Best Actor – Lupita Nyong’o (Us)
Playing both a terrified yet ferocious mother and her demented ‘tethered’ doppelgänger, Nyong’o platforms her vast talents as an actor and more than proves her worth as a leading lady. Nyong’o plays Adelaide, a mother returning with her family to a holiday destination that has traumatic childhood memories for her. She plays the first act with a subtle under-current of fear and suspicion that soon boils over into downright terror when faced with a family that duplicates her own but with twisted, uncanny behaviours. Also playing Red (Adelaide’s tethered), her hoarse delivery and levelled yet demonic performance is mesmerising, from her ever-staring eyes to her unusual, almost dance like walking.
Best Film – Parasite
Parasite is a film that’s been enthusiastically discussed on Twitter and heralded by almost all critics as a masterpiece. It’s also said to be a film that’s best going into with as little knowledge about the plot as possible. That being said, we’ll keep it short. It’s a class horror about inequality and greed and is a harrowing dissection of economic injustices. With a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes, this may be a horror that cracks into the exclusive group of recognised films at upcoming popular awards shows.
Best Special/ Practical Effects – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Celebrated for being around 90% practical, director André Øvredal brought their love of practical horror effects and proved CGI isn’t the only way to create monsters. An impressive creature feature, monsters were created with makeup, plaster and the brilliant contorting talents of actors. The addition of physical monsters charging down corridors help the danger feel more real and present in the film, rather than some smooth moving digital picture darting about the screen.
Best Gore – Midsommar
Though on the surface this summer horror flick looks all sunshine and flower crowns, the disturbed mind of Ari Aster wasn’t going to let this film be pretty. As gory as this film is, the violence is rooted in a reality that only helps make everything feel more disturbing and harsh. Smashed skulls and exposed guts make this possibly the worst holiday destination for you and your pals.
Best Score – Michael Abels; Us
Abel’s back with his horror gospel sending chills down our spines. This time composing a vocal arrangement of staccato nonsense words to represent the grunting communication of the ‘tethered’, the choir build in power, and thus in tension, until they reach operatic levels. The main theme has creeping, dread-filled strings along with high-pitched plucking that soon erupts with loud, domineering bursts from the orchestra. Mixing in more modern arrangements also, Abel’s chilling mix of Luniz’s, ‘I Got 5 On It’, with his main horrifying theme, creates a terrifying audible doppelganger of a familiar song, mirroring the theme of Us perfectly.
That brings us to the end of our Horror Awards Series. As is the case in all awards shows, there were so many brilliant horrors we didn’t get the chance to recognise; if your favourite was missed out, please comment below or yell at us on Twitter and share which film you thought was most deserving a win.
Till next year, keep it spooky.