It’s the Booze Talkin’: The Academy should show these horror stars some love

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

A couple of years back we here at AITH were raising the question as to why horror is so rarely under major award consideration – you can check that out here. Clearly there are a ton of cheesy flicks with questionable performances, but over the past few years we’ve had some really powerful work from very talented actors. Whether we are talking Vera Farmiga in THE CONJURING or the impressive Essie Davis in THE BABADOOK, there is serious talent lately in scary movies. And since this year has been one of my favorites when it comes to genre, we thought we’d look at some of the best on-screen performances this year. Since this is a crowded year for Academy Award hopefuls, not a single mention is likely to get that acclaim, but it’s worth taking note.

the conjuring 2 vera farmiga patrick wilson james wan horror 2016

Let’s start with a familiar face. Vera Farmiga is not only a terrific actress, she is also an Academy Award nominee for her work in UP IN THE AIR. And frankly, what she has done for spooks has raised the bar in all sorts of ways. She is chilling in the series Bates Motel, but more importantly, she is outstanding in THE CONJURING films. In the recent sequel, the actress continues to bring the legendary paranormal expert, Lorraine Warren, to life opposite Patrick Wilson. The two are a big reason why the films are so successful. It is impossible not to care about either or them, but for me, Farmiga brings great depth and soul to the story. Of course we aren’t going to see her get one of the big prizes for this, but frankly I feel that her work is definitely worthy of consideration.

the eyes of my mother nicolas pesce kika magalhaes horror 2016

Most of you may not have had the chance to catch up to the strange black and white thriller THE EYES OF MY MOTHER. It is a disturbing and horrific feature film, one that is light on gore yet majorly f*cked up. Kika Magalhaes is outstanding as a woman with a few serious issues. Raised by her doctor mother with no friends, the character of Francisca is emotionally scarred by a brutal assault on her mother that happened when she was a child. This is a tough role, and Kika manages to bring a very dark and complex layer to her performance. At times, there is a hint of sympathy for her, but most of the time she is so cold and dangerous that she is downright scary. She brings a strange motherly quality to the film, even if it is the most detestable mother you could ever imagine.

don't breathe stephen lang fede alvarez horror 2016

I loved DON’T BREATHE, and I have to say that veteran character actor Stephen Lang has had a pretty solid year with two films on my best of the year list. While BAND OF ROBBERS may be a comic adventure, the dude is still quite scary as Injun Joe. Add to that “The Blindman” who is out to put the damage on three kids breaking into his home, and you have a couple of great performances. In the Fede Alvarez hit, the actor is menacing but he also has a vulnerable side – albeit a really horrific one – but it adds a creepy layer to the story. I’d love to see this amazing talent get a little respect when it comes to his recent work. I'd love to see Mr. Lang getting some serious consideration for either role… Yeah, not likely, I know.

I missed 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE in the theatres. Finally, I caught this bad boy on a plane out of New York and I was stunned by the intense show that the great John Goodman gives. First off, the actor has already had a shiteload of critical acclaim in his career so why not give the man some love for his amazing work here. Howard is one of the most complex horror villains – a term I don’t fully think is accurate for the actor in this particular project. Out of all the actors mentioned here, he’d probably have the best chance considering his already impressive career. And it also helps that the movie isn’t necessarily your typical horror film. Goodman has always been great, and this continues to prove that he can raise the bar in nearly any project. Thankfully, I also enjoyed the hell out of the movie.

My final pick would have to be Anya Taylor-Joy. I’ve witnessed her in MORGAN and SPLIT and she is mesmerizing in both. And then there is THE WITCH. This young actress is exceptional as a young puritan girl who struggles with a lurking evil and her own frail family unit – one that is being torn apart by an all encompassing evil. Anya is one of the best actresses to come out of the genre recently. From her expressive face to the impressive quality of showing fear as well as a bit of evil, she's fantastic. While I hope she has other opportunities outside of just doing scary flicks, it’s wonderful to see that kind of talent come out of horror. She is one to watch and frankly, I’d be elated to find her getting a little love for her work in that creepy little folktale.

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but we’d like some award consideration for horror. Look, I get it. There are a lot of bad horror movies that aren’t good enough for a Razzie, but don’t downplay the good stuff. And yes, there is a lot of it out there. It’s almost a shame that we have so many Oscar hopefuls because if there was ever a year to award horror, this could be it. As much as I’d be happy to see any one of these actors get a little respect from the Academy, it probably won’t happen. That said, if the genre continues to deliver quality on a regular basis, perhaps we’ll see a return of such success stories as THE EXORCIST and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.


Source: AITH

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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.