The wait is finally over. The anticipation all year long, the bittersweet uncertainty, the constant flaming of people that don’t like Twilight and Transformers 2 on the Internet, and having to actually sit through Spike TV programming have once again come to fanboy fruition. The nominees have been announced for the 2009 Scream Awards. Pause for applause. The fourth-annual Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy ceremony will air on Spike on October 27th. Sure, this event could be perceived as a ham-fisted box office stroke fest for people who can’t wait until next year’s MTV Movie Awards but I am choosing to see the small amount of merit here. There is something to be said for genre-based fan-loving award shows as an alternative to the stuffy, pretentious, now overly complicated Academy…..stroke-fest. If you want to read a masterful, comprehensive analysis of something that is boring as all hell, see Dr. Abaius’ breakdown of the new Oscar voting rules.
As much as I like to explore film as an abstract visual art medium, I am also a lover of genre and unmitigated badassitude. And as terrible as Summer 2009 was, we are on the threshold of a geek renaissance in mainstream cinema. Look at the bulk of the titles this year and set to be released in the next. We have not one, but two post-apocalyptic films, a score of vampire films, the adaptation of one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, a zombie comedy, and a film literally called: Ninja Assassin. Not only that, but Sci-Fi is really becoming auteur again with District 9 and Moon challenging us the way Science-Fiction was born to do. So for me, something like the Scream Awards presents an interesting venue for unrepentant movie geeks like me to measure our non-arthouse fare.
For full details on the the nominees and the categories, feel free to check out the full story at Coming Soon. But allow me to run down some of the categories, because they are in and of themselves fantastic, and provide both my choice and the film that will more than likely win. Because as much as I may be coming around on the idea of the Scream Awards, they do in fact rely on online and text voting to pick the winners so obviously there will be controversial decisions.
Best Horror Movie:
My Pick: Let The Right One In. Nuanced, thought-provoking, beautiful film.
Actual Winner: My Bloody Valentine. 3-D Va Jay Jay!
Best Science Fiction Movie:
My Pick: Moon. I’m assuming the only reason District 9 isn’t nominated is it was released too late. While I didn’t love Moon as much as everybody else, it’s a very smart, intense film and Rockwell knocks it right the fuck out of the park with his performance.
Actual Winner: Star Trek. I am very ok with this choice as I thought this was by far the best mainstream summer release this year.
Best Fantasy Movie:
My Pick: Up. I don’t really consider Watchmen fantasy so I have to go with Pixar’s heart-breaking, coming-of-age film (for the studio as a whole that is) that had me weeping like a tiny little girl.
Actual Winner: Twilight. Anyone who believes this piece of shit qualifies as a film is really living in a fantasy world.
My Pick: Watchmen. This one was tough for me because I truly believe that the entire cast of Star Trek does a phenomenal job. But the source material given to the Watchmen cast was far more complex and their (overall) adherence to it and the subsequent caliber of performances makes them my pick.
Actual Winner: Twilight. Because people who read these books, who will comprise most of the voting audience, don’t know the word ensemble.
My Pick: Duncan Jones, Moon. This was tough for me as well. But this first-time feature film director adopts the massive undertaking of creating a quiet, cerebral sci-fi opus in a summer choked by sequels and spin-offs. The film is cool as all get out and Jones got a stellar performance out of his only actor who carries the film perfectly.
Actual Winner: I’m going to give the voters some credit here and assume Michael Bay will lose to Abrams.
Best Foreign Film:
My Pick: Let The Right One In. Much deliberation went into this one. I love Timecrimes, I got to see its premiere at Fantastic Fest two years ago. I think it is a phenomenal piece of storytelling. It is taut, captivating, and brilliantly subtle in both performances and overall execution. But Let The Right One In affected me more and I would re-watch it more readily than Timecrimes. Tough call.
Actual Winner: Let The Right One In is probably the only one the voters will have heard of.
Most Memorable Mutilation:
My Pick: Let The Right One In (Swimming Pool Scene). First of all, I love that I get to rate this. To avoid spoiling things, sufficed to say that the scene in the swimming pool is largely suggestive. The few bits we are privy to are terrifying and the scene concluded with me breathless.
Actual Winner: Saw V (Pendulum Trap). Honestly, why the fuck are they still making these? I love that they’ve run out of ideas for traps and are now plagiarizing Edgar Allen Poe.
Fight-To-The-Death Scene of the Year:
My Pick: Watchmen. The opening bout between The Comedian and his assailant is not only incredibly faithful to the graphic novel but also deeply moving and beautifully photographed. Say what you will about Snyder’s penchant for slow motion, but I always imagined a certain amount of slow, agonizing movements when I read it.
Actual Winner: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Wolverine vs. Sabertooth). I don’t know why. Also, Kirk vs. Spock is nominated?!! Not to ruin the insanely obvious, but neither of them die in that exchange. In fact, there is never a moment when you actually believe one of them could die so that should not at all be nominated.
Holy S***! Scene of the Year:
My Pick: Knowing (Subway Crash). Another capital category here. I hate Knowing. Cage’s acting reaches new degrees of horrendous and the screenplay seems like the product of a writer who was clinically dead for four hours before coming around and penning the ending. That being said, the disaster sequences were honest and horrific and I could barely watch them.
Actual Winner: Knowing. Seriously, did you see this sequence?
So that’s it, my long-winded postulations regarding an award show most of us will not watch. I think it has a lot of potential, but will still likely be plagued by a juvenile core of voters. Thoughts?