Every Horror Movie Nominated For The Best Picture Academy Award, Ranked
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Every Horror Movie Nominated For The Best Picture Academy Award, Ranked


  • Horror movies have had a limited impact on the Academy Awards, with only six Best Picture nominations since the awards started.
  • While no horror movies made the 2024 Best Picture nominees, past nominees like Black Swan and Get Out are still interesting to revisit.
  • The Exorcist and The Silence of the Lambs are among the few horror movies to win Oscars, with the latter dominating in all major categories.



It has often been said the Academy Awards don’t particularly like scary movies, but there have been some rare horror movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. As of 2024, six horror movies have been up for the top prize, which is a small number considering that the awards started nearly 100 years ago. Such classics of the genre like The Shining and Psycho have been snubbed along with critically acclaimed modern horror movies like Hereditary and The Witch. However, that makes the horror movies that were nominated for Best Picture all the more interesting.

The 2024 Best Picture nominees range in genres from historical epics like The Killers of the Flower Moon to big-budget comedies like Barbie to initiate dramas like Past Lives. While no horror movies made the list this year, fans can look back at the history of the awards and see the kind of masterpieces from the genre that did manage to capture the attention of and impress Academy voters.


15 Best Horror Movies Of All Time, Ranked

What are the best horror movies of all time? Every fan has their opinion, but these movies have stood the test of time to become certifiable icons.

6 The Sixth Sense (1999)

A Young Boy Sees Dead People

The Sixth Sense

M. Night Shyamalan

Release Date
August 6, 1999

Bruce Willis , Toni Collette , Haley Joel Osment , Olivia Williams , Donnie Wahlberg

107 minutes

Ghost stories have been a staple of the horror movie genre for years, but The Sixth Sense proved they could be elevated dramas that take audiences by surprise. Bruce Willis stars in the movie as a child psychologist who attempts to help a young boy who claims that he can see and speak to dead people.

The 1999 movie didn’t even get the best reviews from critics, but through sheer word of mouth about The Sixth Sense‘s shock twist, it ended up making a similarly shocking $672 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). M. Night Shyamalan announced himself as a masterful director of suspense with the movie maintaining an intense yet intimate tone throughout. Young Haley Joel Osment was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his iconic performance as the young tormented boy.

5 Black Swan (2010)

An Obsessive Ballerina Begins To Lose Grip On Reality

Nina wears a pink and white uniform in Black Swan

Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky

Release Date
December 3, 2010

108 minutes

Coming from the mind behind movies like Requiem For a Dream and Mother!, writer-director Darren Aronofsky has always been a visionary when it comes to dark and disturbing surreal horrors. The filmmaker uses vivid imagery to both shock and awe audiences, and that is on no finer display than in Black Swan. The movie is about the New York City Ballet putting on a production of Swan Lake and the lead dancer (Natalie Portman) is under an enormous amount of pressure to perform better than she ever has.

As with some of Aronofsky’s other works, the horror in the movie is psychological which makes it no less unsettling. The audience is dragged on this nightmarish journey with Nina, unsure of what is in her mind and what horrors she is actually experiencing. It makes for a deeply disturbing movie in the hands of a talented filmmaker and a world-class actor. Though the movie didn’t win Best Picture, it earned Portman her first Academy Award for Best Actress.

4 The Exorcist (1973)

A Young Girl Is Possessed By A Demon

Linda Blair sits in bed, possessed by a demon in The Exorcist

The Exorcist is often still considered the scariest movie of all time, and if what was reported about the 1973 screenings is true, the film deserves that title. The movie is about a 12-year-old girl who is thought to be possessed by a demon, and two Catholic priests attempt to exorcise her. It makes for a chilling and foreboding horror movie in the hands of Oscar-winner William Friedkin.

Demonic possession horror movies are a frequent feature of the genre, but every movie that followed The Exorcist seemed to be trying to emulate the classic movie. The failure of The Exorcist: Believer proved that the bold and shocking movie that Friedkin made could not easily be replicated. Even decades later, the movie packs a powerful punch and its grounded effects allow the scares to still be effective. The movie received 10 Oscar nominations in total and won for its adapted screenplay.

3 Get Out (2017)

A Young Black Man Is Drawn Into A Nightmare While Visiting His Girlfriend’s Parents

Chris crying and looking terrified in Get Out

Get Out
Lyle Brocato , LaKeith Stanfield , Caleb Landry Jones , Betty Gabriel , Allison Williams , Marcus Henderson , erika alexander , Bradley Whitford , Jeronimo Spinx , Catherine Keener , Daniel Kaluuya

1 hour, 44 minutes

Get Out is the most recent horror movie to be nominated for Best Picture, and it’s one of the best horror movies of the 2010s. The film follows a Black man who visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time, only to find out that the family’s community steals Black people’s brains. Get Out is the perfect movie package, as it’s equally funny and scary, and it tackles racism in a way that no other film has before.

While the movie didn’t win Best Picture, writer-director Jordan Peele did win Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. The 2017 release was a phenomenal success at the box office too, making $255 million off its micro $4.5 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). The movie became a cultural phenomenon, cementing instantly iconic horror movie moments, like “The Sunken Place.” Get Out is filled with hidden details which also makes it a thrill to rewatch multiple times.

Watch on Prime Video

2 Jaws (1975)

The shark attacks Brody in Jaws 1975


Release Date
June 18, 1975

Roy Scheider , Robert Shaw , Richard Dreyfuss , Lorraine Gary , Murray Hamilton , Carl Gottlieb

124 minutes

Few movies have had as big of an impact on Hollywood filmmaking as Jaws. The movie helped to launch the career of Steven Spielberg and sent him on his journey to become one of the greatest directors of all time. It also set a new standard for what horror movies could be as Speilberg turned this B-movie about a killer shark into a grand adventure with interesting characters, unforgettable sequences, and master filmmaking.

Between the iconic John Williams-composed score and the characters’ panicked fear as they splashingly run to land, Spielberg manages to scare audiences without even showing much of the shark. On top of that, only Spielberg could shoot a horror movie in broad daylight and still terrify viewers. Jaws is one of the most influential movies ever made, as not only was it the first-ever summer blockbuster, but it has inspired so many other filmmakers.

1 The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

An FBI Trainee Matches Wits With A Serial Killer

Silence of the Lambs

jonathan demme

Release Date
February 14, 1991

Scott Glenn , Jodie Foster , Anthony Hopkins , Ted Levine , Anthony Heald

118 minutes

Of the 95 films that have been awarded Best Picture ever since the Academy Awards began in 1929, only one horror movie has won the award. However, The Silence of the Lambs is such an incredible movie that it didn’t only win Best Picture, but it’s also one of just three movies to have ever won in all five major categories. The other awards are Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and only One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and the 1934 movie It Happened One Night has achieved that.

The movie stars Jodie Foster as a young FBI trainee who begins interviewing an infamous serial killer named Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in order to gain insight to catch a new killer on the loose. Hannibal makes for one of the best movie villains of all time, chilling in his quiet moments and animalistic when he finally strikes. Director Jonathan Demma constructs an elevated crime thriller with a pitch-perfect tone that is as effective in the intimate conversational moments as it is in the intense horror moments.

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