Of course they did:
Rosemary's Baby: Ruth Gordon won for Best Supporting Actress
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931): "Fredric March’s performance as the title character(s) earned the film a Best Leading Actor statue"
Silence of the Lambs: "one of only three films to win all of the “Big Five” awards, which also include Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and ...
I have also worked on film sets and I concur with @Nobby. I think a larger point, though, is that situations are generally only “scary” when actors are in character. For example consider Halloween. An adult dressed like a corpse and covered in bruise makeup and fake blood isn't scary to most children if she’s chatting and laughing and walking around as if ...
This great source provides some answers given by people related to horror genre (filmmakers, writers and experts).
Below are some quotes from their answers to the question Why are dolls and clowns, similar tropes that are often depicted as children or children's companions, similiarly creepy?:
Dolls are frozen in time—human, but not human. There's no ...
It's not specific to horror movies, but the event or action that kicks off the plot of a movie is typically called it's inciting incident.
This is a literary term that applies to almost anything with a plot. Usually there is a short portion of the movie, the "setup" or "backstory", then some seemingly minor event that triggers all of the players to start ...
That sounds like John Carpenter's remake of The Thing, (1982).
Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien
that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.
There is a scene like you describe, with a severed head pulling itself along the floor with a long prehensile tongue. You can watch that clip here.
As @BrettFromLA mentioned is the comments, I would suggest this character is called the:
Warning! TV Tropes Link!
The trope name come from Stark Trek: The Original Series where the new recruits/ensigns wore red uniforms. This can be a bit confusing because in later Star Trek series the Command positions wore red...
A brief excerpt of what defines ...
This is Cloverfield (2008) and the smaller creatures you are referring to are called Parasites
The monster was covered in 2,000 Parasites that are roughly the same weight and height as a dog. They have 10 legs consisting of six spider-like, double jointed limbs and 4 "pincers" on the top and back of its body. They have very large jaws, pale gray ...
This is a topic of Which there is a huge body of work, circulating different theories of why Children are such a prevalent theme of horror, so its unlikely you will find a single comprehensive answer/theory, but there is one unifying reason that all parties are in agreement upon:
Kids are scary, yo.
Children are able to operate as Microcosm for social ...
Ruth Gordon won Best Supporting Actress in Rosemary's Baby.
This article lists 14 horror films "noticed" by the Academy, including Misery and Silence of the Lambs. Whether these two can be classified as horrors is arguable, but if so, you can also add Kathy Bates, Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins to the list.
Just to share one related example: Linda Blair in the Exorcist did not understand what she was doing when she was told to act out the masturbation scene. It was only years later that she figured it out. So it's quite possible that child actors are often not quite aware of the exact nature of the scene they're acting out.
Source: Linda Blair herself.
This is Mindhunters from 2004 with Jonny Lee Miller and Christian Slater:
On a remote island, the FBI has a training program for their psychological profiling division, called "Mindhunters", used to track down serial killers. The training goes horribly wrong, however, when a group of seven young agents discover that one of them is a serial killer, and is ...
This is definitely the Mist: best ending to a horror movie ever.
Tom Jane, who is fantastic in it, insisted the ending not be changed or he wouldn't complete the movie. He was a big supporter of it.
It differs dramatically from the original ending of the Stephen King novella, but King was so impressed with how Frank Darabont adapted it he went on record:
Yes, that does ring a bell. There were a number of pretty good series that basically emulated the Twilight Zone in format and style.
One of those was the HBO-created series called The Hitchhiker (IMDB)
The specific episode you are referring to is called "Face To Face" -
Homely and desperate transsexual Nina Russell hires prominent, but sleazy and ...
Having been in the makeup FX biz for a while, I am in a good position to answer this, but I'm going to do so using personal experience and no links to external sites - so you might want to wait for a more comprehensive answer before up voting.
Essentially, there are several ways to approach these shots.
Let's take a simple stabbing: If the stabbing is ...
Probably House of Nine. The lead is Kelly Brook.
The description you provided matches the plot in the wiki page.
Nine strangers have been abducted and locked inside a house. A
mysterious voice called The Watcher (voiced by Jim Carter) tells them
that they are to play a game: the last person alive can leave the
house and win five million dollars. ...
Is it People Under the Stairs (1991)?
The plot seems very similar. Plus here are a few quotes that look like a good match:
The Robesons, who are believed to be a married couple, call themselves Mommy and Daddy. They have a daughter named Alice.
With the help of their daughter Alice and a boy called Roach, Fool attempts to escape the house and reveal ...
It sounds like The Dark, (2005).
When Ebrill, who was a sickly child, died, her father gave her to the
ocean, sending her to Annwyn. He then convinced his followers to throw
themselves into the ocean, claiming that it was the way to Paradise,
while he privately hoped that their sacrifice would return Ebrill to
him from Annwyn. Ebrill did come back,...
Might be The Tommyknockers (1993).
But instead of Wikipedia I'll quote The 34th Dimension:
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen The Tommyknockers, but from what I remember the plot goes like this: blah blah blah, midwestern American town, blah blah blah, alien things show up, blah blah, A GUY PULLS OUT HIS OWN FUCKING TEETH.
If I gave you a ...
In literature what you're looking for is called the 'sacrificial lamb'. A character whose sole purpose is to die so as to give the protagonist a reason to act. It also can be used to show just how 'evil' the villain is.
The 'red shirt' of Star Trek is a perfect example of this, though they're much more in line with the 'cannon fodder' than the '...
This is Final Destination 5 (2011)
Sam Lawton is on his way to a company retreat with his colleagues. While their bus crosses the North Bay Bridge, Sam has a premonition that the bridge will collapse, killing everyone on it, except for his ex-girlfriend Molly Harper, who he manages to get across the bridge safely. In a panic,...
Horror does not require supernatural elements. The Horror genre is defined by the deliberate attempt to invoke a phychological reaction of terror, fear, shock and revulsion in the audience. It is not a requirement that it has a supernatural element.
It does overlap with the Thriller genre, which is more intended to impart excitement through the use of ...
This is the Dario Argento produced film Demons (1985) about a group of people invited to a free movie screening who are then infected and turn to demons. This starts when one character named Rosemary:
scratches her face with a bizarre display mask before they go in to watch the film. The film is a violent, disturbing horror movie which features a look-...
Rather than specific frequencies it is more about musical intervals. It is pretty well accepted that specific chords and scales have associations with particular emotions for example music in a minor key is usually perceived as being somewhat darker than a major key. In fact there are various videos about on Youtube etc with well known songs transposed from ...
It's a TV episode, not a movie, What you probably saw was Dreams in the Witch-House:
H. P. Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch House is the second episode of the first season of Masters of Horror, directed by Stuart Gordon. It is adapted from the short story "The Dreams in the Witch House" by American horror author H. P. Lovecraft. It originally aired ...
This is Devil's Diary from 2007 that aired on Lifetime.
When two friends, Dominique and Ursula, uncover an ancient book in a graveyard one night, they discover that the book has the supernatural power to grant any evil desire written within it. In a series of escalating acts of vengeance, Ursula harms anyone who opposes her. Dominique realizes that the ...
This is the plot of Dark Corners from 2006 with Thora Birch.
Birch plays two characters, alternating between them each time she falls asleep, each of whom believes that the other is a dream. The first of them, Karen Clarke, is a mortuary worker who awakes to find that she has injuries which she does not recall receiving, and the second is Susan Hamilton, ...
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker
gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two
teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.
Here is a picture of the mess you describe:
And a trailer:
Your recollection matches a section of the IMDb synopsis for House (1986). There are too many details to quote it all, but it mentions the father seeing his son behind a mirror in a painting, breaking the real mirror, entering "another dimension" where there is water, rescuing his son from monsters and emerging through a swimming pool.
You're describing The Darkness from 2002 with Anna Paquin and Lena Olin.
Forty years after an unfinished occult ritual resulted in the disappearance of six children, an American family has moved into a never-before inhabited house in Spain. The mother, Maria (Olin), wants to get the place in order, while the father, Mark (Glen), goes to work, and their ...
Your observation is correct: "thriller" and "horror" are often thinly separated in the already vague world of film taxonomy. There isn't really One True criterion for distinguishing the two.
That said, there are genres, and the thriller and horror genres can be seen, Venn diagram-style, as not completely overlapping. Check out the Wikipedia entry for ...