Did you think that The Shape of Water’s and Get Out’s big wins at the Academy Awards last year meant that horror movies would finally be getting a fair shake during awards season? Think again! The 2019 Oscar nominations are out, and the horror genre is only represented with a single nomination for A Quiet Place in the category of Best Sound Editing.
Last year, The Shape of Water received 13 nominations (the record is 14), and it ended up winning Best Picture, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. Get Out was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Jordan Peele), Best Original Screenplay (Jordan Peele), and Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), and Peele took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Between these two films, the horror genre was represented in many of the Academy’s most prestigious categories.
It isn’t like there weren’t great horror offerings that received positive critical attention over the course of the past year… Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria generated serious buzz with its avant-garde sound design and unique visuals, and Ari Aster’s Hereditary was the talk of the town this past June (with Toni Collette’s unforgettable performance seemingly being more than worthy of a Best Actress nomination).
So what happened? Given the secretive nature of the nominations procedure, the answer is anyone’s guess. The Academy has historically been a fickle organization, and it’s possible that last year was more of an exception than the rule going forward. This year’s nominations largely feature traditional offerings, save for an exciting exception here and there like Black Panther’s Best Picture nomination… a first for superhero films. Perhaps The Academy can only focus on one “outside the box” genre nomination at a time?
The horror genre has a rich tradition of being ignored by The Academy Awards, but- fortunately- this doesn’t mean there isn’t excellent content being created by talented individuals all the time. Hopefully we will again see horror favorites represented in future Oscar nominations down the road, but stay tuned to Horror News Network in the meantime for complete coverage of all the best things our favorite genre has to offer!