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By Emily Booth, Sunday 11th January 2015 Any horror movies at this years BAFTAs?
You guessed it…
OK granted there are a lot of horror movies that don’t exactly exercise the grey stuff, they just spew out the red stuff, but I cannot for the life of me understand why the horror genre as a whole continues to be downright ignored in any mainstream awards ceremonies. Granted, now and then a horror movie is acknowledged (notably Black Swan, Best Actress 2010) but this is rare.
The 2015 BAFTA nominees have just been announced, celebrating celluloid of 2014 and as usual there is a very small handful of films that are up for scooping every prize; namely The Grand Budapest Hotel (11 nominations) Birdman, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game. No surprises or wild cards here. The only film representing the darker shade of life is possibly Under the Skin, nominated for Outstanding British Film of the Year.
But 2014 saw one film in our genre that has had every critic’s tongue flapping – The Babadook. This film contains unanimously; hands down one of the strongest performances by a female lead not just in horror but in film generally, a performance being compared to Jack Nicholson in The Shining. The mental demise captured by The Babadook’s lead; Essie Davis is phenomenal, it is profound, unflattering, heart breaking and raw. Perhaps if the film had a bigger release and more press at the time could it have been catapulted into the mainstream? I genuinely believe BAFTA has overlooked this unusual gem, OK I know it’s Australian but that does not stop them dishing out awards to non Brit flicks does it?
But then the nature of awards has changed over the years and The Babadook, while not being recognised by BAFTA, Academy etc has at least had 27 award wins and 36 nominations albeit in genre festivals only. Compare this to The Shining (which people have drawn parallels with The Babadook) and it’s clear we are an award dishing culture now. The Babadook has 27 awards to date while The Shining, a true classic and often heralded as the best Horror Film EVER got a mere 3 awards and 5 nominations!
So there you have it, a very unsurprising line up for this years BAFTA’s, but then are we surprised?! I think it’s high time the darker deeper cleverer films of the Horror genre are seen as highly relevant films in our culture.
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