For the last 90 years the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has handed out their Oscars to filmmakers for their work in motion pictures, and while they love their period dramas, biopics, and tragic love stories, they also recognize a good horror movie when they see one.
This year The Shape of Water and Get Out are the stand out horror films that will contend for the gold.
First, Guillermo del Toro’s aquatic beauty and the beast love story brings his quiet direction back to storytelling. The Devil’s Backbone was probably the last time he used atmosphere over action to tell a story. Now he just produces them.
“Water” garnered 13 Oscar nominations which isn’t quite a record; historically it falls just behind Titanic, La La Land and All About Eve, each of those had 14.
Then there’s Get Out, which received four Oscar noms. Jordan Peele’s masterpiece is frightening, metaphorical and completely complex with its message of tolerance and the human condition. Oh yeah, it’s also scary as hell.
Lead actor Daniel Kaluuya will leave an indelible image in our minds with his wide-eyed look of terror through tears as he succumbs to the sunken place.
But in my opinion, Catherine Keener was robbed a Best Actress nom for her part in this movie. Her Mrs. Armitage armed only with a spoon and a teacup is one of the worst villains in recent cinematic history.
Honorable mention should also go to Allison Williams whose venus fly trap Rose was well-worth a place on the Best Supporting Actress ballot for Get Out.
All in all, The Shape of Water is the at the forefront of Oscar this year. It’s in the race for the top five prizes including Best Picture, Director, Actress, Actor, and Screenplay.
Get Out goes head to head with Del Toro in the Best Picture, Acting, Director and Original Screenplay categories.
Whether or not Academy voters will prefer a classic monster movie over a terrifying editorial on race relations in America remains to be seen, but there is no denying both of these films are worth the recognition and horror fans will be tuning in on Oscar night for more than just the movie trailers.
The Shape of Water is nominated for:
Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, Original Score, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
Get Out is up for:
Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay.
The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 4, 2018, on ABC.