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!






  1. The two answers that come to mind are Amy Adams in Arrival and Charlize Theron in Mad Max. Both not your tipical performances.

  2. It’s such a blurry line as to horror film or suspense or whatever so I don’t like to put films in genre categories but I’d say most would consider Jaws a horror film and if so Robert Shaw would be my biggest snub. I’ll go with Perkin’s for sure. I’d take the Kidman performance in The Other’s over the Moulin Rouge performance every day of the week. Collette last year was in my top five so I agree she was snubbed. And I’d have to dig deeper in 1980 but Nicholson probably would be in my top 5 that year for The Shining.

  3. Emily Blunt, John Krasinski (A Quiet Place)
    Toni Collette (Hereditary)
    James McAvoy (Split)

    Those were definitely the more recent ones. And I still think that the Academy should have known that three time’s the charm in 2001 and nominated Bruce Willis for The Sixth Sense along with Collette and Osment. Especially since this would have maybe given his career the very boost it needed to be saved since it kinda went downhill from there on.

  4. How about Sigourney Weaver in Alien?
    Shauna MacDonald in The Descent?
    Essie Davis in The Babadook?
    Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place (for which she won the SAG)
    Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie for The Witch?
    Belen Rueda for The Orphanage?


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