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!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Vault of Horror Presents the 4th Annual Cyber-Horror Awards

Ray Harryhausen Award
Best Visual Effects
Tom Joelson, Colin Doncaster & Oystein Larsen,
Troll Hunter

Was there any competition here? Troll Hunter received more votes than all the other nominees combined, and with good reason. Joelson, Doncaster and Larsen, along with a legion of artists and creators, brought to life a virtual army of massive, mythic Trolls, giving us one of the most jaw-dropping movie experiences of the year in the process.

Albert S. D'Agostino Award
Best Production Design
Roger Ford,
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Ford, one of the truly great genre production designers, crafted a breathtaking and utterly creepy world for Guillermo del Toro's reimagining of the 1970s TV movie cult classic. Previously recognized for his work on the Narnia films, and on Dr. Who some 40 years ago, Ford outdid himself with DBAOTD's amazing interiors and exteriors.

Tom Savini Award
Best Makeup
Sharon Toohey,
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Relatively new to the movie biz, and taking her first crack at a bona fide horror flick, Sharon Toohey really knocked it out of the park with Tucker & Dale vs. Evil's gut-wrenchingly gross makeup effects. This one also beat the combined votes of both of its fellow nominees, The Human Centipede 2 and Fright Night.

Bernard Hermann Award
Best Score
Tie: Joseph Bishara, Insidious
& Steven Price, Attack the Block

For the first time in the history of the Cyber Horror Awards, we have a dead heat. Steven Price (right) created a unique, cutting-edge urban style score for this year's big winner, Attack the Block, while Bishara's unforgettably disturbing music for Insidious earned that film what is surprisingly its only CHA.

Molly Arbuthnot Award
Best Costume Design
Ha Nguyen,
Priest
This acclaimed post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller was made especially remarkable by the highly imaginative work that went into dressing its characters. Nguyen, whose previous body of work includes the likes of House on Haunted Hill (1999), Thinner, Mortal Kombat and The Mask, turned out to be just the person for the job.

Karl Freund Award
Best Cinematography
Hallvard Bræin,
Troll Hunter

It's quite a challenge shooting things that aren't really there and still giving it the scope that they need to be epic. That's what Bræin pulled off with his work in Troll Hunter, teaming with the effects designers to convincingly create the world of Norway's fictional trolls. It's fitting that this movie won CHAs in both categories.

Curt Siodmak Award
Best Screenplay
Joe Cornish,
Attack the Block

As with most years, one film dominated this year and that was Joe Cornish's Attack the Block. Also as in the past, with winner like Black Swan, we have the same film winning in both the Siodmak and Cronenberg Awards for screenplay and directing. Cornish's script was a perfect evocation of London street slang, laced with sharp wit and strong dialogue.

Linnea Quigley Award
Best Supporting Actress
Angela Bettis,
The Woman

A small-time low budget little thriller, this film came out of nowhere and surprised a lot of people with its extremely powerful performances. Chief among these was Angela Bettis as tortured housewife Belle Cleek, giving us a nightmarish, complex interpretation of a very challenging role.

Dwight Frye Award
Best Supporting Actor
John Goodman,
Red State

This one wasn't even close. Beloved character actor Goodman's turn as FBI agent Al Zimmer in Kevin Smith's twisted take on Bible belt religious fanaticism really resonated with moviegoers this year, and with good reason. Once again, as he has so many times in the past, Goodman gave us a character who stole the show. This time, horror fans got to reap the benefits.

Vincent Price Award
Best Actor
Rutger Hauer,
Hobo with a Shotgun

One of 2011's festival darlings was this exploitation potboiler about a nameless homeless man who takes the law into his own hands, blowing away criminals with his titular weapon. Veteran genre legend Hauer came back strong with this one, and his performance was rightly the most memorable thing about the film.

Jamie Lee Curtis Award
Best Actress
Jodie Whittaker,
Attack the Block

In the chaotic world of Joe Cornish's excellent alien horror comedy, Whittaker's Sam is sort of the voice of reason, and she does her part well. Not only is it a fine performance worthy of recognition, but one of the best-written female roles of the year. For a genre that is often criticized for lacking positive parts for actresses, this is an exception that I'd like to see more of.

David Cronenberg Award
Best Director
Joe Cornish,
Attack the Block

Usually it holds true with most movie awards that a writer/director will win both the writing and directing awards, and the CHAs are no different. Joe Cornish gave us what was undoubtedly 2011's most unique and memorable horror flick, and deserves credit for crafting an instant cult classic.

Val Lewton Award
Best Film
Attack the Block,
Studio Canal

And there you have it, the movie that rightfully dominated the 4th Annual Cyber Horror Awards, as Let the Right One In, Trick 'r Treat and Black Swan did in previous years. It takes great originality and great technique combined to create a horror gem. In a genre that too often cannibalizes itself and sticks to easy cliches, this movie gave us something unique and special. The online horror community has spoken, and selected this as the standout motion picture of 2011. And deservedly so!

1st Annual Cyber Horror Awards
2nd Annual Cyber Horror Awards
3rd Annual Cyber Horror Awards

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