Movie Review – The Lords of Salem (2013)

The Lords of Salem
Directed by Rob Zombie
Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: September 3, 2013

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Rob Zombie has long been a name synonymous with horror, and for very good reason. Any horror fan worth their weight in blood knows that Zombie has given us some terrifying modern-day classics. His latest film, THE LORDS OF SALEM, takes us on a bit of a different ride, although the central horror elements are still present. And while this film is a change from what we are used to seeing from this master of horror, it is still vastly entertaining and worth checking out.

If you are not familiar with THE LORDS OF SALEM, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment:

From the nightmare mind of writer/director Rob Zombie comes the terrifying story of Salem, Massachusetts radio DJ Heidi LaRoc (Sheri Moon Zombie of THE DEVIL’S REJECTS) who receives a mysterious record labeled “a gift from The Lords”. But when Heidi plays the disc, its bizarre sounds will trigger visions of the town’s depraved past, release the darkness within her own damaged soul, and unleash the long-awaited vengeance of Satan himself. Bruce Davison (WILLARD) and a coven of genre legends co-star in this stunning witchcraft shocker that Beyond Hollywood calls “a full-on piece of satanic madness… THE LORDS OF SALEM is light years away from 99% of modern commercial horror cinema!”

I can’t tell you just how much I was looking forward to this film. Rob Zombie has been one of my favorite horror directors for a decade now, ever since I caught HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES back in 2003. I knew then that Zombie was destined for horror greatness.

THE LORDS OF SALEM is not what I was expecting, but it is an excellent movie nonetheless. I’ve read some reviews that didn’t like it, saying it was way too artistic and not scary enough. I disagree; Rob Zombie brings horror to a new level with this film, blending a skillful concoction of art with horror, much like Argento’s SUSPIRIA or Kubrick’s THE SHINING.

This film is shot well and the acting is superb. I continue to be impressed with Sheri Moon Zombie and her acting ability; I hope to see more of her in the future. Meg Foster, Dee Wallace, Judy Geeson, and Patricia Quinn give amazing performances as well, which greatly accents the terrifying situation Moon Zombie’s character finds herself in.

The storyline in THE LORDS OF SALEM is what truly wins me over. The plot is a thick combination of urban lore and history, which does nothing but lend credibility to the movie’s gothic overtones. I do not want to say anymore, because I do not want to ruin anything; this is simply a movie that you must see to appreciate.

THE LORDS OF SALEM is a definite win for me and I highly recommend giving it a look. Fans who already enjoy Rob Zombie’s work should be impressed, and newcomers will definitely want to check out more of his films after seeing this one. Be sure and watch it on Blu-ray, as the HD picture and sound quality are tough to beat. The film is available now.

MSB

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