Lords of Salem (2013) Review

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LORDS OF SALEM

**** Out of 5

Tagline- We’ve Been Waiting. We’ve Always Been Waiting

Release Date- April 19th, 2013

Running Time- 101-Minutes

Rating- R

Writer/Director- Rob Zombie

Starring- Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeffrey Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace and Meg Foster

When it comes to Rob Zombie as a filmmaker he’s either seen as a great filmmaker or seen as a hack. Very rarely do you hear he’s ok. I’m a big fan of Rob’s music and films. Now I clearly get we all won’t agree, but those who label Rob a hack are wrong. His films are generally well made and just because you don’t like his style or which ever film that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good filmmaker. A lot of the hate he gets stems from his remake of Halloween, which is quite absurd. I love the original Halloween, but many great films have been remade and those filmmakers don’t get the heat Zombie does. I have issues with both of Zombie’s Halloween films, but when all is said and done I loved both his Halloween installments as well as House of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects, which is my favorite Rob Zombie film to date. People often say Rob Zombie basically makes the same film over and over again, which isn’t entirely true. Obviously Corpses and Rejects will share many things in common, but with Rejects, Zombie made an original sequel that doesn’t rehash Corpses and more or less he did that with Halloween II. However these 4 films as different as they are at times are a lot a like. But with Lords of Salem Rob Zombie makes a film unlike any of the ones he did before. There are certain traits in the film that may share something in common with his other films, but all filmmakers have a style with something in common with their previous films. But Lords of Salem is a very different film than anything Rob has done and Lords of Salem is his most ambitious film to date.

Lords of Salem is a film that will very much divide viewers much like how Rob Zombie does as a filmmaker. After Lords of Salem ends either you really enjoyed it or you’ll think what the hell did I just watch? Lords of Salem is again very different that Zombie’s past films and breaking away from your style isn’t always a good thing, but here it was and I think the time was right for Zombie to do something different. I think each of Rob’s films have shown some growth as a filmmaker and he continues to grow as a filmmaker with Lords of Salem and like I said this film will no doubt divide the viewers.

Heidi (Moon Zombie) a local DJ receives a record from a band called the Lords and after playing she begins to have flashbacks to her troubled life and unleashes a coven of witches out for revenge.

The screenplay by Zombie is quite difficult to rate since this is very much a directors movie and the like or dislike will be with the direction and not the writing. As much as I love Rob Zombie’s films the writing at times can be my only real complaint. Characters at times can be a little too trashy and the overuse of curse words can become silly. I didn’t really have issues with that in Corpses & Rejects since it fit for the most part, but in the Halloween films it sometimes didn’t work. Lords of Salem in someways is Rob’s best screenplay and in other ways his weakest. The good here is characters aren’t like those in his past films and he shows he can write about normal people, which at times was a problem in his over films. There isn’t an overuse of cursing and the characters are all generally likable as well. The script is quite different than past Zombie films and it shows he can mix of his style and still be successful the only downside is characters don’t have the depth of past Zombie characters. Even if I have some issues with some of his writing the main characters though always had some depth. Heidi is a recovering drug addict and I felt a little more could have been explored, but with that said I still very much liked the character as well as the others. Like I said you don’t judge Lords of Salem on the writing, but Zombie does show a lot more depth as a writer and it truly is very different than his past screenplays, which I think was a very good thing.

People have compared Lords of Salem to such films as Rosemary’s Baby, the Shinning and even Suspiria and after watching the film I can see why. Rob Zombie makes a film unlike any he’s done before and the only real connection in terms of direction is the gritty feel. The pace for Lords of Salem is very slow burn, but Rob does a great job creating an eerie and mysterious tone. I also loved the visual look and it adds a whole other layer to the film. For those expecting the typical Rob Zombie film look elsewhere as in his past films there was action and violence spread out, but here there isn’t a lot of action and while there is violence it’s not nearly as graphic as his past work. Lords of Salem shows Rob Zombie has far more to offer than most people assume and again this was very different than his past films and for those who think he’s a one trick pony watch Lords of Salem. This film really gets me excited for future Rob Zombie films once again I loved his other films, but it was time to mix of his style and not only was he able to that, but does it successfully.

Some have hailed Lords of Salem Rob Zombie’s best film, but I personally would rate Corpses, Rejects and both Halloween films above this, but when all is said and done Lords of Salem is another excellent film by one of my favorite filmmakers. Lords of Salem has a great gritty look with some truly bizarre images. Like I said as different as Zombie’s past films were they also had a lot in common and Rob Zombie totally reinvented himself with a truly odd film with some eerie atmosphere. Lords of Salem isn’t for everyone, but I quite enjoyed it.

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7 Responses to “Lords of Salem (2013) Review”

  1. I watched this over the weekend and liked it a lot. I even LOVED it except for the weird last fifteen minutes. Good work!

  2. Just watched it last night and I was impressed. My fave is still ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ but this might be 2nd 🙂

  3. This is a great review, thanks very much. Looking forward to catching this one.

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