And She Has Been For A While
By Elisabeth Joplin
I’m just going to preface this article by saying that Toni Collette is by no means an underrated actress; but for someone with a long filmography, and having popped up in significant horror films throughout the years, Toni Collette really needs to be on the same level as, say, Robert Englund or Jamie Lee Curtis.
When I say the words: Toni Collette and Horror, your mind probably goes to the 2018 cult classic film that was totally robbed of any Oscar nominations, Hereditary. And I would also go as far to say that your mind almost immediately went to that iconic ‘I Am Your Mother!’ monologue, yeah?
Ms. Collette has been gracing our screens since the early 90s, and has popped up in some pretty cool and impressive horror films such as The Sixth Sense (1999), The Night Listener (2006), the 2011 remake of Fright Night (I liked it, you can catch me outside and fight me about it!), Karmpus (2015), I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020), and the recently released Netflix film, Stowaway (2021). I personally think she deserves the same credit of being a horror icon as the likes of Brad Dourif and Bruce Campbell–but why isn’t she? Granted, yes, her filmography spreads wider than horror for the most part, but to not even acknowledge it is just plain rude!
With someone as talented and adaptable as Toni Collette is, I wish she could be identified as someone who can get down and dirty with the suspense and grit that horror tends to bring its icons, whether they be real or fictional. Her career has spanned so far that not recognizing her abilities is a disservice to her, because the characters that she usually plays within the horror genre are so vastly different from everything else she’s done and I just love her ability to get me excited about what’s going on and maybe even freak me the fuck out!
Horror, regardless of subgenre, has always been a tight knit community since before the days of internet forums and blogs, with the likes of Bruce Campbell being chased by a camera on a wire in the woods while his friend, Sam Raimi, probably cackled in the background while following behind–why can’t we admire Toni Collette the same way?
I know I probably sound like a crazy person, and technically, I am! However, I still think talent within the horror community should be recognized regardless of where exactly the majority of people recognize them. Horror has, and will always be, an ever changing endeavor, with new players along the way because that’s just how time works–Ari Aster’s Hereditary, which if you haven’t seen, you can rent it on Amazon Prime or check it out on Showtime, put a spotlight on Toni Collette; but she had already been in the game for years, quietly striking where no one thought to look.
With the newest Netflix film, Stowaway, which is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Prime (Canada), I do hope that people are reminded just how talented Toni Collette is. But I do also hope that they can see her as more than just a series of Mom’s from damn good movies and television–to see her as a quiet, unassuming horror Icon that will live in infamy on some of the best horror films known to mankind.