I remember when the movie Saw debuted in 2004, giving shivers in the audience from start to finish. Not only did this film offer what the genre lovers seek, the fear, but it also ended with a surprising ending that many did not expect. Coming out of the theater, it was possible to hear viewers saying that the film deserved to be nominated for an Oscar.
Considerations about the success or quality of the film apart (the Saw franchise is still alive today), if not even Psycho, which is a horror film classic directed by Alfred Hitchcock, got the statuette, it is difficult to imagine that Games Mortals would have any chance. This is because the Oscar gave preference not to horror movies or comedy, but to the drama, especially if the plot also had a historical tone that took the audience to times past.
Even with certain exceptions, the horror genre seemed to have no chance … to this day. Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, is already part of the forecast of which films will have a better chance of competing, something very difficult to happen years ago. But why now? What are the reasons behind these changes?
Some critics say the presence of Get Out in the Oscar is based on political changes, since the central plot of the film is based on an Afrodescendente seduced and kidnapped by a maniac family that aims at something not far from a science fiction (to give no spoiler).
However, the presence of genres formerly ignored by the academy goes far beyond politics or the very constitution of its jurors (which has been changing in recent times) and goes to the film market itself.
Even before the internet, the niche market was already more than known to business owners and marketers. However, with the Internet and social media, it was not only easier to define them, but also impossible to ignore them. Social media focuses attention on the individual and his or her specific group, being almost, if not the total, the opposite of the traditional media, which was ideally schematized for the general population.
The cinema itself then begins to fragment to pay attention to smaller, more specific groups, especially when video streaming services are successful in being able to customize their personal tastes automatically by the logarithm of their sites. Even Chris Rock, presenting the 2016 Oscar, used this comedy fragmentation when interviewing Afro-descendants who had never heard of the films nominated for that year’s awards. However, when asked about Straight Outta Compton, a film about Afro-descendants, the same respondents immediately recognized the title, although it was not nominated. Even though this interview was planned as a joke, it points to this fragmentation in the taste of viewers that has been going on lately.
In the Oscar view, what is the historical significance of a movie that, while made to the modern audience of fragmented tastes, appeals to the general population and hits several box office records?
It’s the ability to attract such different interests that makes it natural to talk about Get Out as a potential Oscar contender, even when the genres of horror, comedy, and science fiction (all part of Get Out) were first placed in the drama.
(This article original language is portuguese. This translation was made with Google Translate)