Lists

Horror At The Oscars: A Comprehensive History Of Nominees & Winners

Ah, yes, the fall. Such a wonderful time of year! Not only is it Mother Nature’s time to shine, but Oscar season is about to kick off, bringing us a bunch of the best movies of the year. Plus, we get a months-long excuse to watch scary movies every day.

Which got me thinking… Is there a way I could combine both my passions of Oscar season and scary movie season for a fun post? Then I remembered: people always say “The Academy doesn’t appreciate horror films!” I thought it might be fun to put that common complaint to the test by reflecting back on the nearly decade-long history of the Oscars and examining which horror films have both been nominated for and taken home the coveted golden statue.

A note before we proceed: This list will continue to grow as I commit to more research. I’m sure that even after all the hours spent searching for each and every Oscar-caliber horror film in history, that some have been overlooked. In an attempt to compile the most comprehensive and accurate list possible, I will add to and tweak the following information as it’s uncovered. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this trip through horror-Oscar history!

Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde (1931)

academy awards

Won:
Best Actor: Fredric March

*Also nominated for:
Best Cinematography: Karl Struss
Best Adapted Screenplay: Percy Heath and Samuel Hoffenstein

Rebecca (1940)

academy awards

Winner:
Best Picture
Best Cinematography: George Barnes

*Also nominated for:
Best Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Best Adapted Screenplay: Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison
Best Actor: Laurence Olivier
Best Actress: Joan Fontaine
Best Supporting Actress: Judith Anderson
Best Film Editing: Hal C. Kern
Best Music/Original Score
: Franz Waxman
Best Art Direction (Black and White)
: Lyle R. Wheeler
Best Visual Effects
: Jack Cosgrove (photographic) and Arthur Johns (sound)

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects: William Hedgcock, John P. Fulton, and Bernard B. Brown

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

academy awards

Nominated for:
Best Cinematography (Black-and-White): Joseph Ruttenberg
Best Film Editing: Harold F. Kress
Best Music/Scoring of a Dramatic Picture: Franz Waxman

King of Zombies (1941)

King of the Zombies - Zombie Pit

Nominated for:
Best Original Score: Edward J. Kay

The Phantom of the Opera (1943)

Phantom of the Opera (Universal 1943) - Classic Monsters

Winner:
Best Cinematography, Color: Hal Mohr and W. Howard Greene
Best Art Direction- Interior Decoration, Color: Alexander Golitzen, John B. Goodman, Russell A. Gausman, and Ira Webb

*Also nominated for:
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture: Edward Ward
Best Sound Recording: Bernard B. Brown

Gaslight (1944)

Ingrid Thursdays: Gaslight (1944) – Play it Again, Dan

Winner:
Best Actress: Ingrid Bergman
Best Art Direction (Black-and-White): Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari, Edwin B. Willis, and Paul Huldschinsky

*Also nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Actor: Charles Boyer
Best Supporting Actress: Angela Lansbury
Best Adapted Screenplay: John L. Balderston, Walter Reisch, and John Van Druten
Best Black-and-White Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

A March Through Film History: Picture of Dorian Gray, The (1945)

Winner:
Best Cinematography (Black-and-White): Harry Stradling Sr.

*Also nominated for:
Best Supporting Actress: Angela Lansbury
Best Black-and-White Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters, Edwin B. Willis, John Bonar, and Hugh Hunt

Spellbound (1945)

Spellbound (1945)

Winner:
Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture: Miklós Rózsa

*Also nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Chekhov
Best Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Best Black-and White Cinematography: George Barnes
Best Special Effects: Jack Cosgrove

Them! (1954)

Them! (1954) - Now Very Bad...

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects

The Bad Seed (1956)

Lifetime's Next TV Movie: A Remake of 'The Bad Seed' (Exclusive) |  Hollywood Reporter

Nominated for:
Best Actress: Nancy Kelly
Best Supporting Actress: Eileen Heckart
Best Supporting Actress: Patty McCormack
Best Cinematography (Black-and-White): Harold Rosson

Psycho (1960)

Psycho's Shower Scene: How Hitchcock Upped the Terror—and Fooled the  Censors - HISTORY

Nominated for:
Best Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Best Supporting Actress: Janet Leigh
Best Cinematography (Black-and-White): John L. Russell
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Black-and-White): Robert Clatworthy, George Milo, and Joseph Hurley

The Virgin Spring (1960)

The Virgin Spring 1959, directed by Ingmar Bergman | Film review

Winner:
Best Foreign Language Film

*Also nominated for:
Best Black-and-White Costume Design: Marik Vos

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? | Events | The Belcourt Theatre

Winner:
Best Costume Design, Black and White: Norma Koch

*Also nominated for:
Best Actress: Bette Davis
Best Supporting Actor: Victor Buono
Best Black-and-White Cinematography: Ernest Haller
Best Sound: Joseph D. Kelly

The Birds (1964)

The Birds,' released in 1963, is the movie we need in 2018 - SFChronicle.com

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects: Ub Iwerks

Kwaidan (1965)

Kwaidan (1964) directed by Masaki Kobayashi • Reviews, film + cast •  Letterboxd

Nominated for:
Best Foreign Language Film

Wait Until Dark (1967)

Wait Until Dark (1967) - Turner Classic Movies

Nominated for:
Best Lead Actress: Audrey Hepburn

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Watch Rosemary's Baby | Prime Video

Winner:
Best Supporting Actress: Ruth Gordon

*Also nominated for:
Best Adapted Screenplay: Roman Polanski

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Unpublished 'Clockwork Orange' Sequel Discovered | IndieWire

Nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Director: Stanley Kubrick
Best Film Editing: Bill Butler
Best Adapted Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick

The Exorcist (1973)

Classic Hollywood: This will turn your head around: `The Exorcist' turns 45  this month - Los Angeles Times

Winner:
Best Sound: Robert Knudson and Chris Newman
Best Adapted Screenplay: William Peter Blatty

*Also nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Actress
: Ellen Burstyn
Best Director: William Friedkin
Best Supporting Actor: Jason Miller
Best Supporting Actress: Linda Blair
Best Cinematography: Owen Roizman
Best Art Direction: Bill Malley and Jerry Wunderlich
Best Editing: John C. Broderick, Bud S. Smith, Evan A. Lottman, and Norman Gay

Ben (1973)

Film Review: Ben (1972) | HNN

Nominated for:
Best Original Song: “Ben” by Walter Scharf, Lyrics by Don Black

Jaws (1975)

See 'Jaws' Filming Locations Via Google Earth | Mental Floss

Winner:
Best Editing: Verna Fields
Best Original Score: John Williams
Best Sound: Robert L. Hoyt, Roger Heman Jr., Earl Madery, and John R. Carter

*Also nominated fo:
Best Picture

Carrie (1976)

Brian De Palma's “Carrie,” Reviewed | The New Yorker

Nominated for:
Best Lead Actress: Sissy Spacek
Best Supporting Actress: Piper Laurie

King Kong (1976)

Kong to Kong: The complete screen history of cinema's greatest monster

Winner:
Best Visual Effects: Carlo Rambaldi, Glen Robinson, and Frank Van der Veer

*Also nominated for:
Best Cinematography: Richard H. Kline
Best Sound: Harry W. Tetrick, William L. McCaughey, Aaron Rochin, and Jack Solomon

The Omen (1976)

The set of 'The Omen' was apparently cursed: Everything to know – Film Daily

Winner:
Best Original Score: Jerry Goldsmith

*Also nominated for:
Best Original Song: “Ave Satani” by Jerry Goldsmith

The Swarm (1978)

The Swarm (1978)

Nominated for:
Best Costume Design: Paul Zastupnevich

Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott Teases New Alien Film and Future of the Franchise | IndieWire

Winner:
Best Visual Effects: H.R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder and Denys Ayling

*Also nominated for:
Best Art Direction: Michael Seymour, Leslie Dilley, Roger Christian, and Ian Whittaker

The Amityville Horror (1979)

The Shocking True Story Behind 'The Amityville Horror' - ThisTV | MGM  Television

Nominated for:
Best Original Score: Lalo Schifrin

Altered States (1980)

Is it Horror? Altered States (1980) – The Horror Syndicate

Nominated for:
Best Original Score: John Corigliano
Best Sound Mixing: Arthur Piantadosi, Willie D. Burton, Michael Minkler, and Les Fresholtz

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Why I love... An American Werewolf in London | BFI

Winner:
Best Makeup: Rick Baker

Poltergeist (1982)

Steven Spielberg: I wanted Stephen King to write Poltergeist

Nominated for:
Best Sound Editing: Stephen Hunter Flick, and Richard L. Anderson
Best Visual Effects: Michael Wood, Bruce Nicholson, and Richard Edlund
Best Original Score: Jerry Goldsmith

Aliens (1986)

Aliens' 30th Anniversary] The One Decision That Makes 'Aliens' a Perfect  Sequel - Bloody Disgusting

Winner:
Best Sound Effects Editing: Don Sharpe
Best Visual Effects: Robert Skotak, Stan Winston, John Richardson, and Suzanne M. Benson

*Also nominated for:
Best Actress: Sigourney Weaver
Best Original Score: James Horner
Best Sound: Graham V. Hartstone, Nicolas Le Messurier, Michael A. Carter, and Roy Charman
Best Editing: Ray Lovejoy
Best Art Direction: Peter Lamont and Crispian Sallis

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Do We Really Need a New 'Little Shop of Horrors'? | The Mary Sue

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects: Lyle Conway, Bran Ferren, and Martin Gutteridge:
Best Original Song: “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space” by Alan Menken (music) and Howard Ashman (lyrics)

Poltergeist II (1986)

POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE (1986) • Frame Rated

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects: John Bruno, Garry Waller, Bill Neil, and Richard Edlund

The Fly (1986)

Fox is Remaking 'The Fly' Again; Here's Who May Direct - Bloody Disgusting

Winner:
Best Makeup: Chris Walas and Stephan Dupuis

Beetlejuice (1988)

Film Scene - BEETLEJUICE

Winner:
Best Makeup: Ve Neill, Steve LaPorte, and Robert Short

Predator (1988)

Predator | 20th Century Studios

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects: Joel Hynek, Robert M. Greenberg, Richard Greenberg, and Stan Winston

Ghost (1990)

See the Cast of 'Ghost' Then and Now

Winner:
Best Supporting Actress: Whoopi Goldberg
Best Original Screenplay: Bruce Joel Rubin

*Also nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Editing
: Walter Murch
Best Original Score: Maurice Jarre

The Addams Family (1991)

Wednesday's Thanksgiving Speech in 'Addams Family Values' Is Iconic - Eater

Nominated for:
Best Costume: Ruth Myers

Misery (1990)

Movies You Might Have Missed: Rob Reiner's Misery | The Independent | The  Independent

Winner:
Best Actress: Kathy Bates

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

See the Cast of 'The Silence of the Lambs' Then and Now

Winner:
Best Picture
Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins
Best Actress: Jodie Foster
Best Director: Jonathan Demme
Best Adapted Screenplay: Ted Tally

*Also nominated for:
Best Editing: Craig McKay
Best Sound: Tom Fleischman and Christopher Newman

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Image gallery for Bram Stoker's Dracula - FilmAffinity

Winner:
Best Costume Design: Eiko Ishioka​
Best Sound Effects Editing: Tom C. McCarthy and David E. Stone
Best Makeup: Greg Cannom, Michèle Burke, and Matthew W. Mungle

*Also nominated for:
Best Art Direction: Thomas E. Sanders and Garrett Lewis

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park Review - Gamereactor

Winner:
Best Sound Effects Editing: Gary Rydstrom and Richard Hymns
Best Visual Effects: Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, and Michael Lantieri
Best Sound: Gary Summers, Gary Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy, and Ron Judkins

Addams Family Values (1993)

66 thoughts we had while watching Addams Family Values

Nominated for:
Best Production Design: Ken Adam and Marvin March

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

Engelskspråklig litteratur og kultur - Mary Shelley: Frankenstein - NDLA

Nominated for:
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Carol Hemming, Daniel Parker, and Paul Engelen

Interview with a Vampire (1994)

See the Cast of 'Interview with the Vampire' Then and Now

Nominated for:
Best Production Design: Francesca Lo Schiavo and Dante Ferretti
Best Original Score: Elliot Goldenthal

Se7en (1995)

The legacy of moral panic in David Fincher's 'Se7en'

Nominated for:
Best Film Editing: Richard Francis-Bruce

Jurassic Park: The Lost World (1997)

How The Lost World taught me that films can be cruel

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects: Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Randal M. Dutra, and Michael Lantieri

The Ghost and the Darkness (1997)

Watch The Ghost and the Darkness | Prime Video

Winner:
Best Sound Editing: Bruce Stambler

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy Hollow' Gave Us the Gorgeous Tim Burton Horror Movie We Were Craving  [We Love '90s Horror] - Bloody Disgusting

Winner:
Best Art Direction: Rick Heinrichs and Peter Young

*Also nominated for:
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Bruce Willis y Haley Joel Osment en The Sixth Sense | MovieHaku

Nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Director
: M. Night Shyamalan
Best Original Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan
Supporting Actor: Haley Joel Osment
Best Supporting Actress: Toni Collette
Best Film Editing: Andrew Mondshein

The Mummy (1999)

How The Mummy set the tone for the modern horror blockbuster

Nominated for:
Best Sound: Leslie Shatz, Chris Carpenter, Rick Kline, and Chris Munro

The Cell (2000)

The Cell' Turns 20: Entering the Stylishly Tortured Mind of a Killer -  Bloody Disgusting

Nominated for:
Best Makeup: Edouard F. Henriques and Michèle Burke

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shadow of the Vampire – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and where  to watch film on TV and online

Nominated for:
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe
Best Makeup: Ann Buchanan, and Amber Sibley

King Kong (2005)

King Kong movie review & film summary (2005) | Roger Ebert

Winner:
Best Sound Editing: Mike Hopkins, Ethan Van der Ryn
Best Sound Mixing: Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek
Best Visual Effects: Joe Letteri, Brian Van’t Hul, Christian Rivers and Richard Taylor

*Also nominated:
Best Art Direction: Grant Major, Dan Hennah, and Simon Bright

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

The Heroine's Journey: Richard's Pan's Labyrinth Paper Finally Gets  Published – Pop•Theology

Winner:
Best Production Design: Eugenio Caballero and Pilar Revuelta
Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro
Best Makeup: David Martí and Montse Ribé

*Also nominated for:
Best Original Score: Javier Navarrete
Best Original Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro
Best Foreign Language Film

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Sweeney Todd school play takes 'realistic' too far leaving two boys  hospitalised with neck cuts | The Independent | The Independent

Winner:
Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo

*Also nominated for:
Best Actor: Johnny Depp
Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood

Black Swan (2010)

MOVIE REVIEW: Black Swan — Every Movie Has a Lesson

Winner:
Best Actress: Natalie Portman

*Also nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Director
: Darren Aronofsky
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique
Best Editing: Andrew Weisblum

The Wolfman (2010)

Why 'The Wolfman' Was the Perfect Start to a Rebooted MonsterVerse - Bloody  Disgusting

Winner:
Best Makeup: Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Cinema Viewfinder: Movie Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Winner:
Best Editing: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

*Also nominated for:
Best Actress: Rooney Mara
Best Cinematography: Jeff Cronenweth
Best Sound Mixing: David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Bo Persson
Best Sound Editing: Ren Klyce

Prometheus (2012)

Ridley Scott confirms his next movie is Prometheus 2 - The Verge

Nominated for:
Best Visual Effects: Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley, and Martin Hill

Get Out (2017)

Movie Review: Jordan Peele's 'Get Out'

Winner:
Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele

*Also nominated for:
Best Picture
Best Director: Jordan Peele
Best Lead Actor: Daniel Kaluuya

The Shape of Water (2017)

How The Shape of Water's visual effects turned a merman into a romantic  lead - The Verge

Winner:
Best Picture
Best Director: Guillermo del Toro
Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat
Best Production Design: Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, and Jeffrey A. Melvin

*Also nominated for:
Best Original Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Lead Actress: Sally Hawkins
Best Supporting Actor: Richard Jenkins
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer
Best Cinematography: Dan Laustsen
Best Costume Design: Luis Sequeira
Best Sound Editing: Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
Best Sound Mixing: Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, and Brad Zoern
Best Film Editing: Sidney Wolinsky

A Quiet Place (2018)

A Quiet Place': A family stays safe and soundless in well-crafted thriller  - Chicago Sun-Times

Nominated for:
Best Sound Editing: Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

Border (2018)

Gräns (Border) review: Ali Abassi unleashes a dark Scandinavian folk  fantasy | Sight & Sound | BFI

Nominated for:
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer

The Lighthouse (2019)

Step Inside Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson's Creepy New Movie The  Lighthouse | Architectural Digest

Nominated for:
Best Cinematography: Jarin Blaschke


That was a comprehensive examination on the history of horror films and their performance at the Academy Awards. What do you think? Are there more scary movies on this list than you anticipated? Do some of these not even count as “horror” in your book? Most importantly, which films did I overlook and should I add to this list? Sound off in the comments section below and let me and the rest of the movie loving world know your thoughts!

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