Since the nominations were announced, the Oscars have been drawing a lot of—honestly well deserved—flack. With Straight Outta Compton and Creed being two of the best of the year, as most critics agreed, it’s not hard to see how strange it is that the awards show continues to be so predominantly white in its nominations. Of course, while it’s a much smaller issue and not remotely as relevant to our current climate, we horror fans have always known that the Oscars are elitist because we’re all intimately aware of the lack of attention the genre has gotten over the years.
There are exceptions of course. But when Anthony Hopkins won for Silence of the Lambs and Kathy Bates won for Misery, neither was touted as anything approaching a horror film. In the Academy’s eyes, both were dramas.
Sadly, it’s a yearly tradition to overlook horror unless it can be passed off as something else. It goes back to the very beginning and this year was no different. Some great films didn’t get nominations that they should have. But we noticed, and so, without further ado, here are our would-be nominees.
Jessica Chastain: Best Supporting Actress, Crimson Peak
To be honest, I actually did expect to see her get a nomination, even if it was the only nomination the film received. Even critics who didn’t like the movie praised Chastain’s performance—and with good reason. She knew exactly what she was doing and got exactly what kind of gothic drama she was a part of. Her performance is as sensitive and scared as it is cold and creepy and that is not a remotely easy thing to pull off. It’s a role that could easily have fallen into cheese in the hands of a lesser actress and one she definitely deserves much praise for it.
Richard Jenkins has deserved this kind of recognition for a while now, but even though he’s sort of known as a “that guy you know from somewhere” actor, he’s nonetheless unrecognizable in Bone Tomahawk. He simply disappears into the role. In general, Bone Tomahawk is sort of the Western that should be getting a lot of the praise that’s going the way of Hateful Eight, but this performance is definitely a standout both of the movie and of the year.
Production Design: Crimson Peak
How every Guillermo del Toro feature doesn’t get nominated for production design is a mystery to me, but if any of his films truly deserve the award, it’s Crimson Peak. The sets are gorgeous to look at. Hell, the whole visual aesthetic of this one is impeccable. I’m honestly shocked that this didn’t get a nomination for this category because it just seemed so obvious.
Production Design: Victor Frankenstein
Victor Frankenstein was not exactly loved by critics or fans, in large part due to the fact that nobody went to see it, but while it probably wasn’t going to take home the gold I would absolutely have given this film a production design nod for its honest take on London. This is not the glorified London that we normally see in period pieces like this. Instead, we see London as it actually was at the time: foggy, kind of a mess and absolutely stuffed with billboards. At the same time, there’s all of the gothic trademarks that a Frankenstein movie requires. The production design team really did a hell of a job on this one.
Best Original Score: Crimson Peak
I expected that the score to Crimson Peak would probably be beautiful and I was very happy to be proven right on that one. It sounds like a ghost story outright, almost as if the music is actually telling the story—which is essentially what a score is meant to do. But at the same time, it’s perfectly adaptable to all of the twists and turns that happen throughout the feature.
Best Special Effects Makeup: Krampus
Sure, the little digital gingerbread men in Krampus probably don’t hold a candle to the effects of The Avengers or Star Wars, but the makeup should definitely have been noticed. There’s a lot of impressive practical FX at work here that never really got talked about while the movie was being promoted. But this film boasted truly original designs and the look of Krampus himself was pleasantly unsettling.