Ray Harryhausen Award
Best Visual Effects
It took a combination of FX companies Rising Sun Pictures, Pixel Playground, Frantic Films, FUEL International and Eyetronics to bring the surreal menace of The Ruins to life.
Albert S. D'Agostino Award
Best Production Design
David Hackl, Repo! The Genetic Opera
While also stepping up this year to the role of director for Saw V, Hackl found himself in a much more familiar role working on the unique horror musical Repo! The Genetic Opera. Hackl's set design work was crucial to the creation of Repo's bizarre, nightmarish, not-so-distant future world of epidemics and organ harvesting.
Tom Savini Award
Greg Nicotero, Diary of the Dead and Mirrors
25-year veteran Nicotero did double duty last year, crafting zombies yet again for mentor George Romero, as well as putting together some mind-bending makeups in Keifer Sutherland's supernatural thriller. Either one would've probably been enough to net him this award.
Bernard Hermann Award
Johan Soderqvist, Let the Right One In
The hauntingly stirring music Soderqvist created for Sweden's Let the Right One In perfectly encapsulated the film's deft combination of horror and beauty, particularly in the Ennio Morricone-influenced "Eli's Theme". This is a score that stays with you long after the final credits have rolled.
Karl Freund Award
Hoyte Van Hoytema, Let the Right One In
A relatively new face in Swedish cinema, 37-year-old Van Hoytema added a large part of what made Let the Right One In such a memorable film, expertly framing both the intimate friendship of Oskar and Eli, and the stunning landscape of his native land, bathing the whole affair in an ethereal bluish tint.
Curt Siodmak Award
John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In
Adapting his own acclaimed debut novel, Lindqvist was able to successfully transfer the printed page to the screen while sacrificing a minimum of the power and dread that made the material so worthy of adaptation in the first place. Being a foreign film, it's only a shame that it's his translated words that English-speaking audiences are hearing.
Linnea Quigley Award
Best Supporting Actress
Lizzy Caplan, Cloverfield
In an often chaotic film, Caplan was nevertheless able to carve out a memorable performance as the ill-fated Marlena. She would also grab attention later in 2008 with a supporting part in HBO's True Blood.
Dwight Frye Award
Best Supporting Actor
Vinnie Jones, The Midnight Meat Train
Former UK footballer Jones' turn as the mysterious and deadly "Mahogany" was so instantly iconic and riveting that he was able to capture this award despite uttering only word in the entire film. That, my friends, is presence!
Vincent Price Award
Kare Hedebrant, Let the Right One In
Possessing a level of depth, poignancy and subtlety beyond his years, young Hedebrant puts forth the kind of nuanced performance as the morose, vaguely tragic Oskar in his cinematic debut that one rarely gets from a child actor.
Jamie Lee Curtis Award
Lina Leandersson, Let the Right One In
A big part of what made Hedebrant so unforgettable is who he gets to work with throughout the picture, a young actress who can already be safely described as brilliant in her sad portrayal of a vampire in the body of a 12-year-old girl. This was also Leandersson's debut role.
David Cronenberg Award
Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In
Sensing a pattern here? This Swedish television director was able to step up to the plate in 2008 and deliver the finest vampire film in years, in no small part thanks to the touching performances he was able to coax out of two inexperienced pre-teen actors. He already Best Director honors in January at the Guldbagge Awards, Sweden's version of the Oscars, and now his work has been recognized by the horror blogosphere as well.
Val Lewton Award
Let the Right One In, EFTI
Defying easy categorization and crossing international borders through the power of word-of-mouth, this instant classic represented Sweden's greatest contribution to horror since the heyday of Ingmar Bergman. In a year when it once again seemed that the combined epidemics of endless sequels and remakes might strangle the genre in America, it took a picture from foreign shores to remind us of the impact that well-executed original ideas can still have.
THE VAULT OF HORROR presents the 2011 Cyber Horror Awards--the first horror film awards decided by the online horror-blogging/writing community. The fourth annual installment should be the biggest one yet, with participation from all across the vast horror blogosphere. If you're a blogger or other online horror critic and haven't received a ballot, please let me know and I'd be happy to include you!