Tuesday, December 26, 2023

'Renfield,' 'John Wick 4,' 'Jules,' and 'Pearl' lead horror, action, and independent films at the Saturn Awards

I told my readers to "stay tuned for the final movie installment of my Saturn Award nominations series" this morning, so I'm covering the four final movie categories, horror, action/adventure, independent, and international films. Follow over the jump for the nominees in those categories plus a bonus home entertainment category from Deadline followed by some music.

Best Horror Film

Barbarian (20th Century Studios)
Evil Dead Rise (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Insidious: The Red Door (Screen Gems/Blumhouse)
Renfield (Universal Pictures)
Scream VI (Paramount Pictures)
Smile (Paramount Pictures)
Talk to Me (A24)
Much to my surprise, Renfield leads this field with five nominations, followed by Talk to Me with three, Evil Dead Rise with two, and just this one for Barbarian, Insidious: The Red Door, Scream VI, and Smile. Renfield is a comedy and the Saturn Awards usually classify comedies with horror elements as fantasy, like Haunted Mansion. However, that's not consistent, as What We Do in the Shadows is also comedy, but remains in horror. I guess having vampires is enough to do that. Even so, I am actually tempted to watch Renfield for the performances of Nicholas Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina, and Brandon Scott Jones, while I'm not particularly interested in the rest of the field, so that's enough to get me to vote for it.

I don't think the plurality of the other voters will do so. I think they'll vote for Barbarian, which won Best Horror Movie at the Critics Choice Super Awards last year, or Talk to Me, which is way ahead of Renfield in nominations at the Golden Scythe Awards, if they care about what other awards shows think (they usually don't), or Scream VI if they care about box office (they might, but Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny having more nominations than Barbie shows that's not absolute). I hope I'm wrong and enough of them agree with me.

Best Action / Adventure Film

Bullet Train (Sony Pictures)
The Equalizer 3 (Sony Pictures)
Fast X (Universal Pictures)
John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate Films)
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (Paramount Pictures)
The Woman King (TriStar Pictures)
John Wick: Chapter 4 has one more nomination than Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, but only because I'm counting its nomination for Best 4K Home Media Release as a tie-breaker for a total of five. It's followed by Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One with four, Fast X and The Woman King with two each, and Bullet Train and The Equalizer 3 with only this one. Both John Wick: Chapter 4 and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One earned Golden Globes nominations for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement, which classify both as professional choices. So do the four nominations at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards, one win and one nomination at the Critics Choice Super Awards, two nominations at the 2023 BAFTA Awards, and Golden Globe nomination for The Woman King. That's enough to get me to vote for The Woman King, even though I don't think it will win. Instead, the plurality will likely vote for either John Wick: Chapter 4 (my second choice) or Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. In a normal year, they'd vote for Fast X or Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, but like last year, this isn't a normal year.

Best Independent Film

Aporia (Well Go USA)
Brooklyn 45 (Shudder) Fall (Lionsgate Films)
Jules (Bleecker Street)
Pearl (A24)
The Tutor (Vertical Entertainment)
As I wrote above, the two leading nominees for Best Independent Film are Jules and Pearl with three nominations each. That's followed by The Tutor with two nominations and one each for Aporia, Brooklyn 45, and Fall. Pearl has 17 wins and 61 nominations, including two at the Critics Choice Super Awards for Mia Goth, while Jules has earned only the three nominations it has at the Saturn Awards and an audience award from the Sonoma International Film Festival. I'm voting for Pearl. The plurality of other voters can cast their ballots for Jules, but I'm not following them if they do. I hope they follow me.

Best International Film

Madeleine Collins (Greenwich Entertainment)
Missing (Dark Star Pictures)
The Origin of Evil (IFC Films)
Ransomed (Well Go USA)
Speak No Evil (Shudder)
Sisu (Lionsgate Films)
All of these films have just this one nomination, so I can't use that criterion to decide my vote. Before I researched the nominees, Sisu was first choice. Now that I've looked at their IMDB pages and box office, I narrowed my choices to Speak No Evil, which has the most awards and nominations, including Best International Film/Movie at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and Golden Scythe Awards, and Missing, which has the biggest box office of all the nominees, but only this one nomination. I'll vote for the one with the most awards, Speak No Evil, although I expect many more voters have watched Missing and will vote for it. If so, fine; that's a legitimate choice.

I haven't changed my vote on any of the individual awards since yesterday, so I'm not going to repeat myself today. My readers can click on the links to see my analysis and likely votes. However, I am embedding Renfield Movie Score Suite - Marco Beltrami (2023), uploaded by Lost Movie Music to round out the nominees for Best Film Music (Composer).

That completes my survey of the movie nominees. Stay tuned for this year's version of the year in space tomorrow, followed by this year's version of 'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars' at the Saturn Awards as I begin examining the television nominees in earnest.

Previous posts about the 51st Saturn Awards

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