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Top 10 Oscar Nominated Horror Movies That Should Have Won!

With the big game out of the way, all eyes turn to the 92nd Academy Awards. Yep, cue the eye roll. Not only do we loathe the boring nature of the overlong presentation, but once again, not a single horror movie has been nominated for Best Picture this year. The closest thing we have is PARASITE and ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, both of which feature horrific and violently shocking endings. Point is, when it comes to the Oscars, horror movies always get short shrift. But enough is enough. It's time to rewrite history around this mother*cker. Here are the Top 10 horror movies that were nominated for Oscars that should have won!

#10. POLTERGEIST (BEST VISUAL EFFECTS)

While we all admire the groundbreaking effects of E.T., the Academy simply chose to award the wrong Steven Spielberg flick in 1983. Never mind a slimy puppet soaring across the moon, which is really just for kids, it's the far more impressive visual effects in POLTERGEIST that should have won. Hell, even BLADE RUNNER, which was also nominated, would have been a better winter than E.T. In POLTERGEIST, the ghastly ghosts, spooky TV set, and sinister spectral renderings are second to none. They should have won!

#9. THE SIXTH SENSE (BEST PICTURE)

While no one can deny the greatness of AMERICAN BEAUTY, the director of which, Sam Mendes, might win the top honor for 1917 this year, a real case can be made that THE SIXTH SENSE should have won Best Picture in 2000. M. Night Shyamalan deftly tight-roped a thrilling high-wire act that culminated in one of the most shocking twist endings in cinematic history. With career performances from Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, THE SIXTH SENSE not only went criminally overlooked back then, its power continues to go undetected.

#8. FATAL ATTRACTION (BEST PICTURE)

Off the top of your head, do you have any idea of what movie won Best Picture in 1988? Yeah, me neither. And while we shall show deferential reverence to the great Bernardo Bertolucci in his award-winning film THE LAST EMPEROR, straight up, FATAL ATTRACTION should have won Best Picture! The tour-de-force performance by Glenn Close as a jilted lover who obsessively stocks the married Michael Douglas punctuates a genuinely chilling thriller directed by Adrian Lyne at the top of his game. Beyond that, the film feels quintessentially and contemporarily American, rather than an archaic Chinese history lesson.

#7. GET OUT (BEST PICTURE)

While we're all proud as punch Guillermo del Toro's beautifully melancholic parable THE SHAPE OF WATER won the Best Picture in 2018, a legit argument could be made that GET OUT should have won. First off, given the hefty themes, the movie is far more timely and topical than del Toro's exaggerated cinema-fantastique film is. Secondly as it shattered box office records, GET OUT proved the viability of commercial and critical success in the horror genre. With top-tier performances and spine-tingling originality, GET OUT was just as worthy of winning the gold statuette as del Toro’s ode to THE BLACK LAGOON. Perhaps even more so!

#6. BLACK SWAN (BEST PICTURE)

Seriously, THE KING’S SPEECH? F*ck all that noise! How the hell could the Academy award a stuffy English “comedy” of manners over a gorgeously rendered meta-freak-show about a woman driven to insanity in her quest for pure perfection? Preposterous! At least the academy got it right by a warning Portman the acting top prize for her highly impressive work as a dance ingénue driven to a lethally self-destructive catharsis. The indie horror hit went on to gross over a hundred million dollars at the domestic box office, solidifying the accessible art-house movie is an instant classic!

#5. ROSEMARY’S BABY (BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

ROSEMARY’S BABY was rightly recognized by the Academy for Ruth Gordon’s sinister supporting turn, but you know what, the movie also should have been awarded best Adapted Screenplay as well. Seriously, looking back, who the hell really cares about the winning historical period drama THE LION IN WINTER? No one! At least, certainly not as much as they do about Roman Polanski’s undisputed Mount Rushmore horror exemplar. The brilliance in Polanski’s adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel is the subtle ways in which reality is slightly altered, sustained in the unsettling ambiguities of the screenplay.

#4. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (BEST PICTURE) 

Label A CLOCKWORK ORANGE a non-horror film all you want, but when it came out, audiences had not been privy to such unthinkable acts of graphic onscreen violence. Leave it to the peerless Stanley Kubrick to upset audiences ad infinitum, who always pushed the limits of the cinematic form as he did the limits of human tolerance. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE WAS nominated for Best Picture in 1972, losing to the very worthy FRENCH CONNECTION. Still, in retrospect, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE has ascended as the more important film in what it says about societal violence and corrective behavior.

#3. JAWS (BEST PICTURE)

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST is easily one of the finest films ever crafted. However, JAWS created the term blockbuster, became the first film to gross over $100 million, and in the process, happened to be a first-rate horror/thriller/adventure from a preeminent director in top form. The industrial import and landscape-changing impact JAWS had cannot be downplayed, and whether or not that deserves to translate to Oscar gold is up for debate. What isn’t up for discussion is how much more love JAWS has received in the past 45 years. We know the Academy tries to tamp down mega-entertainments over prestige pictures, but JAWS is both at once!

#2. THE EXORCIST (BEST PICTURE) 

While we’re sure everyone loves THE STING a great deal, it’s likely not even the best Newman-Redford movie out there. And even if it were, no one with a straight face can argue that THE STING has anywhere near the same pop-cultural impact as THE EXORCIST, the movie that clearly should have won Best Picture in 1974. The box-officer shattering horror adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel hit every right note possible, from the dogged direction of William Friedkin, the inspired casting of Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow and Linda Blair, and of course, the jaw-dropping/head-spinning VFX of the demonic Regan.

#1. PSYCHO (BEST DIRECTOR)

Alfred Hitchcock losing out as Best Director following his trailblazing, genre-defying-and-defining work on PSYCHO is the most egregious Oscar snub of all-time. WTF was the Academy thinking? Sure, Billy Wilder deserves all the credit in the world for helming THE APARTMENT, the wistful comedy about infidelity, but looking back, who can argue that THE APARTMENT has enjoyed the same critical and commercial success of PSYCHO since 1960. Hell, TV shows, docudramas, and film sequels have resulted from the success of PSYCHO, which Hitch has been credited with as creating the modern-day slasher film template. Hitchcock never won an Oscar for Best Director, but if he had, PSYCHO should have been the reason why!

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