by Jesse Hudgins
Horror movies are in a very special place in cinema right now. 2022 was considered a renaissance of the genre, with many movies considered some of the best pieces of cinema released during the year. Regardless, every single year, no matter what movie it is, Hollywood and The Oscars continue to ignore the genre.
It isn’t like the genre hasn’t been considered in the past, as films such as Jaws, The Exorcist, Get Out, and three others have been nominated for Best Picture. Hollywood seems to be very picky for what they’ll consider for Best Picture, or other categories, where there seems to be a major neglect, specifically in Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Visual Effects. Only four horror films have brought home awards for acting, and only three for visual effects. The continued snubbing has been an issue that many in the horror community and beyond have brought up, especially in the past year.
The time has come for Hollywood to start considering horror as a viable genre that can tell stories just as well as others, with acting that’s just as good as other genres. I’d argue that actresses Keke Palmer, Mia Goth, and Toni Collette respectively put on some of the best performance in their films Hereditary, Pearl, and Nope. Yet, because they’re in horror movies, they didn’t receive even as much as a nomination, despite their performances being considered by many to be the best parts of each of their films. It’s a shame that such performances and more go completely unrecognized due to their movies receiving a stigma for apparently no reason. There has yet to be an explanation for why these performances, effects, and films go unrecognized by Hollywood, which makes it even more irritating.
The fight for horror to be recognized isn’t the only one going as animation has been dealing through a similar problem. Laughed off as movies that are made for kids and nothing else, they’re allowed to portray themes and stories in a way no other style of film can. The same goes for horror, with themes of guilt, lust, vanity, racism, and more, portrayed in manners that just can’t be seen in other forms of film. Creative vision in horror is at an all-time high with many big-name studios allowing writers, and even first-time directors, to tell the stories they want to tell and let their visions come to fruition. While it may not be something the Academy will recognize, the representation the genre has been getting needs to be recognized by the media.
If there was ever a time for Hollywood to start recognizing horror outlets, it’s now. The genre continues to redefine itself and the releases are better and better each year. In 2023 alone, we’ll get another performance from Mia Goth through Ti West’s third film in the X franchise MaXXXine, a remake of The Exorcist from Blumhouse Studios, and we’ve already received a classic with Evil Dead Rise. Sadly, due to directors like as Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, and Martin Scorsese, I doubt that any such movie will be close to a nomination. Hopefully, though, a day will come when such films will be held in high regard with films from other genres and be noted as some of the best of the year, with their acting, editing, and special effects recognized, as well.
For more of Jesse’s thoughts on movies of all genres, listen to Roommate Reviews, Thursdays from 8-10PM.