Review: The Lords of Salem is a trippy descent into madness that ultimately falls flat

The Lords of Salem is far from anything we’ve seen from Rob Zombie thus far as it swallows you in its creepy atmosphere and chilling visuals while letting the slow and eerie pacing of the film sink into your bones. The film centers around A radio DJ, Heidi, who one night is sent a mysterious box containing a record; a “gift from the Lords.” The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?

One of the great things about The Lords of Salem is seeing how far Rob Zombie has come as a director as he crafted a visually stunning and eerie horror film that is so much different from what we’ve seen him do in the past that it’s hard to believe the man behind The Devil’s Rejects took us on this wicked little trip to visit the Lords. It’s a very polished looking film with some unforgettable images that crawl their way under your skin and sit there until the final frame. Zombie skillfully makes use of the lighting in each scene as there’s more often than not something terrifying lurking just beyond the shadows, and because of this it gives you that sinking feeling of something watching you.

Unfortunately, however, that’s about the only thing the film really does right. While the story at times felt like it was going to take you somewhere dark and terrifying, it ultimately dissipates by the third act as it all falls apart, leaving nothing but a bad taste in your mouth — easily making this the film’s biggest flaw.

Zombie was really onto something with The Lords of Salem as it draws from the fascinating history of the very true Salem Witch Trials. He was so close to creating something totally unique in the horror genre. There was a fantastic story to be told here, and at the hands of Rob Zombie the sky was the limit. However, just as the film seems to be taking off, it falls flat.

It’s a very weird film that will surely divide its audience. Fans of Rob Zombie will certainly find a lot of good in The Lords of Salem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll like it. Everyone else? Well, they might just get turned off by the gigantic demon fetus. I will say that the film is truly a visual feast for the eyes and if nothing else is one of the best looking horror films in quite some time. Rob Zombie has earned his spot behind the camera within the horror genre and while The Lords of Salem has its faults, I believe that it’s just the beginning of something terrifying that Zombie has brewing.


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If you are ever attacked by a gorilla just sit back and relax while you enjoy the once in a life time feeling of your limbs being ripped off.

12 thoughts on “Review: The Lords of Salem is a trippy descent into madness that ultimately falls flat

  1. You know I was looking forward to this, but those witches at the beginning and that ceremony just felt so cheesy and over-the-top I was actually laughing; and as you pointed out the atmosphere of the movie was well done throughout, but the story was just boring and predictable. It felt like it followed a beat-sheet to the tee all the way to its lackluster conclusion.

    Don’t ever say you “suck” at reviews again! That was very well-written. You didn’t give too much of the plot away, and you don’t slow the pace by breaking down each character and who plays each character, and what previous roles said actors/actresses have played in, etc. – and your assessment was accurate. Your review wasn’t too long, or too short – and you moved from point-to-point without dragging. So, you should write reviews more frequently (when inspired, of course). The way you wrote this reminds me of fellow blogger Mark Hobin from “Fast Film Reviews” who is an excellent writer.

    And I agree, even though this film fell flat, Zombie has good vision and strong concepts; he just hasn’t seemed to quite put it altogether just yet in one film, but when he does, in which I think he inevitably will, it will be a classic for sure.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Gary! I’m still trying to figure out the whole “review” thing. I’ve always been a strong believer of “tl;dr” (Too long, didn’t read) so I try to sum up what’s good and whats not so good as quickly as possible because not everyone wants to read a giant wall of text. As for the movie it sounds like we agreed on it completely! Very cool!

      1. My newest review that I will be posting today is rather lengthy, but I think you may enjoy it. 🙂

    1. Thanks man! I’m still getting the hang of it. Sometimes its hard to put it into words because I just want to be like “It was good… go see it. There’s blood and stuff!”

      1. Yikes! They’re in a pretty nasty hole right now man. I’m a Rangers fan (have been my whole life).

      2. No shit! It’s been 9 years since we’ve been in the playoffs so the vibe here is great. Ah, Rangers fan.Good luck! You’re all tied up.

  2. I love RoB Zombie’s movies, but I hated this one. I watched it twice to see if I missed anything. But i didn’t. Waiting for next one And i hope it’s wild and insane!!!!!!!!

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