Movie Review: The Lords Of Salem
Prinz Lee wrote this review 3 years and 6 months ago
More of a mood movie than anything else, Rob Zombie’s warped take on witchcraft is both interesting and boring!
Rob Zombie films aren’t for everyone. The rocker’s visions are quite unique – carrying a certain flare of shock, and to a degree takes society’s “norms, ideals, or morals” flips them, and exposes them from a different angle.
His artistic ways were obvious from videos, leading to his first feature “House of a 1,000 Corpses,” followed by “Devil’s Rejects,” his version of “Halloween,” and so on. Either way, one thing he made clear was his films were never going to bow to common, cinematic formats. Whether or not you agree with his style, as film aficionados there’s a huge level of respect as Zombie stands as one of a handful of directors in Tinsel Town who does it way.
His latest adds a bit of a different taste to his Bloody Mary-like resume. Evoking the occult world of Salem witches, their sacrificial practices, and drive to make their lord Satan happy is without doubt one of the most interesting subject-matters for Zombie to have tackled.
“The Lords of Salem” tells the story of Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a radio DJ living in Salem, MA, who receives a weird, wooden box containing a record, and referred to as “a gift from the lords.” Heidi listens and the bizarre sounds within the grooves quickly trigger flashbacks of the town’s violent past. The aftermath leads to strange occurrences with puzzling questions leading to thoughts of either Heidi going crazy, or possibly “The Lords of Salem” coming back for revenge on Salem’s contemporary ways.
It’s got everything and anything one would imagine encompasses a film written and directed by Rob Zombie. “The Lords of Salem” gains lots of credibility in the areas of acting, cinematography, scenery, style, grittiness, setting, and music. However, where it loses steam is within the story. There isn’t much to grab on to, and feel like you’ve been sucked into a vortex of abnormal, yet cynically enjoyable narrative.
Twisted to the core – especially when it’s clear why things are happening – tackling the world of Salem witches could have been a lot more enjoyable in terms of creepiness. The mind-fucking is there, but it seemed to stall right when it tries to break out of its supernatural mold, cutting to scenes where predictability decides to show its face, alongside a handful of clichés.
What becomes clear as the film plays on is how Zombie borrowed a few things from “The Shining.” Making it his own, he elevates it with perverse, religious angles – exposing more than one would imagine. So, heed my words, because if you’re sensitive to religious mockery and/or ridicule, the guy gets a little crazy with it during the third act. Loving to jerk around with one’s psyche, it’s not surprising how far he went.
Is it worth a watch? Yes. Anything with a Zombafied touch is worth a shot. With a dragging first act, piecing everything in the second, and going nuts in the third, “The Lords of Salem” has its “macabre-it-factor,” but it’s not Zombie’s best work. Coming off a bit one-dimensional, this piece is more of a “mood movie,” rather than a horror/thriller aiming at blanketing our brains with fear, and most of all… a strange, loving feeling of vulnerability!