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Movies & TV

26th Feb 2018

Only six horror movies have ever been nominated for Best Picture Oscar and one is on the TV this week

Rory Cashin

Over the course of 90 years, the odds for horror movies aren’t good.

Even after the number of Best Picture nominations have jumped up to potentially ten, horror movies have not been given a fair shake.

Get Out’s nomination for the 2018 Oscars will make it only the sixth horror movie EVER to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards, joining The Exorcist (1974), Jaws (1976), The Silence Of The Lambs (1991), The Sixth Sense (2000) and Black Swan (2011).

For the sake of argument, let us just say that we’re putting all “thrillers” and “psychological thrillers” and all movies of that ilk under the “horror” umbrella, cool?

And, in the lead up to this year’s Oscars (which take place on Sunday 4 March), you’ll be able to enjoy one of these Best Picture horrors, as Black Swan will be shown on the small screen this week.

Anyone who hasn’t seen it will probably just know it as that “Ballerina movie with the lesbian sex scene in it”, which missed the pervasive, creeping horror of the story it is trying to tell entirely.

Natalie Portman (who went on to win Best Actress for her role) plays a ballerina striving for perfection as her company are putting on Swan Lake and she oh-so-very-badly wants the lead role.

However, her striving for perfection has left very little room left for emotion in her performance, and the troupe’s director (a fantastically slimy Vincent Cassel) may have his head turned by a new arrival (Mila Kunis) who doesn’t have Portman’s ability, but overcomes that with pure, raw passion.

Wanting to imbue more of her just-go-with-it lifestyle, Portman befriends Kunis, which also some of the cracks to form in her perfect exterior, and the barely contained psychosis beneath begins to peak through.

Writer/director Darren Aranofsky (Requiem For A Dream, The Wrestler) uses some fantastic imagery and very creepy music provided by the brilliant Clint Mansell in order to properly stir up a constantly building sense of unease and foreboding, the kind of slow-build psychological horror that you just don’t see enough of anymore.

Which probably explains the Best Picture nomination, come to think of it… even if it did go on to lose to the much less worthy but far more obvious The King’s Speech.

Black Swan will be showing on Film 4 on Tuesday 27 February at 11.15pm.

Clip via FoxSearchlight

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