We all know that our beloved genre gets unfairly overlooked every year at the academy awards. Whilst it's true that a lot of horror films are B-movie rubbish, quite a few of them also aren't. #StanleyKubrick and #JackNicholson were quite famously snubbed for Oscars for #TheShining which is now looked upon as an enduring masterpiece of cinema. Not all horror films are full of cheap scares and gratuitous gore, some films actually have a great meaningful story to tell with beautifully drawn-out characters and an emotional weight behind them. This year has been a standout year for horror and we can pretty much guarantee that not one of them will be nominated for an Oscar, so let's do our own Oscar ceremony where every film must be of the horror genre. Let's give these films the recognition which they deserve!
Best Picture - 'The Witch'
#TheWitch isn't just the best horror film of the year, but also quite possibly the best film in general. It divided horror fans, but I'm pretty sure that in years to come, this period nightmare will be seen as a classic of the genre. #RobertEggers has created a stunning debut which shows the superior craftsmanship of a filmmaker who has been doing it for years. For those of you who haven't seen it, the film follows a Bible-bashing English family who are banished to an isolated house adjacent to a dark forest which may or may not be the home of a witch. At its heart, the film is an operatic family drama but the elements of horror are genuinely #scary and unsettling. There's imagery in this film which looks like it's been taken right out of your worst nightmare. Everything in this film is exceptional, from the acting to the directing, it is faultless.
Best director - Nicolas Winding Refn, 'The Neon Demon'
This year showcased some stellar directors in horror. #FedeAlvarez squeezed every bit of tension and suspense he could with #Don'tBreathe and #JamesWan proved himself to still be a master of modern horror with #TheConjuring2 but this was the year when Danish maverick #NicolasWindingRefn made a movie. His films are like no other and probably the closest thing we can get to a #DavidLynch film without David Lynch. #TheNeonDemon is a visually immaculate film, directed to perfection. The screenplay might've not been as strong, but this film is pure cinema. It's hypnotic and pretty much every shot is eye-wateringly beautiful to look at.
Best original screenplay - Hong-Jin Na, 'The Wailing'
Few horror films this year were as daringly original as #TheWailing. A Korean shocker which twists and turns more times than Cher's plastic surgery. The screenplay does such a tremendous job at balancing different genres and elements. Comedy, mystery, supernatural horror and police drama all play a part in an exciting and unpredictable tale which had me gripped from start to finish. The Wailing is also refreshingly ambitious and not afraid to be bold and blow all horror clichés out of the window. It also spends a lot of time building upon its characters so we can become truly invested in the film's enigmatic story. The ending left me dumbfounded and pondering for weeks afterwards.
Best actor - John Goodman, '10 Cloverfield Lane'
Cuddly #JohnGoodman is mostly known for his comedic roles but in Dan Trachtenberg's #10CloverfieldLane he was cast as a sinister and unpredictable conspiracist, keeping a couple of people prisoner in his doomsday bunker. John Goodman gave it everything he had and pulled out a wonderfully layered performance where we fear him and feel sorry for him in equal measure. He particularly shines in the final moments where he goes on the warpath and becomes something that's genuinely quite frightening.
Best actress - Kim-Hwan Hee, 'The Wailing'
Horror movie children are notoriously annoying. The roles are usually very difficult and result in whiny below-par actors giving a performance where you can't wait to see them get killed off. However, this year the kiddies have been killing it! The young kiddies in The Conjuring 2 were terrific, as was Lulu Wilson in the surprisingly good #Ouija: Origin of Evil. However, no actor, adult or otherwise pulled out a performance as stellar as Kim-Hwan Hee in the Korean horror, The Wailing. The film deals with possession so Kim-Hwang Hee pulled out all the stops to give a performance that could give #LindaBlair a run for her money. You believe every minute of it which is partly why The Wailing is so effective.
So there are the main categories awarded. Would your ceremony look any different? Let me know what your picks would be!