Oscars 2023: horror films “are less nominated in comparison with comedies and dramas, and especially less awarded” at the ceremonies


In the midst of concern about the decline in cinema attendance and the announced decline of cinema in the face of streaming platforms, horror films continue to attract crowds. In the United States, it is even one of the most profitable genres at the box office, just behind Marvel and Disney blockbusters. movies like Smile, M3gan or Black Phone manage to reap more than ten times more revenue than their initial budget.

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Horror doesn’t just thrill viewers. Critical success is there for directors like Ari Aster, Robert Eggers, Jordan Peele or Park Chan-wook, figureheads of a horror with artistic pretensions. While the announcement of Oscar nominees, including the 95e ceremony takes place on the night of March 12 to 13, revives the controversy of a lack of diversity among the selected, another exclusion questions: that of Boopa feature film by Jordan Peele halfway between the fantastic epic and the horror film.

For Quentin Mazeldoctor in cinematographic studies and teacher-researcher at the University of Paris-III, all genre films, beyond horror, are not calibrated for this type of ceremony.

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Following a dynamic observed for several years for the genre film, the feature film “Nope”, which nevertheless received a good reception from critics and the public, was not nominated for the Oscars. Are horror and dread shunned by award ceremonies?

The first difficulty is to clearly define what is meant by the horror and horror genres. The generic identity of films and the boundaries in terms of classification are complicated to define, especially for horror cinema. We often have hybrid films, between horror, fantasy and science fiction.

As far as the ceremonies are concerned, especially for the Oscars, a few films which a priori fall within the horror genre have nevertheless been awarded. Recently, the get-out by Jordan Peele (director of Boop) received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Previously, movies like Jaws, Misery, Rosemary’s Baby created the surprise. Thesilenceofthelambs had enjoyed very significant critical success with five major Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, and Jodie Foster as Anthony Hopkins had enjoyed consecration in their respective roles – but this is a somewhat exceptional case.

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