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Only six horror films have been nominated for Best Picture at Oscars

Emily Brown

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Only six horror films have been nominated for Best Picture at Oscars

Hundreds of films have been nominated for Best Picture in the near-100 years since the Academy Awards began, but only six of those have been horror films.

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Winning the Oscar for Best Picture is among one of the highest honours a film can receive, meaning it's successfully edged out not only the other nominees, but also the countless other titles that have arrived over the previous 12 months.

In recent years, winners have included Coda, Nomadland, Parasite and Green Book. All worthy winners, but noticeably all belonging of genres other than horror.

Unfortunately that's not particularly unusual, because in order to be named winner of Best Picture, a film of course first has to be nominated - something which is not a common occurrence for horror films.

Jaws is among the horror films to have been nominated for Best Picture. Credit: Universal Pictures
Jaws is among the horror films to have been nominated for Best Picture. Credit: Universal Pictures

It actually wasn't until 1974 that a horror film even made the cut for Best Picture, nearly 50 years after the first Academy Awards in 1929. The film that made history by becoming the first was, of course, The Exorcist.

Following its release, the supernatural horror racked up a staggering 10 nominations including Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

As impressive and terrifying as it was, though, The Exorcist only managed to win awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing.

Another Best Picture nomination came the following year when the iconic Jaws earned a spot among the finalists, but there was another lull throughout the '80s until The Silence of the Lambs arrived in 1991.

The arrival of the horrific cannibal Hannibal Lecter earned horror its first Best Picture win, while also securing awards for Best Actor, Actress, Director, and Adapted Screenplay.

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Bruce Willis' The Sixth Sense became the fourth horror movie to be nominated for Best Picture in 1999, followed by Black Swan in 2010.

The most recent horror nomination came in 2017, when Jordan Peele was recognised for his debut feature film Get Out.

Daniel Kaluuya starred in the chilling film which followed his character as he visited the family of his white girlfriend, and the shocking and terrifying events that happened in the aftermath.

As well as Best Picture, Get Out was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture.

Though it didn't win the award for Best Picture, the horror did succeed in making Peele the first Black person to take home an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

With five years now having passed since the last horror nomination, hopefully another worthy title will come along soon.

Featured Image Credit: Hollywood Pictures / Universal Pictures

Topics: Academy Awards, TV and Film, Bruce Willis

Emily Brown
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