It’s no secret that the Academy has never really respected genre films. While this includes sci-fi and fantasy, horror often feels like it gets the most hate (as it does from critics as well). So it’s never really a surprise when the Oscar nominations include virtually no horror films.
But given the fact that so few films were released in 2020 (for obvious reasons), there was some hope that maybe one of the following would have been recognized. So here is our new annual tradition (which we also did last year) of pointing out the 5 biggest horror Oscar snubs this year!
Best Actress – Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man)
We’ll begin with what is probably the most egregious omission on this list. For many horror fans, Leigh Whannell’s retelling of the classic horror story was the last movie they saw in theaters before the world shut down.
The Invisible Man remains an incredibly tense thriller carried almost entirely by Elisabeth Moss’ performance. She portrays a woman traumatized from a years-long abusive relationship, while still fighting to be believed and taken seriously.
It echoes the tragic real life trauma that so many face. But what’s most compelling is watching Moss transform from survivor to victor as she faces her abuser and comes out on top.
Best International Feature Film – La Llorona
Known for their wide variety of international horror films, La Llorona premiered on Shudder in the summer of 2020. It combines supernatural horror with the real life horrors that occurred in Guatemala under a brutal dictatorship.
Using real life history as an inspiration, it takes its socio-political subject and uses paranormal activity to convey its story and themes. In a promising turn, it was nominated for this same award by the Golden Globes, but sadly snubbed by the Oscars.
Best Short Film (Live Action) – Host
So technically this isn’t a snub because Host wouldn’t qualify for this award (short films must be less than 40 minutes and Host is 56), however we can’t not discuss this movie and to suggest that it deserves a Best Picture nomination might be a stretch.
While the world was stuck in quarantine, this movie was made entirely over Zoom and in addition to being incredibly creepy despite its limitations, it also serves as the perfect representation of 2020 itself.
The characters themselves are trapped at home, much like the audience, and it’s something we could all easily relate to. Given the amount of critical buzz it received over the summer of 2020, it’s kind of shocking it didn’t get more attention from the Oscars.
Best Documentary (Feature Film) – Scream Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street
The Academy loves movies about the movie industry itself, and few are as damning of said industry than Scream Queen. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 has long been regarded as the “gay Freddy movie”, which some use as an insult, others use as a badge of honor.
But for star Mark Patton, it was an incredibly unpleasant experience both while filming and in the years that followed. Telling his own story, Patton recounts the inspiring, fascinating, tragic, but ultimately triumphant story of his professional life.
He went from dropping off the grid completely, ashamed of his acting career to convention appearances where he’s rightfully celebrated for his role in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
Best Production Design – Color Out of Space
While technically premiering in 2019, this Nicholas Cage starring H.P. Lovecraft adaptation didn’t get a “wide” release until January 2020. Trippy and surreal as one would expect given the source material, this movie really shines in its visuals.
As the title suggest, color plays a pivotal role and ends up being pretty terrifying. The final result is a visually stunning movie that’s both intriguing and chilling. And certainly the type of movie that deserved to be recognized by the Academy.
Which horror movies do you think deserved to be nominated? Let us know in the comments!