THE VAULT OF HORROR presents the 2012 Cyber Horror Awards--the first horror film awards decided by the online horror-blogging/writing community. The fifth 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!

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Almost That Time Again... The 4th Annual CHAs Are Coming!

Unwrapping presents...taking stock of where we've been and where we're going...spending time with those we love. These are the things we enjoy doing come the end of the year. Another thing we seem to all enjoy is endlessly compiling our picks for the best of everything in the past year. And so... it is with great pride that I remind you all that the 4th Annual Cyber-Horror Awards are on the way!

That's right, the one and only original horror film awards voted on exclusively by the online horror blogging community are on their way back, and I for one can't wait to see who and what gets voted as the best in horror films for 2011. Previous winners have included the likes of Let the Right One In (2008), Trick 'r Treat (2009) and Black Swan (2010). What will this year's awards hold in store, after a 2011 that gave us the likes of Insidious, Red State, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Priest, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, A Serbian Film and so many more?

I'm in the process of getting together some stellar judges to help me compile a list of nominees next month. Once that's done, ballots will be going out to horror bloggers/online writers far and wide in February, with the winners being announced in March. So sit tight, and get ready for those annoying bloggers to once again have their voices heard!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Vault of Horror Presents the 2010 Cyber Horror Awards

Ray Harryhausen Award
Best Visual Effects
Black Swan
This powerful film was rendered even more powerful by the striking visual effects work of NY/LA company Look FX, in addition to many other fine artists who were able to bring Darren Aronofsky's startling vision to life on the silver screen.

Albert S. D'Agostino Award
Best Production Design
Dante Ferretti,
Shutter Island

One of the most brilliant production designers in the business, Ferretti has been Martin Scorsese's go-to guy since 1993's Age of Innocence, and his work in Shutter Island can stand alongside some of the best stuff he's ever done, including Interview with the Vampire, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd.

Tom Savini Award
Best Makeup
Rick Baker, The Wolfman
The first time this award has gone to anyone other than Greg Nicotero, and clearly, if anyone deserved it this year, it was the legendary Baker for his work in the Universal werewolf remake. Revisiting old territory in his depiction of lyncanthropy, Baker did such a fine job that not even CGI tampering could ruin it.

Bernard Hermann Award
Best Score
Clint Mansell, Black Swan
As he did with Pi, Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler, Aronofsky went with Mansell to deliver yet another haunting, powerful score--and he most certainly delivered it. Using the same effortless technique with which he recently wowed genre fans with his Moon score, Mansell composed a suite of music that stays with you longer after the lights come up.

Molly Arbuthnot Award
Best Costume Design
Milena Canonero,
The Wolfman
Canonero cut her teeth working on A Clockwork Orange and The Shining for Stanley Kubrick, and she returned to the genre last year with some very impressive work recreating Victorian England for this very atmospheric period film--which just happens to be about werewolves.

Karl Freund Award
Best Cinematography
Matthew Libatique, Black Swan
Watching Black Swan is indeed a dream-like, somewhat dizzying experience--and it takes a certain kind of cinematographer to pull that off. Iron Man DP Libatique did it for Aronofsky on Pi and Requiem for a Dream, and completely outdoes himself here.

Curt Siodmak Award
Best Screenplay
Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin,
Black Swan

Heyman, Heinz and McLaughlin joined forces to deliver Aronofsky that rare gem of a horror script--subtle yet strong, terrifying yet beautiful. Black Swan works on many levels, and it is a testament to this fine collaboration that the finished product was such a truly memorable motion picture.

Linnea Quigley Award
Best Supporting Actress
Delphine Chaneac, Splice
The beautiful Chaneac was transformed into a bizarre, human/animal hybrid through the wonders of CGI, and managed to turn in a startling performance in the process. As Dren, she may have been nearly unrecognizable, but the part she played deserves all the recognition in the world.

Dwight Frye Award
Best Supporting Actor
Vincent Cassel,
Black Swan

The character jokingly referred to in an SNL spoof as "the world's only straight French choreographer" was portrayed rivetingly by Cassel, who took a part that could have easily been lost in the shuffle of Aronofsky's intense psychological thriller, and made it shine.

Vincent Price Award
Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island
Though a stretch to be considered a genuine horror flick, Martin Scorsese's latest was a tense thriller/drama with enough chills to qualify--and the director once again brought out a terrific performance from Leo, taking the actor one more step away from his boyish, child star roots.

Jamie Lee Curtis Award
Best Actress
Natalie Portman,
Black Swan

She won the Oscar for this one, and now, she's won the Cyber Horror Award (how's that for a come-down, folks?) No one even came close to Portman in this category, with the stunning actress landing almost every single vote cast. A career-making turn which demonstrated just what kind of acting chops she really has.

David Cronenberg Award
Best Director
Darren Aronofsky,
Black Swan

As if there was any doubt. The gifted director who gave us Pi, Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler returned with a vengeance last year, closing out 2010 with what may have been the greatest work he's ever done. The auteur's masterful style was on full display in this, one of the greatest thrillers seen in recent years. Perhaps that's why the next and final award is really no surprise...

Val Lewton Award
Best Film
Black Swan,
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Taking home 8 out of 13 Cyber Horror Awards, Black Swan clearly was head-and-shoulders above the pack as the most memorable--and certainly most talked-about--horror film of 2010. Deriving most of its scares from atmospheric, psychological means, the film nevertheless packs a powerful enough punch to have been welcomed by genre filmgoers with open arms. It's rare that a mainstream thriller works so effectively as both horror and drama, but Black Swan pulled it off, and deserves to be recognized as the best of the best.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2010 Cyber Horror Award Nominees

Val Lewton Award for Best Film

Black Swan, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Agnes b. Productions

Let Me In, Hammer Films

Survival of the Dead, Blank of the Dead Productions

Piranha 3-D, Dimension Films

David Cronenberg Award for Best Director

Darren Aronofksy, Black Swan

John Dowdle, Devil

Breck Eisner, The Crazies

Matt Reeves, Let Me In

Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island

Vincent Price Award for Best Actor

Timothy Olyphant, The Crazies

Benicio Del Toro, The Wolfman

Dieter Laser, The Human Centipede

Onni Tommila, Rare Exports

Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island

Jamie Lee Curtis Award for Best Actress

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Chloe Moretz, Let Me In

Emily Blunt, The Wolfman

Sarah Butler, I Spit on Your Grave

Radha Mitchell, The Crazies

Dwight Frye Award for Best Supporting Actor

Ben Kingsley, Shutter Island

Kenneth Welsh, Survival of the Dead

Jorma Tommila, Rare Exports

Akihiro Kitamura, The Human Centipede

Vincent Cassel, Black Swan

Linnea Quigley Award for Best Supporting Actress

Geraldine Chaplin, The Wolfman

Delphine Chaneac, Splice

Mila Kunis, Black Swan

Winona Ryder, Black Swan

Danielle Panabaker, The Crazies

Curt Siodmak Award for Best Screenplay

Brian Nelson, Devil

Jalmari Helander, Petri Jokiranta & Sami Parkkinen, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Scott Kosar, The Crazies

Matt Reeves, Let Me In

Mark Heyman, Black Swan

Molly Arbuthnot Award for Best Costume Design

Amy Westcott, Black Swan

Milena Canonero, The Wolfman

Sandy Powell, Shutter Island

Tom Savini Award for Best Makeup

Manlio Roccheti, Shutter Island

David Ambit, Santiago, Gijon Jiminez, Juan Almo & Paulo Requena, [REC]2

Rick Baker, The Wolfman

Ray Harryhausen Award for Best Visual Effects

Shutter Island

Black Swan


Albert S. D'Agostino Award for Best Production Design

Shutter Island, Dante Ferretti

Black Swan, Therese DePrez

The Wolfman, Rick Heinrichs

Bernard Herrmann Award for Best Score

Bill Abbot, The Wolfman

Clint Mansell, Black Swan

Christoph Bauschtinger, Devil

Karl Freund Award for Best Cinematography

Tak Fujimoto, Devil

Robert Richardson, Shutter Island

Neil Lisk, I Spit on Your Grave

Shelly Johnson, The Wolfman

Matthew Libatique, Black Swan