Crossing paths with a ghost, a serial killer, a psychopathic clown or even having a bad encounter in the forest… What completely freaks you out? We asked the question to the horror cinema freaks of the Gérardmer 2023 festival. They gave us their greatest anxieties.
The Festival of Lights 2022 in Lyon
Horror movies are the ultimate angst. We close our eyes, we jump, sometimes we even cling to our neighbour. During the 30th Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival (Vosges), which has just ended, we met a multitude of frightened fans. They confessed their deepest terrors to us.
- killer clowns and other psychopaths
A clown can be very funny, but not always. In movies, they often want to kill absolutely everything that moves. At the head of the gondola, the evil adventures of a clown psychopath, adapted for the screen from the novel That by Stephen King. This sadistic clown traumatized an entire generation with the TV movie He came back and the saga That (It in English). “These films completely traumatized me when I was younger, they are really scary”, warns Mathieu Dauget, 18, high school student and member of the youth jury. But rest assured, not all serial killers are clowns. They can also blend into the mass as in Memories of Murder, Thesilenceofthelambs Where Zodiac.
- camping in the forest which turns to tragedy
No network, no way to phone, you know the type. If in real life most people do not get lost in the woods, it happens very often in movies and camping with friends turns, inevitably, into drama. the Blair Witch Project, Friday 13, Deadly detour, Chainsaw Massacre…the list of scary movies set in the forest is endless. “When you take a realistic environment where strange things are happening, like a forest or a remote place that is not well visited, it can quickly become scary”worries Mathieu Maire, 16, high school student and member of the youth jury in Gérardmer.
- spirits, ghosts and the paranormal
For some, it’s not just cinema. If scientists persist in demonstrating the contrary, 32% of French people believe in ghosts and spirits. The paranormal has become a business and there are even “ghost hunters”. paranormal activity, Sinister, Conjuring… the number of films on the subject is more terrifying than a ghost haunting your living room. “Against a killer clown, there is always a way out but when it becomes paranormal, there is nothing more you can do, that’s what is terrible with this type of film”insists Lydéric Heitz, a 17-year-old high school student and member of the youth jury at Gérardmer.
- madness and mental disorders
The madness is very real. It can be transient, latent, provoked or even hereditary! In short, it watches us all (or almost), and it feels good in the cinema. Psychosis, shining, Flight over a cuckoo’s nest… the fear of madness haunts filmmakers. “In Psychosis, for example, there are very scary elements that can be found in real life, such as the madness and the toxic relationship between a son and his mother”explains Bruno, a fan of Moselle cinema, who comes to the festival every year.
- infernal creatures
Giant sharks, monster spiders and other mutants…the weirder, uglier and bigger, the scarier. Jaws, The Thing, King Kong, Alien, movies with hybrid creatures fascinate and frighten. These films reveal many of our anxieties and have become cult, like the very gory and depraved saga hellraiser. “The characters in the Hellraiser saga are completely out of the ordinary, it really impressed me”confides Hugues, a Belgian crazy about fantastic cinema, regular at the Gérardmer festival.
Gérardmer Festival: and you, what scares you? Top 5 biggest anxieties