After having an incredible run at the box-office, Warner Bros. is now launching an Oscar campaign for IT. While the film was always projected to do well, the scale of the movie's success has taken many by surprise. IT was the rare horror film to connect with both critics and audiences, and the excellent ad campaign and word of mouth saw it quickly become the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time.
Horror, in general, has been having a great year in 2017, thanks to the success of films like Get Out, Happy Death Day, and Gerald’s Game. That said, horror is a genre that rarely has much luck at the Academy Awards. Whilst notable genre films like The Silence of the Lambs and The Exorcist have occasionally broken through and score major wins or nominations, the best most horror films can hope for is a technical nod for Best Makeup or Visual Effects from the Academy.
The huge success of IT must have given Warner Bros a lot of confidence, as the studio has now unveiled an Oscar campaign for it. A large part of the film’s success came down to the excellent casting - from the kids of The Losers Club to Pennywise himself. Many reviews focused on Bill Skarsgard’s eerie turn as Pennywise and Sophie Lillis' work as Beverly, so if the film receives acting nods those two performers might be a safe bet. It’s difficult to say if IT will receive nods for Best Picture or Director because once again, horror tends to have a hard time being recognized in those categories.
Warner Bros are also running campaigns for their other major releases this year, including Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, and Blade Runner 2049; which at the very least should be a lock for Best Cinematography for Roger Deakins' work. The studio has had a strong year with quality blockbusters, so a few of these movies will likely receive nods when the nominations are announced in January 2018.
It would be nice to see IT's success continue in the form of a few award nominations, and a sign that the horror genre itself is gaining a little more respectability. It feels like horror is experiencing something of a golden age at the moment with the quality of work being produced, so hopefully that momentum like carry on, and show that great stories can also have a little blood and guts in them from time to time.
Source: Warner Bros Pictures
- IT Chapter Two (2019) release date: Sep 06, 2019