2006 Kaedrin Movie Awards: Most Visually Stunning & Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film

The nominations for the 2006 Kaedrin Movie Awards were announced last week. This week, I'll be announcing two winners every day, culminating in a post with my top 10 movies of the year and possibly some other wrap-up posts. Here are the awards for Most Visually Stunning film and Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film:

Most Visually Stunning: The Fountain

Pretty much the only reason I included this category was so that I could give The Fountain an award. I didn't love the movie, but I'll be damned if it wasn't the prettiest fucking movie I've seen in years. We're talking jaw-dropping visuals here. I don't think there's a single shot in the movie that isn't absolutely gorgeous. There is some stiff competition in this category, but nothing on the order of The Fountain. Ironically, the only movie that gives Fountain a run for it's money is Pan's Labyrinth, which wasn't nominated because it just came out in wide release this week (I have since seen it, and it is indeed a visually impressive work).

Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film: The Descent

I think this would be mildly controversial if the competition wasn't so lame this year. The Descent certainly has it's detractors and it's not a perfect film, but I still enjoyed it a lot. It's the only one of the nominated films that evoked sustained suspense, and that means a lot in my book. Hostel did make me squirm (which is no small feat), but was ultimately a little too sloppy and schlockey to compete. Slither was a ton of fun in a Tremors sorta way, but not at all scary. A Scanner Darkly was interesting and visually neat, though it's ultimately a mess. Unfortunately, the Sci-Fi/Horror genre didn't get much attention this year, so there really wasn't much to choose from. Still, when I think of my favorite moviegoing experiences of the year, The Descent ranks somewhere near the top (this is undoubtedly because I saw it at a movie festival in a theater filled with movie lovers, as opposed to the typical multiplex filled with obnoxious morons). It has issues and I wouldn't consider it a truly great film, but entertaining, creepy and suspenseful.

Next up: Best Sequel and Biggest Disappointment