1991’s Silence of the Lambs:
Silence of The Lambs has a strong crime-thriller element to it so perhaps that is why this one faired better at the Oscars. Or perhaps it was the casting of Anthony Hopkins. The Silence of the Lambs is the story of a serial killing doctor who kills not for pleasure and not for any real agenda other then his dinner. One of the most terrifying films of the 90’s it is a staple in the horror genre.
With a half dozen nominations it won Best Picture, Best Oscar, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. The Silence of the Lambs is the first and only horror movie to ever win a Best Picture award and when it comes to Oscar Winning horror movies this one was very deserving!
1993’s Jurassic Park:
Some would argue that Jurassic Park is not a horror movie. To that I counter what is scarier Jason with his Hockey Mask or a pack of Velociraptor tearing your face off? Jurassic Park is the story of a new park featuring genetically engineered dinosaurs. True to form the Dinosaurs do not like their cages and go prehistoric resulting in carnage as a family works to survive with their young children in tow.
Jurassic Park broke new ground with its CGI and animatronics work and went on to win three oscars. Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects
The adaptations of the various Stephen King books into films has been dubious at best. Some have been fantastic like The Mist, the mini series The Stand and MISERY. Others have been debacles. Kathy Bates and James Caan star in this film about a deranged fan who rescues her favorite author from a car accident only to let her obsession take things to a very brutal end.
Misery won Kathy Bates a well deserved Oscar for Best Actress. She put the obsession into obsessed fan! Misery easily should have gotten and won a Best Picture nod from the Academy but who can account for taste.
1999’s Sleepy Hollow:
I am a huge fan of Tim Burton and Sleepy Hollow has always had a soft spot in my heart. This film is the modern telling of Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp starring as Ichibod Crane. It co-stars Christina Ricci and features the truly outstanding actor Christopher Walken as the Headless Hessian Horseman.
The film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume design. It won for Best Costume Design.
Which on this list are your favorites? More importantly what horror films can you look back to over the years and point to as a truly great film that was completely ignored by the Oscars? Oscar Winning horror movies may not be as common as us horror fans might want but they do exist. It is just a shame that so many great films get overlooked.