Aside from categories like Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects, horror films aren’t usually among the Oscar set in a major way. Ruth Gordon won Best Supporting Actress for her turn as the gratingly obnoxious neighbor in Rosemary’s Baby and The Silence of the Lambs remains the only horror film ever to win Best Picture. However, a new breed of horror could usher in newfound respect for the genre at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences–namely, Goodnight Mommy.
Directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Goodnight Mommy premiered at the 2014 Venice Film Festival and since its wide release this year has racked up critical approval along the lines of 2015’s other surprise indie horror hit It Follows. And now Goodnight Mommy is Austria’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the 88th Academy Awards–a surprising choice at first given horror’s less-than-stellar track record at the Academy but spend a little time in the truly unsettling and cinematic world Franz and Fiala have created and you’ll soon understand the Oscar buzz.
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