Horror movies and comedy movies have both long been genres that are routinely dismissed by the Academy when it comes to Oscar-voting time. And while the occasional comedic performance does breakthrough (only ever in supporting, never lead) – eg. Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids and Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder – horror has been widely ignored since Silence of the Lambs.
Therefore, it was an extremely pleasant surprise when Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for Lead Actor at the 2018 Oscars – for two reasons – how young he was, and because Get Out is a horror movie. Since Silence of the Lambs swept the Oscars 30 years ago at the 1992 ceremony, only three horror movies have been nominated for Best Picture and for acting awards – The Sixth Sense, Black Swan, and Get Out.
Recent performances that are widely discussed as being egregious Oscar snubs include Toni Collette for Hereditary, Lupita Nyong’o for Us and Andrea Riseborough for Possessor. Joining them in 2023 is Keke Palmer for Nope, Rebecca Hall for Resurrection, and Mia Goth for Pearl. “I think that it’s very political and that it’s not entirely based on the quality of a project per se,” Goth told IndieWire while at Sundance for her new horror movie Infinity Pool.
Goth continued; “I think there’s a lot going on there, a lot of cooks in the kitchen when it comes to nominations and categories that are recognised. Maybe I shouldn’t say that either but I think that’s true. I think a lot of people know that. I don’t know why.”
Goth concluded; “I think a change is necessary. A shift should take place, really. If they wanted to engage with the wider public, I think it would be of benefit, really.”
Horror movies have had a strong year or so at the box office, with the likes of Smile, Nope, The Black Phone, Scream, and M3GAN all making over $130 million each. Skinamarink, an ultra-low budget horror movie made for $15,000, has made $1.5 million since it was released in January 2023. Terrifier 2 made $13.5 million worldwide in 2022, on a reported budget of $250,000.
Check out our guide to the best Netflix horror movies.