2018 Oscars: Horror Proves Oscar Caliber And Nobody Can Take That Back
Horror has a much maligned history at the Oscars. Seen for decades as the most prestigious award that can be given to a film, the Oscars have spent just as many years snubbing some of the most spectacularly filmed movies ever put to screen simply because they fall into a certain genre.
Or, you know, they just take a movie about a man who eats people help hunt down another man who wears people and really insist that it's purely a thriller.
2018 is different. Going into Oscar season, three very different films were nominated for some of the same and some different categories. As soon as they were announced, the internet was the first to push their collectives up their noise and bring up a poignant "um, actually." Yes. Trust me. I understand that The Shape of Water is not an out-and-out horror film. It is, however, directed by perhaps the most successful and iconic "monster kid" in Hollywood, perhaps ever, Guillermo Del Toro. It's also a movie with a heavy social commentary hiding under a gothic romance that involves a feline munching, razor toothed aquatic monster.
Get Out. No, for real. Get out of here with your nonsense "but Jason Blum said it's not a horror movie." Get Out is like the band that one kid liked and they got popular so now everyone says they like it. Every other genre was too cool for Get Out until it became one of the most relevant and intelligent movies in years.
Kong. The goliath monkey who swats down helicopters for funsies, the American Kaiju, got nominated for a visual effects.
As fans, we have a lot to be proud about. Not only were all three of the above mentioned films NOMINATED but two of them WON. Jordan Peele kicks off 2018 knowing that he is the only African American to ever win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and GDT reminds the world that he's a horror fan through and through but he's also an immigrant that is taking home Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. (Don't forget Alexandre Desplat for Best Original Music Score and Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin for Best Production Design.)
As exciting as it is to see the genre that we love get recognition, and hope that it will open the door even wider in the future as well as create new fans, what's truly fantastic is seeing how much horror is pushing in the right direction for minority representation and inclusion. Lots of movies were nominated tonight, across a multitude of specifications, but three horror adjacent films were nominated, and you know what, four. Because Coco is gateway horror if I've ever seen it. So not only are four films that are tangentially horror related nominated but let's break it down a little more. What categories? Best Lead Actor nom? Daniel Kaluuya, an African American. Best Director noms? GDT, a Mexican immigrant and Jordan Peele, another African American. Oh, and guess who showed up for Best FEMALE Lead? Sally Hawkins. And Coco? A movie that was created to celebrate and teach the world about Mexican culture, that is rooted deeply with a strong Latino cast.
Well. If you didn't think horror was the best genre on the planet before, hop on board.