Decade of death: 10 greatest horror performances of the 2010s

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Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out–Courtesy of Blumhouse Productions, Monkeypaw Productions and Universal Pictures

Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)

Of all the outstanding performances on this list, Daniel Kaluuya’s star turn as Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning Get Out is the only one to receive an Academy Award nomination (so far). In the film, Kaluuya plays a young black photographer who is visiting his white girlfriend’s family for the first time. Though the family is cringe-worthy and awkward, Chris initially suspects that they are harmless. However, he soon uncovers a disturbing secret and finds himself in danger.

Understandingly, Jordan Peele gets the majority of the credit for Get Out‘s success. His script was so outstanding and layered with social commentary that he won an Oscar for it, and his thought-provoking ideas and voice have led to more diverse representation within the horror genre. Kaluuya’s performance, however, anchors the ambition of the film and gives audiences, especially people of color, a character to latch on to and root for. Too often in real life, black men unjustly suffer, so the importance of Kaluuya’s character is not to be overlooked.

On the surface, Kaluuya’s performance is charming, but the actor layers Chris with emotional depth and pain. If you can watch the hypnosis scene, see the tears streaming down Kaluuya’s face and tell me that this isn’t one of the greatest horror performances of the decade… well, you’re just a liar. Yeah, he was nominated, but he should have won.