Over the years, the Oscars have shown antipathy toward the horror genre. No matter how worthy a film or performance may be, it goes unnoticed due solely to its genre. This year, Lupita Nyong’o in “Us” could suffer the same fate. As of now, she stands in sixth place on our Lead Actress predictions. However, anti-horror bias could handicap her chances. If she were snubbed, though, she’d be in good company.
Last year, Toni Collette in “Hereditary” was a strong critical favorite. Her performance as a grieving mother proved to be daring and go-for-broke. For her efforts, Collette earned the Gotham Award for Best Actress and a Critics’ Choice Award nomination. Despite being a previous Oscar nominee for “The Sixth Sense,” another horror film, lightning couldn’t strike twice.
Going back much further, Drew Barrymore’s performance in “Scream” was another drastic oversight. As Casey Becker, Barrymore only appears in the film’s first 15 minutes, yet she makes the most of her limited screen time. Her natural geniality makes her character’s inevitable end more tragic than it already is. The opening sequence of “Scream” holds a strong place in film history and Barrymore’s performance is vital to its impact.
Additionally, a horror film can also be as good as its villain. For instance, Robert Englund made viewers petrified of sleep as Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series. Meanwhile, Betsy Palmer was paralyzingly sinister as a mother out for revenge in the first “Friday the 13th.”
Then there’s Anthony Perkins in “Psycho” where he plays Norman Bates. Up until “Psycho,” Perkins was typecast as a lovable everyman. As it turns out, that made him a genius casting choice since Bates appears as the boy next door up until he gives that psychopathic grin in the picture’s final frame.
Which horror movie performance do you think was snubbed by Oscar? Please share your thoughts!
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