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.