problem admitting is equal to or surpasses the original. A big reason for this is Naomi Watts and her brilliant performance as Rachel, a journalist who will go wherever is needed in order to figure out the riddle of a mysterious and deadly VHS tape. Watts’ performance shines here because she evokes strength and intelligence, crafting a character that is tough-as-nails, yet still emotionally vulnerable and full of empathy. If only her character were like that in the sequel…

Anya Taylor-Joy – The Witch

Starring opposite Ralph Ineson (who I suggested should’ve won Best Actor), Taylor-Joy’s performance as Thomasin was amazing. A vulnerable young woman who is in the middle of a terrible situation, she has to deal with a mother who holds her responsible for the death of her baby brother, a father who can barely keep everything together, and twin siblings who believe her to be a witch. All the while, she is desperate to prove her innocence, fealty, and love to her family. Taylor-Joy stunned audiences and critics alike and all for very good reason.

Marcia Gay Harden – The Mist

Mrs. Carmody. God, what a bitch! But that’s precisely what the film wanted, and that’s precisely what Marcia Gay Harden gave us. It’s a masterful performance of a woman so committed to her faith that she eschews the people around her, willing to give any of them up if they even so much as question her. At no point does her character feel like someone redeemable, even though she herself seeks and promises redemption, creating a villain that is terrible yet all-too-real.

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