» » Svarta Madam (2017)

Short summary

After playing the infamous urban legend game "Madame in Black", Alex and his sister, Sarah, experience the wrath of the evil witch Madame in Black.
After playing the infamous urban legend game "Madame in Black", Alex and his sister, Sarah, experience the wrath of the evil witch Madame in Black.

Trailers "Svarta Madam (2017)"

While shooting the basement scene with first time actor Oliver Lopez, he got so scared when he saw the Madame in Black. The scene was almost scrapped due to Oliver's tremendous fear of his fellow actress playing the Madame in Black.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Amis
    I will start this off by saying that the pacing of the opening to this film was particularly well done, with the exception of one very early jump-scare scene which, in my opinion, broke immersion. Other than that; the music, the slow-moving camera angles and the gritty filter worked in unison to create a very good setup for the film.

    From thereon it's sort of a roller-coaster mix of good, mediocre and bad. This is an independent production, and as far as independent productions goes, this is well done. I will give credit most of all to the ambiance, the color setting, the music and the use of camera angles and movements. The acting can be incredibly campy. Some lines are delivered with such strange timing and tone. And the film itself pretty much makes use of every trick and cliché in the big book of horror film history.

    Does that make it a bad film though? Of course not. I think that this movie is, if anything, self-aware of how clichéd it is. It contains everything we've gotten to know and learn and either love or hate from older horror films. In short: this is a homage. A harmless flirt with the classics. And I don't find anything wrong with that.

    And one can tell that both the actors and the creator(s) of this film had fun making this idea a reality. And that's something they should definitely be proud of. I will give it a well-earned 7/10 for keeping me entertained throughout the whole feature. If you have about 25 minutes you can spare in your daily life, I would totally recommend this one.
  • comment
    • Author: MisterMax
    The short is based on an urban legend present in many cultures (e.g. Bloody Mary and Candy man). In Sweden it's "Svarta madam" (Black madam). The concept is that when a person looks into a mirror and repeats her name three times she might appear. I played this game myself during my childhood which heightened the experience of this movie.

    The script is carried out in a great way and the photo, ambiance and sound are also great. Someone complained about the ambiance being to much of a horror flick. Would this have been a full length movie I might have agreed. However, in a short, you don't have as much time to pull the viewer in and hence I think the constant horror ambiance worked well.

    I hope to see more from this director!
  • comment
    • Author: Zut
    This movie was a nice little gem.

    Personally i think a lot of short-films fall flat because of a shitty story line - this DOES NOT!

    I really enjoyed it.... a lot of story in a short amount of time, but done in a very professional way. i looks great, sounds amazing and the acting is very natural!

    The story itself is seen before, let's be honest, but anyway i would love to see a longer movie over the same story - OF the same director/writer.

    I will most definitely seek out the previous work of Jarno Lee Vinsencious.

    BRAVO JARNO!!!!!
  • comment
    • Author: Nalme
    I make IMDb page to write review. Very cool to see this film. I like horror films and this was correct made. The emotion, the scary, the madame in black was cool killer.

    The actors did good work. I also very happy to see Harry who artist Kase Chlopecki acts. I like to see more of him. I wait for Evil Rising a long time and hope soon to see it.

    The director make good work also.
  • comment
    • Author: Kecq
    This is my first exposure to Jarno Lee Vinsencius' work. Moody and atmospheric, with top-notch quality, as is with THE WITCH (a film that I thoroughly enjoyed from all perspectives) SVARTA MADAM is Jarno Lee Vinsencius' tour de force in 23:50. Wise not to make a feature film, SVARTA MADAM is the right length, with a cautionary pace building to it's climax. Vinsencius gently takes you in to his main characters' nightmare. With excellent performances by the cast and and fine score, it was a pleasure to screen. My only criticism (and it could due to the over-saturation of the device here in the States) is that there are too many jump-scares. Though effective, I have discovered that once a jump-scare occurs, the end result is that it takes the tension out of the film. Too many jump-scares not only removes tension, like wind out of the sails of a boat, but now we, the audience, have been trained to expect more jump-scares as the film moves forward, hence dampening the suspense. Aside from that, I truly enjoyed SVARTA MADAM. I look forward to more independent work by Jarno Lee Vinsencius and his outstanding repertoire of actors, designers & technicians.
  • comment
    • Author: Malodred
    'THE MADAME IN BLACK': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

    The new horror short film from multiple award winning Swedish filmmaker Jarno Lee Vinsencius. This one is a 23-minute supernatural thriller, dealing with an urban legend known as the Madame in Black. The short once again stars Demis Tzivis (who stars in all of Vinsencius's recent work), and it costars Ida Gyllensten, Jennica Landen and Ellinor Rosander. Vinsencius also once again wrote, directed, produced, edited and filmed the movie (like he does all of his films). I think this short is equally as good as his earlier award winning work, if not better.

    The story revolves around an urban legend known as the Madame in Black (Rosander); a witch that appears and haunts people, after they say it's name three times. Two siblings, Alex (Tzivis) and Emma (Gyllensten), played a popular game when they were kids, where they called the witch. Alex thinks she did appear, and he's been haunted by her ever since. The brother and sister decide (foolishly) to play the game once again, as adults, and the Madame in Black returns to haunt them.

    The movie has a pretty simple premise, that's reminiscent of a lot of other popular supernatural thrillers, but this one is really well made. The cinematography is always beautiful to watch, the acting is all more than adequate (especially Tzivis, once again), and the scares are really effective (and frightening). Vinsencius never shows the viewer too much either, which I think makes the film that much scarier. He really has a talent for making strange, dark, and sometimes frightening movies (like this). I think it's another impressive entry for his resume, and I can't wait for his upcoming feature film 'EVIL RISING'!

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  • comment
    • Author: Marr
    The Madame in Black, or "Svarta Madam" in its native language, is a film about a supernatural being that was burned at the stake centuries ago, and comes back when someone says its name three times while looking in a mirror--not unlike the "Bloody Marry" children's game. The film begins with a narrative about the Svarta Madam, then cuts to the early 90s, where two kids are about to play the game. From there, it cuts to present day, and the rest of the film seems to take place over the course of one night.

    First of all, the cinematography was impressive. The picture was crisp and detailed, the camera moved smoothly, and the choices for lighting and coloring worked really well with the horror genre.

    As far as I could tell, the acting was good. I don't speak Swedish, so I couldn't be 100% sure, but the delivery of lines seemed pretty good, and the emotions felt real enough. Nothing about the acting took me out of the film.

    When it comes to the plot, things get a bit murky. A character was displaced from the other characters, and aside from an initial question, the other characters don't acknowledge this character's existence again. Secondly, around the climax of the film, it was becoming confusing what the sequence of events were; what was imagined, what was a dream, etc. Aside from those things, however, the plot was serviceable for the film.

    I enjoyed watching this film, and I look forward to seeing more from this director. Indie film makers are important for the integrity of film-making. It's preferable that film doesn't grow too inbred, isolated to one city, where everyone thinks the same.
  • comment
    • Author: Gom
    It's always fun to see horror from Scandinavia. There's not enough of that stuff. Svarta Madam is Spooky and gorgeous with elements of both the ghost and slasher genres and still manages to be its own thing. There's definitely a lot of interesting mythology hinted at too, which is cool. Would love to see this expanded into a feature film. It's awesome.
  • comment
    • Author: Wilalmaine
    When i first saw the trailer i thought to myself that i have to see this movie. After recently finishing it i was amazed by how good it was. Exciting with a good atmosphere. I highly recommend this movie to all horror fanatics! Awesome work by the crew. This could most likely go for a long-film with enough budget. Even thought its a short-film i still feel the sensation that i watched a standard 1 to 2 hour movie. Once again i recommend anyone to at least give it a shot!
  • comment
    • Author: Sharpbrew
    Disclaimer: I was given a link by Writer/ Director Jarno Lee Vinsencius to see this movie.


    What began with a gruesome murder in 1633 evolves into a game by 1995. One in which we watch two children call out what is known as "Madame in Black." Which, at the time, does nothing but maybe produce something of Alex's (Demis Tzivis) imagination. Fast forward 22 years and they dare play this game again. However, now Alex and older sister Emma (Ida Gyllensten) have something to lose. First, their sense of safety, then potentially their sanity, but is the Madame In Black just a ghost or part of the characters' collective imagination? You gotta watch to find out.


    The Score

    Most horror movies are consistently good at two things: The first being creating jump scares and the second being having rich scores. I'm talking about the kind which can travel from making your hair stand to remind you how creepy classical music can be. All of which sets a tone to put you both in a relaxed state as well as paranoid for you know it is a trick.

    With Madame in Black, this is done throughout the whole movie with music which brings the quiet moments to life. Which helps you get into the head of the actors who are starting to get a sense of paranoia. Especially as they find Alex's claims of perhaps seeing the Madame in Black perhaps not just his imagination.


    Character Development

    One of the issues for a lot of horror movies, especially ones built around a killer who could lead a franchise, is that while the killer is presented as this interesting figure, the would-be victims are made to be disposable. Which is the main issue with "Madame in Black" for while Emma, Alex, and their spouses Sarah (Jennica Landén) and Harry (Kase Chlopecki) seem nice, why care about them dying?

    Are you supposed to just because of your humanity? The idea that you shouldn't want anyone killed violently? Well, to me, that isn't enough. On top of that, it the Madame in Black isn't like Jason, Freddy, Chucky, or the other icons in horror. If you don't call her out, she probably won't kill you. So to feel something for people who call out a tortured spirit? It is rather difficult. Especially when you only learn their name and who they are in a relationship with.

    Overall: Mixed (Divisive)

    When just speaking about the build up to when the Madame in Black appears, I have only positive things to say. The score drives the creepiness of the impending appearance of the Madame in Black and keeps you on edge. But, with us learning so little about the characters, it makes it so you don't really for them. Especially since they aren't innocent for they are the ones who called out this spirit.

    Hence the mixed label for, in the realm of horror films, you can see potential here. For all that really needs to be done is give us characters who we actively don't want to see die and maybe beef up the Madame in Black's backstory. For while a paragraph explaining how she died and saying said story became a children's game is fine, I think with just a little bit more done, there could be a new horror icon.
  • comment
    • Author: Memuro
    Horror fans would be familiar with the legend that director Jarno Lee Vinsencius has chosen for his latest short feature. Whether you know her as Bloody Mary or in this case the Madame in Black, the folklore remain the same... say her name in front of a mirror and invite her to come out and play. The opening of this movie is welcome enough when we see the two central characters, Alex and Emma as kids who carry out said act, before a shadowy reveal of the titular nemesis. The issue is in the choice of editing which breaks the suspense of this initial jump scare with a on-screen credit, and this unfortunately has a domino effect on the remainder of the movie. The film is beautifully shot and contains all the hallmarks of a typical horror film, but falls short in a few clunky choices in the storytelling and the spirit never quite manages to shake her shackles within the tight timeline to truly evoke enough fear in the audience. A case in point is the decision to cast the story some twenty years later, when Alex and Emma are grown up and they decide to carry out the deed once more, but from here on in, the plot wobbles around a bit and feels disjointed and fragmented. With a bit more breathing time and place as a feature to allow Vinsencius the opportunity to flex his obvious creativity on-screen would benefit immensely. As it stands though, it's a good enough short to keep you invested through to the end and holds promise for any future endeavours that the director chooses to go next. Horror is always a hard subject to tackle, especially in the short format, but when it's done well, it can really leave a mark and resonate with its audience. This movie just narrowly misses out on landing that killer punch, but is still effective in capturing the heart of the legend and placing it in a modern setting. Keep your eyes peeled for future projects from this promising director.
  • comment
    • Author: Hrguig
    Superb film, a short film that is perfectly paces, has echos of classic horror such as Candyman and Dracula all the way through it. I genuinely loved it and would happily pay to see a feature by the same director if this the kind of dark, twisted beauty that he can create.

    Atmospheric,creepy and doesn't show too much until it needs to.

  • comment
    • Author: Xlisiahal
    The spirit of a witch reeks havoc on two siblings and their partners when she is summoned to their cottage.

    As the genre is close to my heart I couldn't pass an opportunity to view Sweden's filmmaker Jarno Lee Vinsencius latest offering Svarta Madam. Opening with a creepy exposition card harking back to the good old days of horror we're treated to glimpse of a 1633 burning at the stake. Moving forward to 1995 oozing atmosphere as two children, Emma and Alex, go about summoning a spirit (unavoidably echoing Bernard Rose's Candy Man and the Bloody Mary legend) it then jumps to 22 years later at a birthday dinner where the siblings are reunited with their grandmother's mirror. Director, writer Vinsencius packs every frame of The Madame in Black with a flavour of eerie ambiance. With a few jump scares courteous of an injection of effective sound design and music he then amps up the horror suspense with creaky floor boards, disembodied whispers and shrieks in the dark.

    As the body count increases even with severed fingers, dreams within dreams, the script rings true, adding some much needed credibility to the underdog genre. It contains all the creepy staples of a good horror, even floating camera work in a forest reminiscent of Evil Dead but like the recent Spanish horror revival this is also fittingly played straight with an on location backdrop enhanced with naturalist lighting. The cast are on fine form, as with Vinsencius' Darkness Falls this offering benefits from some strong performances courtesy of Ida Gyllenstan and the notable Demis Tzivis.

    The moonlit night is seemingly CGI free and the makeup effects by Ellinor Rosander are used sparingly. When Madame in Black appears it encompasses all the best of practical horrors, a simple effective shrouded figure (also played by Rosander) channelling Exorcist III. But where Vinsencius excels is in his cinematography, creating a cinematic feel, even throwing in some aerial shots that put DTV horror and some bigger budget films with longer running times to shame. It's clear that Vinsencius gives 110% to his craft and there's no wonder why this Swedish chiller has won handfuls of awards.

    This is a must see short horror film, watch with the sound up and the lights off.
  • comment
    • Author: Dogrel
    It is like any other urban legend film which we have seen before so there is not much in the story. How ever the photography is excellent and camera angles which are used is par excellence and so is the music ! The drone shots of still and green forest and the use of smoke is breath taking.

    The actors have also acted well in what ever roles they have got. Emmas role is etched very well. She has really melded effortlessly in to the role of elder sister and emotes real affection to her younger brother in her role in a very realistic way ! The shortcomings are the absence of a solid story to back the grandeur with which it has been filmed and may be little more of jump scare moments which look predictable and also like they have been intentionally planted ! But over all a brilliant production in terms of photography, editing and music. All the best Jarno Lee sure you will definitely go places
  • comment
    • Author: Cktiell
    A great story based on the traditional tail that many of us as children played and that scared the life out of our friends. Well here is one short film to watch. The lightning is as spooky and intimidating as the sound that made me jump a few times. The cinematography and the composition of every shot are cleverly design to get your attention and take you into the story. The only drawback is that it feels too short, like it is a story for a long feature film. Really worth washing!!
  • comment
    • Author: Androlhala
    This is a great movie, hope to see more creations in the future from Jarno lee vinsencius. Hes a really promising Swedish producer. Cool and interesting mythology to, would be great to see this in the feature as a long movie. Great cinematography and very detailed production. Hope we soon see more Swedish horror :) Keep up the good work Jarno.
  • comment
    • Author: Akir
    Since I am a horror movie fan I loved this. I sat in suspense the whole time, biting my nails and almost didn't want to watch it because it was so scary! Loved the actors who where great for their roles. Wonder what happened with the last woman.

    Looking forward to more from this director!
  • comment
    • Author: Nejind
    An interesting variation of the "Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary" urban legend and the 70s-80s films it spawned, "Svarta Madam (The Madam in Black)" avoids being blatantly derivative through its use of a different legend—the very Swedishness of which will prove compelling for audiences of other nationalities—and most of all, its use of subtle, keenly placed details. These details allow the audience to see, hear, and experience new things with each view. I've watched "Svarta Madam" twice and intend to watch it at least twice more. Fine use of atmospherics: As in most good horror films, what you don't see is far more crucial than what you do, and "Svarta Madam" shows you just enough. There are some great "jump" scenes too.

    Fine acting by all, with special kudos going to Zalma and Oliver Lopez as young Emma and Alex. The close relationship between the siblings is adeptly shown and proves crucial to the story. While the resemblance between the two men gets a little confusing, the fact that Emma marries a man who looks and acts so much like her brother is significant.

    The directing, screen writing, and cinematography are all expertly done: You can tell the makers of this film spent a good bit of time and trouble fine-tuning every little thing about it. The one criticism I might have is that "Svarta Madam" would have been enhanced by just a bit more dramatization of the 1633 back-story legend. Still, Jarno Lee Vinsencius is going places as a writer and director, and I am eager to see more from him.
  • comment
    • Author: Pettalo
    Svarta Madam is a Swedish short film that tells the story of siblings, Alex(Demis Tzivis) & Emma(Ida Gyllensten). When Alex & Emma were kids, they used to play the terrifying children's game called Svarta Madam(The Madame in Black, when translated into English). This game is based on a spooky story about a witch. Years after they first play the game, Alex & Emma decide to play Svarta Madam once again, this time accompanied by Sarah(Jennica Landen) & Harry(Kase Chlopecki). This leads to some dire consequences. Jarno Lee Vinsencius' next short film after, Burn in Hell(2015), Darkness Falls(2016) & Silent Fall(2016) is just as mind blowing as those three movies. Vinsencius' talent knows no bounds as he writes the script, shoots, edits & directs all his films. This is a horror short movie & manages to maintain the tense atmosphere throughout. The cliffhanger left me wanting more. This is the best thing a short film can achieve. The cinematography by Vinsencius is gorgeous. The performances are excellent. Demis Tzivis is spectacular in his portrayal of Alex. Tzivis gives another award worthy performance, after Burn in Hell(2015), Darkness Falls(2016) & Silent Fall(2016). I can't wait for Jarno Lee Vinsencius' full-length movie, Evil Rising(2017). Vinsencius will have an awesome filmography in the coming years.
  • comment
    • Author: Tekasa
    After the success of the critically acclaimed Darkness Falls, we all were wondering what the highly talented film writer/producer Jarno Lee Vinsencius would come up with. He came back with a bang. His new film The Black Madame has certainly met expectations. The film strikes a balance between serenity and horror in an exciting and gripping way. The cinematography of the film is eye catching and nothing short of outstanding. It is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the film. The use of smoke in the film is extremely well-timed and adds a sense of mystery and anticipation. The dynamic and harmonious on screen interaction between Demis Tzivis and Ida Gyllensten is fantastic and both actors showed their raw talent and completed each other perfectly. Ellinor Rosander with her superb makeup artistry has been an excellent addition to the film crew.

    Mr Vinsencius has managed to transform a simple film idea into an admirable and well-crafted short film one a small budget. The black Madame is a reflection of Mr Vinsencius's creativity and film vision. I am eagerly awaiting his next production.
  • comment
    • Author: MOQ
    Being a horror movie freak I love this! The suspense building up from the first few scenes to the ending is great.

    I love the look, the footage is great and the use of visual effects are great!

    Looking forward to more!!
  • comment
    • Author: Tygralbine
    Fantastic production and generally all the actors are doing their job, but it's one actor that outshone all other, Demis Tzivis. He takes his job to the next level and gives everything and then some. The couch scene where The Madame in Black appear, the eyes and the screaming is worth an Oscar.
  • comment
    • Author: Kage
    This movie was better than expected. The mysterious environment is very suitable for this urban legend. Svarta madam (Madame in Black) is probably the directors best work so far. Great production. All actors did an excellent job, especially Demis Tzivis with his enchanting gaze.

    Thumbs up ????????.
  • comment
    • Author: Faezahn
    I'm not a big fan of horror movies and especially not short ones, since I find it hard to both build up a story and a good end without to many lose ends, but not this one.

    I was surprised that in The Madam in Black. Jarno manage to keep your interest, keep you biting your nails and jump one or two meters up in the air during the short movie. It's excellent done!

    The never ending foggy surroundings and the music keeps you in a constant nerve breaking mood.

    I loved it!

    I'm for sure not playing The Madam in Black, ever.....
  • comment
    • Author: Zeueli
    I've always been fascinating with stories from the Nordic countries. The Black Madame is apparently based on a folk tale / urban legend from Sweden that most people in Sweden are aware of since their childhood. Mr Jarno, the director, decided to take this scary tale to the big screen and he has succeeded doing so in a chilly way. Since it is a short film with limited time, it doesn't really allow to dig deeper to the story itself. But this is definitely a good teaser of what this film could become if it was made into the feature film. The Black Madame herself is a frightening character that could become a part of horror film culture when it comes to scary characters. I truly hope this will be made into a feature film soon so we can see a new sequel of horror film emerge, following the footsteps of movies like The Ring, Insidious, & The Conjuring.
  • Credited cast:
    Ida Gyllensten Ida Gyllensten - Emma
    Demis Tzivis Demis Tzivis - Alex
    Ellinor Rosander Ellinor Rosander - The Madame in Black
    Jennica Landén Jennica Landén - Sarah
    Zalma Lopez Zalma Lopez - Young Emma
    Kase Chlopecki Kase Chlopecki - Harry
    Sevgi Alievska Sevgi Alievska - Miriam
    Oliver Lopez Oliver Lopez - Young Alex
    Magnus Hellmén Magnus Hellmén - Micke
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