7 Oscar Worthy Performances (Overlooked From Horror Movies)
Horror fans have long lamented the perceived exclusion of their beloved genre from the suits who bow down to the little golden man with no eyes and no genitals. Anthony Perkins never got nominated for his intense portrayal of Norman Bates in Hitchcock's Psycho. The Shining was snubbed entirely, and, in an act of pure cruelty, Shelley Duvall was nominated for a Razzie award instead. Toni Collette did all that yelling and sweating in Hereditary, and for what? Good health? Better pay? A chance to go to work every day and just scream and cry and probably spit in a co-worker's face … okay, sure. We get it now. Probably worth it.
The point is that there will always be brilliant performances getting snubbed come awards season, and a good portion of those performances will always be horror specific, unfortunately …
Lupita Nyong'o, Us
It doesn’t matter whether people liked the film or not. It doesn’t matter that the real scene-stealer was the inclusion of the ‘90s song “I Got 5 On It.” What matters is that Lupita Nyong’o pulled off playing two characters — both original and nuanced — with commitment and intensity and without needing some fake nose or prosthetic to pull off the transformation. She simply went old-school, using her voice and face. Brave.
The film was critically praised and has an entire Wikipedia page documenting only its accolades. Yet it didn't receive a single Oscar nomination, even though both director Jordan Peele and Nyong'o were winning awards left and right at the time. Maybe it's because genre films have always had a hard time at the Academy Awards. Maybe it's because Get Out did so well only two years prior, and people were weary of simply throwing mini statues at another one of Peele's movies (which is a totally dumb reason, but again, just look at that statue).
Or maybe it's because Cynthia Erivo was nominated for portraying Harriet Tubman, leaving the Academy happy with their inclusion of one Black actress nominee for the year. Guess we'll never know the real reason why this didn't get Nyong'o nominated:
Jacob Tremblay, Doctor Sleep
It's not often we see the youngins get nominated for prestige awards, but when they do, it's almost always legit choices. Quvenzhané Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild, Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver, Haley Joel Osment for that movie about how ghosts can have depression, too — every now and then the Academy will recognize and, on occasion, award a minor for also doing an Acting.
They did, however, drop the ball on young Jacob Tremblay, who most surely deserved a Best Supporting Actor nominee for his haunting 10-minute appearance in Mike Flanagan's adaptation of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep. The filmmakers and fans of the movie refer to Tremblay's scene simply as "that scene." It's disturbing, and Tremblay — playing a gifted young baseball player whose "shine" has unfortunately attracted the wrong kind of people — successfully sells us on his distress, to the point where it becomes hard to watch. Actress Rebecca Ferguson said she was in tears trying to film the harrowing scene.
Those aren't just any screams. Those are chill-to-the-bones, instincts-kicking-in type of screaming right there. Tremblay's so good in this sequel of The Shining, and the kid had already won other awards at the time, so it would have made sense to add an Academy nomination to his accolades. But no, between Anthony Hopkins, Joe Pesci, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, and Tom Hanks, we just had to give the award to some old fart that year.
Rebecca Hall, The Night House
Last year we got to see the incredibly talented Rebecca Hall star in one of the best horror movies in recent years and also act opposite an Invisible Man-type House Ghost thingy. It is both wild and extremely excellent.
The Night House is a fairly new film and will be coming to HBO Max on April 8, so we’re not going to spoil too much here, but what we will say is that there’s a scene where Hall gets sexy with the “You Can’t See Me” ghost man before…things get less sexy. It’s a bit anxiety-inducing to imagine having to act out a scene like that — knowing that no one’s going to be CG’d in between your hands later on — but Hall bravely pulled it off. Her performance in this film is expertly layered, and it’s some of the best character work that came out of 2021.
But again it seems that the Oscars aren’t interested in original creative work. They just want to drool over yet another biopic.
Agathe Rousselle, Titane
Another Best Actress snub for this year’s Academy Awards. Honestly, it’s hard not to feel the anti-original, anti-horror vibes oozing from the elites. Or is it conservatism?
It’s conservatism, isn’t it?
Margot Kidder, Black Christmas (1974)
Perhaps what we’re seeing is the Academy’s aversion toward more spicy, less “prim and proper” portrayals of women on screen. No vile female characters will receive the smooth golden phallus! Men on the other hand? God, we gave two to the freaking Joker. But ladies, please, keep your tongues inside your mouths with your teeth clamped on top of each other. And that means you, Margot Kidder in Black Christmas.
See, it’s not really about acting, folks. It’s about whether or not a character uses the correct language and whether or not they smoke. Especially if said character is a woman.
Don Lee, Gong Yoo And Just The Entire Cast Of Train to Busan
Hey, since rules or even logic don’t really matter, then we don’t see why we can’t add the entire cast of our favorite South Korean zombie movie to this list. Yes to these characters running from zombies on this train. Yes to these actors who gave more memorable performances than whoever pulled a method to win, oh, we don’t know, Best Actor in 2020.
Yes, we’re even nominating the zombies. Those are some A+ zombies.
Every Single Actor Who Has Played Pennywise The Clown, Ever
Even on television. We don't care. They’re all great.
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Top Image: Universal Pictures