For Your Consideration: The 2015 Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Actress


While the FANGORIA Chainsaw Award season is currently underway, there are many difficult decisions to be made during the voting process. Sometimes, narrowing down a vote to only one choice is a difficult task, especially when more than one nominee truly deserves the award. And often times, this is a dilemma that directly affects the Best Actress category, as some of the female performances in a given year remind horror fans that there can be some heavy duty horror acting without necessarily being a slave to the “Scream Queen” moniker.

Before we get onto the nominees, let’s talk about the incredible female performances this year that unfortunately didn’t make their way onto the list. Of course, two of the best performances this year, Jill Larson in THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN and Rose Leslie in HONEYMOON, were victims of underexposure: not enough staffers had seen either movie to win a majority vote over the other nominees. Meanwhile, Sheila Vand’s performance in A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT was a victim of overcrowding, as her powerhouse performance was edged out by the sheer amount of other worthy performances. And while Karen Gillan and Morgana O’Reilly both delivered exceptional performances in OCULUS and HOUSEBOUND, respectively, each film was so dependent on the ensemble work and the unique direction that they barely missed the cut.

So without further ado, here are your FANGORIA Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Actress…


The Babadook (2014 Australia)Directed by Jennifer KentShown: Essie Davis

One of the most emotional and affecting performances of the year, Essie Davis commands every second of THE BABADOOK with her arresting take on a mother in psychological turmoil. Davis is a revelation as Amelia, playing both as a tired mother and, eventually, something much more sinister. It’s scary, it’s unnerving but above all, it’s heartbreaking; it’s one of the finest acting jobs of the year, let alone in the horror genre.


Alexandra Essoe, STARRY EYES


In her mesmerizing lead debut, Alexandra Essoe offers a performance that is as incredibly human as it was incredibly demonic. Undergoing a physical and emotional transformation in the role of Sarah, Essoe was desperation personified and offered a performance that rivaled even the most seasoned acting veteran. Eye-opening and terrifying, Essoe brought an honest and personal flair to STARRY EYES and, in doing so, firmly established herself as an actress to watch.


Scarlett Johansson, UNDER THE SKIN


Hypnotic, captivating and frightening, Scarlett Johansson does something so few actors that believably done in the past: embody something inherently alien. It’s a performance that allows the horror to resonate carefully throughout UNDER THE SKIN and offers a commitment to such an esoteric role rarely seen by her contemporaries. Haunting, yet surprisingly sympathetic, Johansson is absolutely unforgettable in UNDER THE SKIN, and is a terrifying highlight in an already impressive career.


Marta Milans, DEVOURED


The dark horse of this year’s nominees, Milans turned many critics’ heads in DEVOURED, giving a complex and tragic performance with a fascinating twist. A performance lauded by FANGO’s own Michael Gingold as “terrific,” Milans multifaceted take on the girl in peril, especially one who is so embroiled in unfortunately realistic physical torment, is flat-out great. And while the film didn’t quite get the attention it deserves, FANGORIA hopes fans will check out Milans’ performance during this Awards season to get a taste of how much she truly deserves this nomination.




Nuanced and contemplative, Tilda Swinton once again impresses in genre territory, this time offering a performance so in sync with the style of Jim Jarmusch that it’s practically palpable. Swinton offers a surprisingly heartfelt and committed role as Eve, with one of the most realistic contemporary spins on Gothic-inspired vampires to date. While not necessarily terrifying, Swinton delivers something a little more human, intellectual and provocative with her turn as the living undead.

If you would like to vote for any of these nominees for Best Actress, check out the full ballot here and send your completed ballot to chainsaw@fangoria.com.

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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