The Academy Awards usually doesn't offer much for horror fans to root for, until they get to sound editing, special effects and awards like that. So, knowing that most industry people have skeletons in their closets, so to speak, I figured that, just for shits and giggles, I'd look into all the big Academy Award nominated films and see what kinds of ties to horror they have....
"Michael Clayton" (Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Directing, Music, Best Picture, Original Screenplay) - There's the easy connection in that Clooney is, and always will be, Seth Gecko from "From Dusk Till Dawn". I don't know much about this "Michael Clayton" film, but with quotes like, "Alright vampire killers, let's kill some fucking vampires" and "Your best better get a whole lot fucking better or you are going to feel a whole lot fucking worse", "From Dusk Till Dawn" should've won an award or two. That's not the best tie to horror, though... "Michael Clayton" was shot by Robert Elswit, an award winning DP, who also shot "Return of the Living Dead II" and "Trick or Treat" with Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne. You remember "Trick or Treat" - "what are you afraid of? It's only rock and roll"
"There Will Be Blood" (Best Actor, Art Direction, Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Best Picture, Sound, Adapted Screenplay) - Surprisingly, this one's a bit tougher... Daniel Day-Lewis has played some gritty roles, but never in a horror. Further, Paul Thomas Anderson, the director, hasn't done much horror... So, I'm liking the supporting actor in "There Will Be Blood", Kevin J. O'Connor, who was the prisoner from "Flight of the Living Dead", Igor from "Van Helsing" and that general nuisance from "The Mummy". Surprisingly, he hasn't been nominated for anything, ever.
"Atonement" (Supporting Actress, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Original Score, Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay) - It's a bit of a stretch, but the Academy Award winning screenwriter is Christopher Hampton, who also wrote "Mary Reilly", but that's barely a horror. The only other tie would be that one of the producers, Tim Bevan, also produced "Shaun of the Dead".
"The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" (Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Adapted Screenplay) - I thought it would be a lot harder, but Max von Sydow's in this, who's probably best known for being Father Lankester Merrin in "The Exorcist" and "The Exorcist II", but he's also been in "Conan The Barbarian", "Dune", "Needful Things", "Judge Dredd" and... I think that's it, I think that's all the movies he's ever been in, ever. Oh, and the 1957 classic "The Seventh Seal", but that's it, though... no more. He's done basically nothing in his career but horror and now "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly".
"Juno" (Best Actress, Directing, Best Picture, Original Screenplay) - "Juno"'s written by Diablo Cody, who's next script is "Jennifer's Body", a sci-fi thriller about a possessed cheerleader turned killer, but I can do better than that. How about the fact that it's edited by Dana E. Glauberman, who also helped cut... yup, you got it, "Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence".
"Sweeney Todd" (Best Actor, Art Direction, Costume Design) - This one's low hanging fruit. First off, it actually is a horror film, secondly it's got Johnny Depp, most famously known for playing Glen Lantz in the original "Nightmare on Elm Street", but let's go obscure... "Sweeny Todd"'s unit publicist was Sarah Cark, who was also the unit publicist on "28 Days Later"... coincedence? I don't think so.
"No Country for Old Men" (Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay) - There's a few easy one's, like Woody Harrelson was also in "Natural Born Killers", the Coen's did "Blood Simple" or even that one of the Coen's first scripts was "Crimewave", Sam Raimi's follow up to "Evil Dead". Side note: If you're a Bruce Campbell, Coen brothers or Sam Raimi fan and you haven't seen "Crimewave", go find it. You'll watch it and think, the Coen brothers and Sam Raimi did THIS? Jesus, if they can make it, I can make it. Regardless, my horror connection from "No Country for Old Men" will be from Stephen Root, who's character is the "guy who hires Wells". He's probably best known as the guy from the TV show, "News Radio"... but, his second role ever? Dean Burbage from "Monkey Shines".
"Ratatouille" (Best Animated Feature, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay) - Wow... uh, the editor, Darren T. Holmes was the apprentice editor on "Wolfen".
There, done. Now you know who to cheer for.