Horror Movies, Music & More

Extra, Extra! Oscar Acknowledges Horror…Sorta

I know you watched the Academy Awards last Sunday—if only because of Oscar’s salute to horror. Horror! At the Oscars! Sooooo, what did you think? Yeah, me too. I guess it’s kinda sweet that that the Academy acknowledged that horror actually does exist. It’s been a long time since that last occurred. Back in 1974, The Exorcist was nominated for 10 Oscars and won two (Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay), but that’s been it. Oh, I know, Silence of the Lambs won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay in 1992. But that’s not really horror. Close, but not really.

But last Sunday, there was not only acknowledgement, but a grudging respect on display. It was officially admitted (through the pandering teen mouthpieces of Taylor Lautner and a clearly uncomfortable Kristen Stewart) that horror is the biggest moneymaker in films. And if there’s one thing Hollywood respects, it’s making money—they don’t have to be proud of it, but they respect it. It was also pointed out that many big stars made their bones in scary movies. In fact, that’s pretty much tradition at this point. Even Kristen Stewart, before she became KRISTEN STEWART by appearing in the Twilight franchise, was in a pretty decent horror flick called The Messengers.

Anyway, did you like the clip reel of the horror flicks that Oscar chose? It was clearly made for a beginner’s class. Oscar hit a few highlights certainly, but what was up with some of the choices? C’mon, Oscar. Marathon Man? Jaws? Were they added to cover your embarrassment, or did you just want some “real” films to be included? Oh well, it’s nice to even get into the auditorium with the big kids, so I shouldn’t complain. At least Kathryn Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker. We can all fold Near Dark into this win too, right? And Roger Corman, horror maestro and one of the most influential filmmakers in American movie history, won an honorary award! But he wasn’t even allowed to speak. I guess he’s too old. (One thing Hollywood does not even pretend to respect is old age.)

I guess that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled horror was given a place at the grownup table this year. I guess I just dream of a time where horror actually gets served some food. And by food, I mean awards. And by awards, I mean respect. And by respect, I mean RESPECT.

~Theron Neel

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9 Comments

  • Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The tribute was nice, though I had to see it online because I didn’t watch the Oscars. I guess I’m okay with Jaws being in there since it was a pretty scary movie, though I have to agree that it isn’t really a horror movie. Some of the other choices really surprised me, but overall I’m glad they did recognize horror because it is an important part of Hollywood.

  • admin
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I agree. Any “legitimate” attention horror gets is wonderful. Since the Academy is continually tinkering with the process, maybe they should add a new award: Best Horror Film. Why not? They did it with Best Animated Feature Film, right?

  • Posted March 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m just glad that they didn’t pull a Jethro Tull best metal album and feature horror films that were not really horror films (OK Edward Scissorhands and Marathon Man should not have been featured). But for the most part, they got it right. They should have had someone else introduce the segment like Johnny Depp or Jack Nicholson.

  • admin
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Heh. Yeah, Edward Scissorhands and Misery aren’t horror per se, but they are “real” flicks by the Academy’s standards. I guess they got the Twilight gang for cultural relevance. (Yikes! What does that say about modern culture?) Gotta grab those teen viewers. If you’re reading this, Oscar, introduce a Best Horror Film category! More younger viewers will watch—guaranteed. There’s always plenty of horror flicks to draw from, and people actually go see them (unlike many recent Oscar winners). If you took this step, it might even cause horror filmmakers and studios to try to make better films. And it wouldn’t sully Best Picture. The Academy opened the door by saluting horror. Now, let’s push our way in!

  • Posted March 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Even though the rumors were skirting around about the inclusion this year, I couldnt be bothered to watch. Any horror films that would be included in the clip would have to be mainstream gimmes, but hopefully this is the first step in the Academy legitimizing the genre

  • admin
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the Academy would never actually introduce a Best Horror Film category…but maybe the Golden Globes would!

  • jen
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    So I guess I’m new at this whole horror thing because I’m really confused. I don’t really understand what counts as “horror.” If Jaws isn’t horror what with the monster, the blood, the high body count, the ‘makes-you-pull-your-legs-up-into-your-seat’ scariness, then what must a flick have to be a legitimate horror film? Murder with a side of Satan? Torture with a dash of Ginsu knives? If Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill aren’t great horror characters, what are they? I need some clarification!

  • admin
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Ah yes, this is the classic question, isn’t it? I think Jaws and Silence of the Lambs are thrillers. Shark attacks and serial killers don’t denote horror—for me. I guess there has to be a supernatural element involved for me to classify something as supernatural. And this relegates most slasher flicks to the thriller category—for me. But for some, all horror requires is severed limbs, massive blood loss and a crazy killer in a mask. So, I’m a purist? I dunno. Call me the Horror Curmudgeon.

  • Jen
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Horror Curmudgeon.

    ;)

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