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, September 9, 2013

The Vault of Horror Presents the 5th Annual Cyber Horror Awards!

Ray Harryhausen Award
Best Visual Effects
Richard Stammers,

The first of Prometheus' plethora of technical awards comes rightfully for its staggering visual effects. Heading up an array of VFX teams, Richard Stammers helped create a bizarre, surreal and beautiful environment filled with fully realized creatures and finely detailed spacecraft. Truly some of the best sci-fi effects seen in quite a while.
Albert S. D'Agostino Award
Best Production Design
Arthur Max,

Longtime Ridley Scott collaborator Arthur Max generated yet another startlingly realized vision for the celebrated director. Such a unique film required a truly unique look, and Max managed to do this, while at the same time paying homage to H.R. Geiger's iconic work from Alien.

Tom Savini Award
Best Makeup
David Leroy Anderson, 
The Cabin in the Woods
An Oscar winner and protege of none other than Rick Baker, Anderson is certainly no stranger to the world of motion picture makeup effects. In fact, he is one of those on the forefront of the industry, and was just the right man for the job of creating a veritable army of horrendous monsters for Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's meta-horror spectacle.

Bernard Hermann Award
Best Score
Marco Beltrami, 
The Woman in Black
This is the only CHA earned by Hammer's amazing Woman in Black, and yet even so, it seems fitting that it would be Beltrami's atmospheric and moody score that would stand out above all else as far as voters were concerned. A fine addition to the classic tradition of Hammer horror scores, this is also another frightful plume in the cap of the accomplished and rightfully adored film composer.

Molly Arbuthnot Award
Best Costume Design
Janty Yates,

She won an Oscar working for Ridley Scott on Gladiator in 2000, and now 13 years later, lo and behold, a CHA as well! This third technical award for Prometheus was the hardest won of all--in this extremely tight race, Yates edged out her fellow nominees on The Woman in Black and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by a single vote.

Karl Freund Award
Best Cinematography
Dariusz Wolski,

The scope of Prometheus was epic, and one of the men truly responsible for creating that look and feel was Wolski, whose work, combined with that of Stammers, Max and Yates made this perhaps the most technically brilliant horror film of 2012.

Curt Siodmak Award
Best Screenplay
Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard,
The Cabin in the Woods

Where Prometheus scored on the technical side, it was The Cabin in the Woods that was a hit with voters from a content standpoint, and it all begins here with Whedon and Goddard's very impressive, very clever and very bold script. Simultaneously celebrating and deconstructing the horror genre as a whole, Whedon and Goddard gave fans of fright flicks a wonderful gift last year, and it's no wonder they embraced it with open arms.

Linnea Quigley Award
Best Supporting Actress
Kelly McGillis,
The Innkeepers

For better or worse, horror can often be a refuge for actresses as they approach their later years, and can even help them break through to something of a career renaissance. Whether this happens for Kelly McGillis or not, no one can take away from her this out-of-nowhere turn in Ti West's Innkeepers, which is the first of this terrific film's two memorable female performances.

Dwight Frye Award
Best Supporting Actor
Richard Jenkins,
The Cabin in the Woods

Considering he got more votes than the other four nominees combined, it's safe to say that fans loved Richard Jenkins last year in Cabin in the Woods. The Oscar-nominated character actor brought a wry, cynical sensibility that was something of an anchor for this ambitious film, and although this was a supporting role, it's safe to say that it was the most beloved in the entire picture.

Vincent Price Award
Best Actor
Michael Fassbender,

Channeling a young Laurence Olivier, the gifted Michael Fassbender more than expertly filled the shoes of previous Alien-mythos androids Ian Holm and Lance Henriksen, while at the same time alluding to 2001 using a character that was nothing if not an anthropomorphized HAL. This was Prometheus' only non-technical award, and it's nice to see it go to the strongest performance in the movie. And in a film with Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba and Charlize Theron to name a few, that's saying a lot.

Jamie Lee Curtis Award
Best Actress
Sara Paxton,
The Innkeepers

Horror is often rightfully criticized for its lack of strong female roles. And while The Innkeepers will not single-handedly solve that problem, it's nice to see two female performances from a single horror film gaining such attention. Playing sympathetic, intelligent and quirky all at once, Paxton delivers the goods and helps put Ti West's paranormal thriller over the top.

David Cronenberg Award
Best Director
Tie: Ti West, The Innkeepers; Drew Goddard, The Cabin in the Woods
For the second year in a row, we have ourselves a tie--and this time it's in the hotly contested director category. Ti West and Drew Goddard gave us two very different pictures last year, but they both earned this award in their own way. For West, it will have to do as his movie's highest CHA accolade. However, for Goddard, his achievement in directing Cabin the Woods was further backed up by the inevitable...

Val Lewton Award
Best Film
The Cabin in the Woods,
Mutant Enemy Productions

Was there ever any doubt? In the biggest landslide in the five-year history of the CHAs, The Cabin in the Woods received three times as many votes as all other nominees combined. See, folks? In a genre that's often seen to be lacking in original, interesting ideas, when you create a film that is truly innovative, smart and as intriguing as this one, people can and will take notice. Cabin in the Woods is that rare horror film that galvanizes the entirety of fandom, and it's gratifying to have it honored in this way.

1st Annual Cyber Horror Awards
2nd Annual Cyber Horror Awards
3rd Annual Cyber Horror Awards
4th Annual Cyber Horror Awards


  1. I agree with these choices. Cabin in the Woods and The Innkeepers were really inventive movies.

  2. Although only four movies won awards this year, it was gratifying to see that they were (in my opinion) the four real standout horror films of 2012.

  3. I think the results were pretty close to my ballot. I'm happy to see Paxton get some love for The Innkeepers. She truly did put that film over the top with her perfect performance of a genuinely likable character. I'm also happy, but not at all surprised, to see Cabin win best film. It's definitely the one that we'll all be talking about in the years to come.

  4. Agreed. And in the five years I've been doing this, there's really never been a sleeper surprise winner.