Horror fans may have missed the modest release of Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem, earlier this year but they can catch it Sept. 3 on DVD and Blu-ray–and they should. The Lords of Salem is a horror film with an old school nature. It’s less about an overall plot and more about Zombie creating something strange and different through new imagery and spine tingling scenes of horror.
Sheri Moon Zombie, the director’s wife, stars as a hip radio DJ with a drug riddled past and an uncertain future. One night she receives a creepy little song from a band called The Lords. After she plays it, she begins a downward spiral as she hallucinates, becomes sick, drives friends away and tries to figure out just what the hell is happening to her. There is also a next door neighbor no one else sees except her.
It’s a thin plot we’ve seen plenty of times before, but the film’s suspense and intrigue doesn’t come from the plot. What makes Salem work is Zombie’s vision as a horror director. He manages to cloud the whole film with a creepy mood that unsettles every scene we view. He’s also worked enough in here that is different to make Salem more than worthy for horror fans.
Dealing with the persecution of witches and the power of satanists, Lords of Salem is actually a deeply disturbing picture. Many of Zombie’s scenes of horror will ring new and true to fans of the genre and genuinely scare which is something horror films don’t do that often anymore. The film jumps from scenes of seedy horror in modern day Salem to truly brutal sequences of the Salem we all are taught about as children. It also jumps into the creepy “hallucinations” of our main character, and trust me when I say that no one has visualized a horror film or satanists or the devil quite like Zombie has here.
The actors are all game, as most go to the extremes the roles call for doing everything from screaming the devil’s name in worship to spouting some dialogue only Zombie could right for little old ladies. As the protagonist, Sheri Moon Zombie actually manages to carry the movie well. Let’s hope we see her branch out into other kinds of films because she shows some talent here.
Sometimes the film is a little too strange for its own good, but at least it’s original. The movie recalls the pace and mood of films like Rosemary’s Baby, but there’s a different feel Zombie has brought to this picture and it makes the whole picture stand out.
Viewers should be warned that Lords of Salem is not for the non horror fans out there. It is often unsettling in its in its scenes and imagery. However, if horror is your game then strap in because this is one hell of an original and twisted ride.
The Blu-ray combo pack is unfortunately devoid of any special features save for an honest and sometimes funny commentary by a man quickly becoming a master of the horror genre: Zombie.