It's been 30 years since "The Silence of the Lambs" first opened in theaters on Valentine's Day in 1991. The psychological horror film won five Academy Awards — best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best lead actress for Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling and best lead actor for Anthony Hopkins as cannibalistic forensic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter — and earned another two Oscar nominations: best sound and best film editing. In honor of its big anniversary, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at more Oscar-nominated thrillers and horror flicks. Keep reading for more award-worthy scary movies…
Jordan Peele won the Academy Award for best original screenplay for his directorial debut, "Get Out." The 2017 thriller scored three more Oscar nominations: best picture, best director and best lead actor for Daniel Kaluuya, who starred as a Black artist who encounters unimaginable horrors while meeting his white girlfriend's wealthy family.
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The 1973 adaptation of "The Exorcist" won two Academy Awards — best adapted screenplay and best sound — and scored another eight Oscar nominations including best picture, best director, best cinematography, best supporting actress for Linda Blair as Regan, a young girl possessed by a demon, best supporting actor for Jason Miller as psychiatrist and priest Father Karras and best lead actress for Ellen Burstyn as Regan's mother, Chris MacNeil.
M. Night Shyamalan's terrifying 1999 supernatural thriller "The Sixth Sense" scored six Oscar nominations: best picture, best director, best original screenplay, best film editing, best supporting actor for Haley Joel Osment as a little boy who can see dead people and best supporting actress for Toni Collette as his worried mother.
Alfred Hitchcock scored his fifth Academy Award nomination for directing "Psycho," his 1960 horror masterpiece. The psychological thriller scored three additional Oscar nominations: best black-and-white cinematography, best black-and-white set decoration and best supporting actress for Janet Leigh as Norman Bates' victim Marion Crane.
Another Oscar-nominated Alfred Hitchcock movie? His 1963 horror film "The Birds" — which sees flocks of murderous avians attacking unsuspecting citizens in Northern California — scored an Oscar nomination for best visual effects.
Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror film "Alien" won the Academy Award for best visual effects and also earned an Oscar nomination for best set direction. Its 1986 sequel was even more lauded: "Aliens" won two Academy Awards — best sound effects editing and best visual effects — and earned five more Oscar nominations, including best lead actress for Sigourney Weaver as the heroine, Ripley. The third installment in the series, 1992's "Alien 3," scored just one Oscar nomination: best visual effects. The fourth installment, 1997's "Alien Resurrection," didn't receive any recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but 15 years later, "Prometheus," which is set in the "Alien" universe, earned an Oscar nomination for best visual effects.
The 1976 horror film "The Omen" — which centers around a young boy (Harvey Stephens) who turns out to be the Antichrist — won the Academy Award for best original score and also earned an Oscar nomination for best original song for composer Jerry Goldsmith's chilling "Ave Satani" … which means "Hail Satan" in English.
Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark attack thriller "Jaws" won three Academy Awards — best sound, best film editing and best original score — and also scored an Oscar nomination for best picture.
John Krasinski's 2018 monster movie "A Quiet Place" — which centers around a family with a deaf child (Millicent Simmonds) struggling to survive after creatures with extremely heightened senses of hearing take over the planet — scored one Oscar nomination: best achievement in sound editing.
Kathy Bates won the Oscar for best lead actress for her performance as psychotic nurse Annie Wilkes — who tortures her favorite novelist while holding him captive — in the Rob Reiner-directed 1990 adaptation of Stephen King's "Misery."
Stephen King strikes again! Sissy Spacek scored an Academy Award nomination for best lead actress for her performance as the titular bullied teen in Brian De Palma's 1976 adaptation of the supernatural thriller "Carrie." Co-star Piper Laurie, meanwhile, earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for her work as Carrie's abusive mother, religious fanatic Margaret White.
Bong Joon Ho's genre-bending 2019 South Korean thriller "Parasite," which centers around a poor family that schemes to infiltrate the home of a wealthy family, won four Academy Awards — best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best international film — and scored another two Oscar nominations: best production design and best film editing.
Ruth Gordon won the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her performance as Minnie Castevet — the Satan-worshiping neighbor of Mia Farrow's titular expectant mom — in the 1968 adaptation of the novel "Rosemary's Baby." Writer-director Roman Polanski also scored an Oscar nomination for adapting the screenplay.
Tim Burton's 1999 gothic supernatural horror film "Sleepy Hollow" — which sees Johnny Depp's constable Ichabod Crane investigating a possible serial killer — won the Academy Award for best art direction-set direction and scored two more Oscar nominations: best cinematography and best costume design.
The 1986 David Cronenberg-directed sci-fi horror film "The Fly" centers around Jeff Goldblum's scientist Seth Brundle, who slowly transforms into a human-fly hybrid after his teleportation technology goes wrong. It won the Oscar for best makeup.
Glenn Close scored an Academy Award nomination for her performance as bunny-boiling Alex Forrest — who becomes obsessed with Michael Douglas's Dan Gallagher after they have an affair — in 1987's "Fatal Attraction." The psychological thriller scored five more Oscar nominations: best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best film editing and best supporting actress for Anne Archer as Dan's wife.
Gary Oldman portrayed the titular vampire in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 horror film "Bram Stoker's Dracula," which won three Academy Awards — best costume design, best sound effects editing and best makeup — and also earned an Oscar nomination for best set decoration.
The 1972 thriller "Deliverance" — which centers around four businessmen struggling to survive as they're stalked by the terrifying locals during a backwoods canoe trip — scored three Oscar nominations: best picture, best director and best film editing.
The 1981 monster movie "An American Werewolf in London" centers around a New Yorker (David Naughton) who's turned into a werewolf while backpacking in England. The John Landis-directed horror-comedy won the Oscar for best makeup.