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From the singular mind of horror master Rob Zombie (HALLOWEEN) comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood. Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie of HALLOWEEN), a radio station DJ living in Salem, Massachusetts, receives a strange wooden box containing a record, a “gift from the Lords.” Upon listening, the bizarre sounds within the grooves immediately trigger flashbacks of the town’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or have the LORDS OF SALEM returned for revenge. Also starring: Ken Foree (DAWN OF THE DEAD), Meg Foster (MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE, THEY LIVE), Patricia Quinn (THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW), Dee Wallace (E.T.), and Bruce Davison (X-MEN).
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 58
- Fresh: 26
- Rotten: 32
- Average Rating: 5.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Considerable care goes into establishing the premise, but the film eventually abandons psychological subtlety for hallucinatory garishness, which is too bad.
Rotten: Some of this looks cool enough, but most of it's just silly satanic mumbo jumbo that's not particularly scary.
Fresh: "The Lords of Salem" will make you feel bad. But it's supposed to.
Fresh: Although it eventually descends into silliness, this creepily atmospheric effort delivers some effective scares along the way.
Quite the Freakshow
I was extremely excited for this movie when I first saw the trailer, so I had high expectations going into it. And although it delivers some pretty good scares and has amazing cinematography, I was a little disappointed due to the fact that I just wanted to see more. More of the witches, more of the characters, and mostly, more scares. One thing I didn't particularly like was that there are a few scares in the movie that don't really make sense, like the scares that make you say to yourself, "what was that and why did it happen?" I'm usually ok with things not making perfect sense in horror movies (because that's what normally makes them scary), but when a movie relies on keeping things unexplained throughout the entire movie, that's when I start to lose hype. Or maybe I just didn't catch something. But The Lords of Salem is an insanely freaky movie, especially at the end when things start going crazy. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for something a little different.
ROB ZOMBIE'S MOST DIVISIVE HORROR FILM YET
"The Lords of Salem" is far from your typical horror film. In fact, it doesn't even really focus on actual scares or tension, but rather, a series of creepy, demented images that range from chilling to downright repulsive. Director Rob Zombie's distinctive style radiates throughout this film in a way none of us have ever seen before, at least not as heavily as this. Each individual shot is darkly atmospheric and every scene is immaculately framed with an overwhelmingly large amount of symbolism. It almost feels like a vintage Italian horror movie at times, which I assume Zombie was attempting to go for here. And for the most part, it works in the film's favor. Sheri Moon Zombie plays Heidi, a radio DJ in Salem who receives a mysterious record from an unknown band called The Lords, which has a strange, hypnotic effect on certain listeners. Then on her next program, she interviews an old expert on the 17th century Salem Witch Trials named Francis (Bruce Davison), who takes an unusual interest in the record. Before she even knows it, Heidi's having creepy visions in her sleep and while she's awake. And as it turns out, she's the fulfillment of an evil prophecy involving the spawn of the devil. Yes, the entire plot sounds ludicrous, and indeed it is. Not one ounce of sense is ever put into the script, nor is any attention truly put on the characters we follow, which does end up dragging the flick in the long run. But at least the acting is entertaining, with Moon Zombie delivering a great lead performance as the troubled protagonist. Davison is a bit less interesting, but still engaging as the investigator attempting to save Heidi's life, while Judy Geeson, Patricia Quinn, and Dee Wallace play her cackling, evil neighbors to uncomfortably hysterical effect. The movie's cast, as a whole, is solid, but above anything else, it's the skin-crawling atmosphere and hauntingly hyper-surreal visuals that actually make it memorable. It's an extremely uneven and narratively disjointed film for sure, but with odes to classic horror movies like "Rosemary's Baby" and a series of shocking sequences that go beyond the breaking point of grimly macabre filmmaking, "The Lords of Salem" is a flawed yet deeply disturbing experience that isn't for everyone. If you genuinely enjoy independent horror pictures that focus much more on style over substance, it's worth a watch.
Truly Phenomenal Film... For True Horror Fans
I'm going to state this first off: This film is NOT for everyone.
If you "sort-of" like horror movies, LEAVE.
If you want a "date horror movie", perfect and filled with frightening and tense moments for you to hold your partners hand in a romantic fashion, LEAVE.
If you want to watch a haunting horror film like Paranormal Activity, Insidious or The Conjuring, LEAVE.
If you have any expectations or thoughts on the movie or Rob before viewing, LEAVE.
However, if you're like me, you've watched 1,000 horror films, stayed up late watching all night horror marathons, attended horror conventions, made pilgrimages to the house from "Halloween" and motel from "Devil's Rejects", are used to strange things and images, are a hardened violence viewer and love the macabre, this film is FOR YOU.
Rob's latest work is truly amazing, from start to finish. It's breathtaking, disturbing, beautiful and all it sets out to be and more. For those who enjoy truly disturbing films filled with intricate, painstakingly created horrific beauty, films that aren't stupid and cheesy but are instead filled with a purpose, subliminal messages, sadism and a rockin' soundtrack, drop all that you're doing and watch this, now.
- Genre: Horror
- Released: 2013
- © 2012 ALLIANCE FILMS (UK) LIMITED. All rights reserved.