Oscars: Hot horror soundtracks are slighted on the short list


With the Oscars right around the corner, the Academy has released their choices for Best Score and Best Song on their “music short list.” Surprise, surprise only one horror soundtrack made the cut.

The Oscars never surprise me anymore. Oh, maybe a couple nominees or nominations register a “Oh, really? Wow. Didn’t think they would pick that.” But more often than not, their lists are like those boring “Most Likely To’s” that we all had to endure during our high school years.

This year is no exception. Variety is reporting that amidst all the usual suspects such as Mary Poppins Returns (The Place Where Lost Things Go and Trip a Little Light Fantastic) not to mention Lady Gaga’s stellar duet with Bradley Cooper from A Star Is Born, (Shallow), only 1 horror soundtrack got a nod.

Then again, it isn’t shocking that in a year full of unbelievable scores in horror movies that this would be the case. Annihilation starring Natalie Portman received kudos for their very Portishead sounding interludes. There is a reason for that because Geoff Barrow from that 90’s chill band is one of the composers along with Ben Salisbury.

I can honestly say, I never thought a group that I listened to during my club days in the 90’s would ever see a nomination for an Academy Award. After 2017 and all the accolades that Jordan Peele received for his debut feature, the thrilling Get Out, you would think that the Oscars would be hip to horror now. That they might actually consider the genre when making their selections.

The Overlooked Gang

Sadly, that isn’t the case. In a year where we saw Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter reunited for another go around with Halloween and the fact that it shattered box office records, this film’s brilliant electronica, full rich orchestrated score went unnoticed. For the EDM lover in me, I can truly appreciate the subtle but yet pumping dance beat running underneath the main theme on Sacred Bones Records release of the movie soundtrack.

For that matter, what about Thom Yorke of Radiohead’s hauntingly eerie turn as a composer for another lauded remake, Suspiria? Let’s talk Unmade. Listening to it gave me chills and reminded me that there is a reason Radiohead is part of my music collection.

Although their song, Motion Picture Soundtrack was featured in one of my favorite sci-fi films of all time, I, Origins, this is Thom’s chance to shine. He had big shoes to fill stepping in after the memorable Goblin from the original Dario Argento flick. When you hear the ethereal piano in Unmade you can’t help but hope that he has reinvented himself once again as a film score maestro.

While I am on a roll, let’s not forget the late Johann Johannsson’s vision for Mandy. A psychedelic story, a superb performance from Nicolas Cage plus Johannsson’s call back to late 70’s and early 80’s synthesized soundtracks, this should have definitely received an Oscar nod.

When I hear the strains of Forging the Beast, James Cameron’s The Terminator immediately pops into my head. It is as if The Terminator score and the original Halloween theme had a lovechild.

Horror Is Here to Stay, Get Used to It

With as progressive as the powers that be in Hollywood want us to think they are and for all of the effort and premium placed on inclusion, why is the horror genre not being taken seriously? Yes, I know, Jordan Peele but for crying out loud, when the playing field is chockfull of this much talent just because it isn’t a rom-com or a tearjerker doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked.

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Music is a universal language. Despite our differences as human beings it is one of the things that we have in common. We can all appreciate it. Maybe it is time the Oscars took a page from that book and started recognizing gifted performances in horror.

What was your favorite horror soundtrack from 2018? Share your comments with us in the section below. We want to hear from you.