Anyway, this all got me thinking–what are some of the great performances in horror? What actors and actresses fucking kill it and make you grateful that cinema exists? It doesn't have to be a lead character, or any performer you've ever heard of. It can just be a single, small moment that rings perfectly true and leaves you breathless. Some of my favorites:
- Sissy Spacek in Carrie, obviously, heartbreaking even when she's terrifying
- Donald Sutherland wailing as he holds the lifeless body of his young daughter in Don't Look Now
- Essie Davis in The Babadook, a performance which would have been nominated for an Academy Award if the world were just. The movie isn't "the scariest thing you've ever seen" as the marketing promised, but it is an astonishingly honest depiction of depression and grief with some horror thrown in.
- Veronica Cartwright losing her shit in Alien
- All of Martyrs, of course, but the moment where Lucie stands on the bed and fires her shotgun at the daughter hiding underneath...it's such a fleeting moment, but Juliette Gosselin's reaction is pure, unadulterated fear–something that horror calls for so often and is so hard for actors to truly deliver.
I have some more in mind but I want to hear from you! What and who are your faves? And don't everybody say Lynda Day George in Pieces, we all know that flawless performance can't be touched.