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Movie Review: The Madame In Black & From Beyond

Welcome, my twisted troglodytes, to the first post of 2018! I even had my claws filed especially for the occasion!

The movie I'm reviewing today is actually a 23-minute short that is now part of a collection called From Beyond, available on Amazon Prime video. I'll be giving my thoughts on the rest of the collection at the end of this post.

(Remember, I don't give spoilers or discuss details of the story - those are for you creeps to discover on your own!)

"The Madame In Black" is episode two of the series. It deals with two things I really don't care for because they are just plain wrong: mirrors and urban legends/ kid dares that involve calling on some freaky psycho or tortured soul three times and daring them to show themselves.

First, let's talk a bit about mirrors. They're evil - plain and simple. Trust me when I tell you this, as I've lived a very, very long time and know for a fact mirrors are gateways to places you would rather not go, nor summon anything from. There's a reason why, for millennia, people have had legends and superstitions about mirrors. I have two mirrors in my crypt. One gets covered at night and the other I never look into when it's dark. So let me repeat: Mirrors are evil.
Next, let's address the creepy and crazy thing kids - and even some adults - participate in with regards to these old legends. It's quite simple, you call something's name three times and demand it come forth from a mirror. Why? Why would anyone ever do this? This is why people disappear into thin air, and I bet if you look closely enough, you'll find droplets of blood on the floor in front of said summoning mirror. Or perhaps a great puddle of it.

What part of "mirrors are evil" don't people understand?

Anyway, enough ranting - back to the review.

"The Madame In Black" has both a creepy old mirror and an ancient legend. The legend goes like this: in 1633, a Countess was sentenced to be burnt alive for the crimes of witchery and murder for the gruesome slaughter of her husband and two children. The story later became an urban legend that even later became a game by which (yes you guessed it, my minions) she can be summoned  by calling for her three times while in front of a mirror.

Jarno Lee Vinsencius wrote, directed, edited, produced, and was the cinematographer for "The Madame In Black," and he did a very good job at all of it. I'm not the only one who thinks so. Jarno is an award-winning filmmaker - he's won 80 of them, the last time I checked. Not many indie filmmakers can boast such a feat. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks his work is top notch.

The look and feel of this short was spot on, and conveyed the eerie tone required to invoke the emotional response a horror filmmaker wants to achieve and the audience wishes to feel. The acting, too, was well done and completely believable, even from the child actors in the beginning (which I've been told can be difficult to achieve).

Overall, "The Madame In Black" is a must-see for those of you who enjoy getting creeped out by a film with a spooky atmosphere that oozes a sense of doom. And coming in at only 23 minutes, it's worth a watch and easy to fit into your daily horror fix.

If, however, you're looking for more than a quick fix, you can tune into From Beyond, an anthology of shorts by JLV Pictures that stars award-winning actor Demis Tzivis, as well as Ida Gyllensten and Joanna Häggblom. From Beyond is a mixed bag of sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and horror shorts, in seven episodes ranging from 3 to 23 spine-tingling minutes each.

Usually, I have a few complaints about anthologies or shorts but, to be honest, I have none for From Beyond, except one: Where is part three of "Evil Rising"? Where? I must see it!

Okay, that's out of the way. To continue. I was impressed with the overall production value, and I appreciated the believabilty of the characters due to the skilled acting by the entire cast. I found that all of the shorts kept my interest and were beautifully shot and concisely written, with endings that were all neatly tied up with a bow - not an easy feat. All in all, I enjoyed the entire series.

Give it a go, minions - you won't be disappointed!

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