Monday, February 21, 2011

the horror! the oscars!

So I settled in last night and watched The Independent Film Channel which was showing Brian De Palma's "Carrie" (1976), a favorite that I haven't seen in years. OK, decades.

What a gorgeous horror film - so gorgeous that it made me think. Just about every year around this time, movie types bemoan the fact that comedies are predictably shut out of the Big Oscar Giveaway.

This is true. But the real bastard child of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the horror film.

I mean, if Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" (one of the greatest horror films ever) failed to pass muster back in 1960, exactly what scare tactic would?

The movie year 2010 produced many wonderful films that have been shunted by the Academy's uninformed voters - Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," Ben Affleck's "The Town" and Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island", among them. But there was also one worthy horror entry - Matt Reeves' exquisite "Let Me In."

Comedy? Who cares?

Fact is, there were precious few screen comedies of any real worth in 2010 ("Sex and the City 2" anyone? "Love and Other Drugs"? "How Do You Know"? Heavens!), but there was at least one great horror movie.


Mike said...

Horror? Hey, I found "Let Me In" much more poignant than "The King's Speech."

joe baltake said...

I agree, Mike. I like "The King's Speech," but since I saw it, it's become a tad - how shall I say? - overrated. In more ways than one, "Let Me In" is the more accomplished film.

John Kaiser said...

I watched "Carrie" a couple of months or so back and didn't really care for it. I'll stick to the book.

Daryl Chin said...

But horror movies were always beneath the pale in Hollywood terms. Once someone had done a "horror" movie, that was it for their career as a "prestige" star. You seem to forget that it was considered a comedown for Deborah Kerr to have done THE INNOCENTS; that was it in terms of the Oscars - the most nominated actress of the 1950s wound up with nothing after that. Though Bette Davis was nominated for WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE, that nomination marked the end of Davis being taken seriously in Hollywood. And Julie Harris and Claire Bloom were castigated for doing THE HAUNTING. JAWS and CARRIE marked the change in Hollywood: after that, horror movies were at least respectable enough to be considered.

joe baltake said...

Good point, Daryl. And let's not forget what horror did to Tony Perkins' career. -J