The bus plunges into the forest. At its edge, a thirty passengers. The vehicle bore silently the mist and winds its way along snow-covered roads, lined with pine trees. Despite the darkness, the travellers distinguished the rugged terrain of the Grand Is in a dead silence. The decor is worthy of a horror movie. The circumstances lend themselves to imagine scenarios sordid of lost travelers and then massacred in the mountains and other fancy macabre: the shuttle goes to Gérardmer, where was held the 26th edition of the international film festival dedicated to fantastic cinema and terror until Sunday.

” READ ALSO – Why love-t-we be afraid in the cinema?

Since 1994, this town of 9000 souls, is transformed into a Mecca of horror at the end of the month of January. For a few days, the streets are overrun by a horde of movie-goers, curious and lovers of fiction which transcends the hemoglobin. Everyone came there to quench a thirsty vampire of the seventh art. Some are made up like zombie. Others have taken out of backpacks in the shape of a bat and the masks of the drinkers of blood. Almost all of them have donned the “Moon Boots”, a must-have accessory to perform the pilgrimage on the flanks of the vosges mountains, along the shores of the lake of Gérardmer. Again this year, the casino of the city and three other spaces have been fitted out to accommodate all this beautiful world. In the program, fifty screenings of films and short films horror, horror and fantasy.

Survival Swedish

on Wednesday, festival-goers discover Escape Game . In this thriller Adam Robitel, six people, which have a priori nothing in common, find themselves trapped in one of these “escape rooms” like the ones you see swarming all over the world. It will have to compete ingenuity to unravel the puzzles of the death trap that closes in on them. Despite a chugging rhythm, the film, which looks back to Saw and Cube – awarded the Grand prize of the jury in 1999 – just to offer something new. Dozens of festival-goers leave the room before the end. Screened late Friday evening, Lifechanger has more success with the public. This fantastic film canadian signed Justin McConnell, focuses on Drew, a charity shapeshifter who needs to transit from body to body in order to survive. Despite some of the awkwardnesses of staging, we find a bold in which six actors – men and women – share the main role.

” READ ALSO – Zombies, witches, and Udo Kier: what you must not miss at the festival Gérardmer 2019

The Swedish collective Crazy Pictures has been sacred to three times, receiving the jury prize, the critics and the youth jury. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP

Two films of the “survival” swedes seem to excite festival-goers. Directed by Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja, Aniara narrates an adventure in a spaceship drifting in space – an epic full of darkness recalling the recent High Life of a Claire Denis. Disaster movie visually stunning, The Unthinkable is directed by Crazy Pictures, a collective of five filmmakers acclaimed for their short films.

The Scandinavians are featured to the Koreans. The Witch, part 1. Subversion , divides. “This is a movie excessive” warned Park Hoon-jeong, the director, before the screening. Maybe not as much as Rampant , a zombie film to the feudal era, signed Kim Sung-hoon. On social networks, the spectators don’t recommend The Dark , a story of friendship between a young dead girl-live boy and a mistreated and Await Further Instructions , a thriller paranoid behind closed doors in England in a state of emergency.

“Aaaaooouuuhh!” In theaters, the spectators insiders shout for werewolf during the jingle that precedes each film. At the end of each session, they are invited to put one of the coupons, “excellent”, “good”, “average” or “bad” of the ticket that was delivered in a box. They will designate the favorite movie of the public on Sunday.

“I need the blood of a virgin”

In the streets of Gérardmer, one can come across “Rob Zombie”, the festival mascot, who wanders in inviting passers-by to make selfies. Even the “yellow vests” came to protest wear masks of undead and makeup bloody. In the crowd, you can see Eli Roth the harangue: the filmmaker has just received a tribute and is about to give a masterclass on horror. What is the last film that has terrified? “ Hereditary , ” replied he. See Toni Collette sawing his own head… I can’t get over it. On the other hand, I haven’t really been afraid in front of the last Halloween . It looks like an action movie.” It takes much more than a mask and a knife, shocking the director of Hostel.

” READ ALSO – Eli Roth: “All the fears are variations of the fear of death”

“I’ve played Adolf Hitler several times. When you’re German and you live in America like me, you are often offered the roles of nazi”

Udo Kier during his masterclass at Gérardmer

In the corridors of the Grand Hotel, Udo Kier shows off. It also has the place of honour in Gérardmer. He settled into a huge armchair in baroque black velvet time a conversation with the audience to evoke the great roles of his career – Dracula, Frankenstein, Jack the Ripper – and his collaborations with Lars Von Trier, Gus Van Sant, or Alexander Payne. “I need the blood of a virgin”, glide the one who, the day before, and put on a sip of white wine in the trophy received. He jokes in French in a near-perfect, takes a sweet voice, tickles her translator. He likes to take the people in the audience who are showing signs of fatigue: “I’m boring you?”, lance-t-there smile on his lips.

“I’ve played Adolf Hitler several times,” he says. When you’re German and you live in America like me, you are often offered the roles of nazi”. In Gérardmer, Kier is the poster of Puppet Master: The Littelest Reich , in which he played a puppeteer psychopath nostalgic of the Third Reich. Ironically, it is for this movie that the heart of the duo Gustave Kervern and Benoit Delepine, who chairs the jury, came to a standstill on Sunday evening. Tribute to bloody movies gores and series B of the 1980s, this feature film directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, are recorded in the list of winners of the festival to the sides of the Two Sisters , Kim Jee-woon (2004), The Orphanage of Juan Antonio Bayona (2008) and It Follows of David Robert Mitchell (2015). The Swedish Crazy Pictures, leave, them, with three awards (jury prize, critic’s prize and jury prize for young people) to The Unthinkable , a film in which their country is attacked by terrorists over-training. A scenario “unthinkable, but not impossible”, we slipped.

● list of Winners of the Festival international du film fantastique de Gérardmer 2019:

*Grand Prix – the Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund

*jury Prize (ex aequo) – The Unthinkable Crazy Pictures ” and ” Aniara Pella Kagerman

*best original music – Fabio Frizzi for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich

*Prix de la critique – The Unthinkable Crazy Pictures

*public Prize – Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund

*Prix du jury Syfy – The Witch: part 1. Subversion

*jury Prize-youth – The Unthinkable Crazy Pictures

*Grand prix du court-métrage – Diversion Mathieu Mégemont