Saturday, January 4, 2014


The Lords of Salem is a curious film that is all style and little substance.

Director Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween) is improving as a filmmaker -- his ability to command atmosphere and create dread without resorting to cheap carnival thrills is excellent. There are moments in this film that are completely engrossing and bring chills in waves. Most of the film feels like a fever dream, especially the climax, which involves images that invert religious iconography in a surreal and erotic way.

Yet, as a storyteller, Zombie leaves way too much off the table. This film falls victim to an inert protagonist who is caught in the whirlwind of forces beyond her control, yet appears to have no interest in fighting these forces, or even trying to understand them.

The result is a movie that looks great, feels creepy, but is remarkably unsatisfying.

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