Oh where do I begin?
Let’s start with the evil of the film; witches and satan. Okay, here’s an idea that isn’t terribly over-done these days and I’m a fan of fresh. Some movies come along and breathe new life in to sub-genre’s that haven’t quite been beaten to death for a while but The Lords of Salem certainly is NOT one of them. On the back of the case it’s noted that it’s basically polar-opposite of most current horror films and while that might be true and be the strong point of other films, it absolutely isn’t in this case.
Enough telling you how much I disliked it, let me elaborate as to why. First, if you’re easily offended or shocked, then go ahead and look away because it’s about all the substance that the film has. The point of the movie came across to me as typical Rob Zombie trying to be typically over-the-top and offensive while never ceasing to try to be stylish with a hint of old-fashioned. I’m not easily offended at all, so there’s strike one. It comes in different ways such as dealing with babies, nudity and most often with religion. The witches honestly feel like they’re second to the thick outer-box layer of satanic ritual. Oddly though, no one feels very menacing. It feels like thrown together ideas that could have easily been compiled in to a 3-4 minute music video for one of his music videos. I’ve been a Rob Zombie fan, don’t get me wrong (House of 1000 Corpses, Devil’s Rejects, Halloween 2), but at this point it’s all sounding the same and his films have become just profanity ridden, pretentious art that would hang on the wall of only an underground gallery.
As far as story goes, I’ve really yet to figure one out beyond an outer-shell that doesn’t satisfy any moviegoers hunger. I don’t want to say that no one will like it because I’m sure that there’s a good chunk of fans who will, but I’m a very forgiving horror-fan and I found nothing interesting about the hour and a half I spent with this movie. I never developed any relationship with any of the characters, never worried for their lives, never wondered about the impact their death would have or anything like that. Great horror can be corny, cheesy, campy and STILL connect you with the characters. It’s pretty unforgivable in my opinion to not connect us to the characters NOR offer us a story that pulls us in. Strike 2.
Sheri Moon once again failed to sell her role to me, just as she has since the first Halloween remake. I’m not saying that she was stellar as Baby in H1KC or The Devil’s Rejects, but the cast around her made everything still work (weak dialogue moments aside). I’m not sure if he can’t see the forest for the trees or just insists, but it’s not helping anyone. At least in Judd Apatow’s defense, his wife is a pretty good actress. I’m giving half a strike as this is very much just my opinion and very subjective. Half-strike.
For those who are still with me and still interested, the set I bought (Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital) came with a Rob Zombie song sampler CD. The lack of extras shocked me, I expected a making-of or an interview or 5 and it fell very short. Half-strike.
Lords of Salem, my aimless, non-thought provoking friend… you’re out.
I’m rarely so harsh on any film I watch. I try to understand that it wasn’t I who created it and that there are plenty of others that will still like it but I just have little to nothing nice to say about it. As a huge fan of horror, especially horror that tries something different, I’d like to see more of this so-called ‘different’ stuff… just… something vaguely enjoyable would be great.