It’s safe to say that horror movies are not the darlings of awards season. These films are often snubbed, receiving little to no nominations; something that many believed had changed with Jordan Peele’s 2018 win for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out. However, Get Out proved to be an exception for the Oscars, not a new standard.
2022 was a landmark year for horror, with the release of three horror movies that everyone couldn’t seem to get enough of – Nope, Barbarian and Pearl. Nope, Jordan Peele’s latest film features an all-star cast (including Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun and Brandon Perea), coupled with incredible visuals, an intricate story and yet, received zero Oscar Nominations. This film, in specific, seemed as if it would easily garner nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects, among other awards. Yet, the Oscars turned their back on Jordan Peele’s newest masterpiece in every possible way.
Ti West’s 2022 film Pearl (a sequel to his earlier film X) also seemed to be a contender to take home the gold during awards season. The film featured an incredible, and otherwise critically acclaimed, performance by Mia Goth as the titular Pearl. However, the Oscars were not in Goth’s favor, as she was not given a nod in the Best Actress category.
And finally, there’s Barbarian, Zach Cregger’s debut horror film that everyone seems to be watching. Featuring a tiny town, a killer twist and amazing performances by Georgina Campbell, Justin Long and Bill Skarsgard, many believed that this film would at least garner a Best Original Screenplay nomination. But, these wishes were to no avail, and this brilliantly twisted film did not receive any Oscar nominations.
All in all, horror is an incredible genre of film that audiences can’t seem to get enough of, even as the Oscars continue to turn their back on it. But the truth is, the Oscars are not the end all be all for film, they frequently exclude women, marginalized groups, and LGBTQ+ actors, directors, writers and producers (and while these groups are being celebrated elsewhere, these celebrations are often overshadowed and excluded from important film conversations). The Oscars need to do better for horror, but more importantly, they need to do better for all people.