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Here are the films in competition to frighten festival-goers at Gérardmer

Gérardmer jury members at its last in-person festival in January 2020
Gérardmer jury members at its last in-person festival in January 2020   -   Copyright  AFP
By Shannon McDonagh  with AFP

The 29th Gérardmer International Fantasy Film Festival just announced the ten films in competition for its grand prize this year.

Europe's celebration of all things horror and sci-fi returns to the Vosges, France on January 26 after last year's edition was held online due to COVID-19.

Expect haunted villages, children with supernatural powers, and darkly evil rituals.

This year, the festival, much adored by fans of the mystical, will run to January 30. The competition will be heavily European, with only two American films and a Taiwanese submission.

Gérardmer 2022's jury will be chaired by actress, director and producer Julie Gayet, who will oversee the selection of the Grand Prix, won last year by Brandon Cronenberg (the son of Cannes-acclaimed director David Cronenberg) for his film "Possessor".

What sinister delights are on display at Gérardmer?

Spaniard Paco Plaza, known for the horror film trilogy "[Rec]," will present "La Abuela," where a model ditches her life in Paris to care for her grandmother in Madrid only to have her life become a living nightmare.

Eskil Vogt will present "The Innocents," a Norwegian thriller about children with supernatural powers.

Vogt is best known as the creative partner of Joachim Trier and has co-written many of his films.The last of which, the dramatic comedy "The Worst Person in the World," was one of the sensations of the last Cannes festival.

American Sean Ellis's "Eight for Silver," shot in France, takes on the tale of a 19th century country village struck by a curse after the slaughtering of a Roma family.

French director Arnaud Malherbe is in the running with "Ogre," starring Ana Girardot, which imagines the mysterious events surrounding the arrival of a schoolteacher and her son in a village in the Morvan.

Other films screened that aren't competing for the prize include "After Blue (Paradis sale)," by Bertrand Mandicor, and  "Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness," a fun animated fantasy feature which will leave audiences laughing, rather than covering their eyes.