Horror Movie Actors Who Should Have Got an Oscar Nod in 2023
The Academy of Motion Pictures is a popularity game, we all know it. So when we see the yearly Oscar* nominations we don’t expect to find actors getting nods for the horror movies they starred in.
Yes, industry awards like iHorror’s are great for recognizing outstanding talents in the genre, but most actors dream of receiving that Award of Merit golden statuette at some point in their careers.
It’s no secret that young actors often start their professions in horror movies. Take a look at Jamie Lee Curtis who was introduced to the world in the original Halloween over 40 years ago. It was only this year that she got her first Oscar nomination for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
So, we would like to send this message out to the Oscar board for actors they overlooked on this year’s ballot:
To Academy voters: It is okay to nominate blockbusters and the talent involved in them. We get it. That’s the name of the Hollywood game. But below are some incredible actors who did exceptionally well this year both in their craft and in their films.
Perhaps you were too busy gawking at the digital pagentry in Avatar or the heartstopping stunts in Top Gun: Maverick to notice these incredible performances. But your nomination of Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All at Once shows otherwise, and that you do pay attention to Indies.
iHorror offers this list to you in hopes that in the future you can recognize horror movies are not just filler anymore and the talent in them are no longer B-quality. You were almost there in 2018 with four nominations, including Best Picture, for Get Out (winning one for Best Original Screenplay), but it’s been rigorously reported that some of your “older” members didn’t even watch it.
It may be unpopular among your circle of esteemed board members to even suggest a horror film be on the ballot, but watch any one of the films below and pay close attention to the performances. Yes, All Quiet on the Western Front on Netflix was phenomenal but who actually watched it? More people watched Wednesday because of the talented Jenna Ortega (Scream, X) which only proves that your aging voters are not feeling the pulse of the generation.
We don’t want to detract from the great work that this year’s nominees did in their respective movies. We propose that you consider thinking outside the box (office) in the future and just nominate some actors/directors who are just as good as any of your traditional picks.
Mia Goth for Pearl or X
Since both of these films came out in the same year a lot of people cannot decide which is their favorite. But what they do agree on is star Mia Goth.
Her performances in both movies is the definition of range. From her conflicted but powerful role as Maxine in X to her emotional and unhinged turn as Pearl in the prequel, Goth is all talent and the camera loves her. If you need an example just watch her run through every emotion in a tortured, feigned smile, just as the credits roll in Pearl.
Maika Monroe for Watcher
Maika has been acting since 2009, but as her career grows so does her talent. In last year’s Watcher, the actor left us in awe of her ability to completely make Julia an anxious American fish out of water in the gothic city of Bucharest.
Not only that, she is so fearful that she thinks she is being watched by a creepy stranger, and her husband is less than supportive. With not much to do but react, Maika literally wears her emotions on her sleeve as she slowly slips into paranoid madness by the end of the film. It is art at its finest.
Rebecca Hall for Resurrection
Another paranoid thriller of 2022, Resurrection puts Rebecca Hall into a abusive game of control. Although Resurrection is more of an offbeat horror movie, Hall’s performance captures all the triggering hallmarks of a woman being emotionally abused by a fiend from her past.
Then there is that ending which is so incredibly disturbing that we still can’t wrap our head around it. Hall is an actor who can conform to any role and it never feels forced. She becomes the character and sometimes so much so we forget it is only a movie.
Timothée Chalamet for Bones and All
Chalamet wasn’t just a one-trick pony. He has become an up-and-coming actor with serious clout. He has already been nominated for an Academy Award for the 2018 drama Call Me By Your Name. He took a drastic turn as Lee in Bones and All.
It’s really not a story for the faint of heart, but a good one none-the-less. Lee is a tortured young adult who must feed on human flesh in order to survive. But this cannibalistic tale has a twist; it’s also a romance.
Chalamet gives a great performance in this acclaimed movie. He is able to make us feel empathy for the monster he is, all the while rooting for him to find peace. It’s a great performance, one definitely worth an Academy nod.
Taylor Russell for Bones and All
Co-starring with Chalamet in Bones and All is Russell. She is the ying to his yang as far as acting goes. There isn’t a moment in the film where she isn’t vulnerable and confused. She is a rising star who isn’t afraid to do different things, all of them mesmerizing.
Amber Midthunder for Prey
This was the one snub that hits different. Midthunder reaches new heights, performing against an invisible alien for a portion of the film. There is an innocence to her in the beginning that blossoms into a powerhouse of strength and bravery by the end.
Of course, behind the scenes, a lot of her reactions are to a tennis ball and green screen. Which makes her performance even more incredible. Academy, how could you?
Julia Stiles in Orphan: First Kill
If there were an Oscar category for Best Picture in a Bat Shit Crazy Horror Film or Musical, Orphan: First Kill would take home top honors, perhaps in both. Although Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther plays a great psycho, it is Julia Stiles’ performance that solidifies her place as one of 2022’s most memorable characters.
Completely convincing as a mother questioning reality, then becoming unhinged when the truth comes out, Stiles should at least get a nod from the Academy for her dedication and tireless work in Orphan: First Kill.
*The Oscar is copyrighted property and registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences