Day #136: The Lords of Salem (2013)

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The Lords of Salem (2013) IMDB

Synopsis:

[From IMDB:] Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a 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?

My take:
I haven’t always been a fan of Rob Zombie’s work (in fact, I think I know what my next movie post will be about!), but there are a few things that I can’t deny about the quality of his work. His movies always look amazing, and show a really masterful ability to translate the creativity of that music video aesthetic into the long-form format of a full-length movie; the soundtrack will be fantastic, even if it’s not to your own tastes; and there’ll clearly have been a lot of thought put into the symbolism of the sets/props/costuming/etc., to load every scene with as much meaning as possible.

Another constant feature of Rob Zombie’s films is Sheri Moon Zombie. This is…less positive.

To be fair, it’s not that I think Zombie is a particularly bad actor. And I do actually like her aesthetic, particularly as she continues to age – and pushes back on the usual ‘pretty young starlet’ stereotype as a result. She’s just a little too wooden in her acting, which means that she has a habit of ending up being the most undramatic feature in the movies of a man for whom drama is basically the aim.

With all of that in mind, The Lords of Salem is suitably dramatic, and unfortunately flat, in the ways that you’d expect a Rob Zombie movie to be.

Unfortunately, I think that The Lords of Salem‘s biggest problem is its pacing. So much time was spent on scenes detailing rather boring slice-of-life moments that important plot points found themselves being squeezed into awkward moments of exposition on the sidelines. And, while I am all for putting as much actual horror-specific imagery into a horror movie as possible, even I started to feel like there was a glut of these scenes before long, seemingly more for the purpose of meeting an aesthetic need than for the sake of furthering the story.

So, yeah, I was a bit underwhelmed by The Lords of Salem; which annoys me, given there was obviously a lot of potential for this to be a great movie. If only Rob Zombie hadn’t gone and Rob Zombie’d it up. *sigh*

You know what I really loved about The Lords of Salem, though? Judy Geeson, Dee Wallace, Patricia Quinn, and Meg Foster. They rocked the shit out of this movie, and if you told me that there was going to be a sequel that just followed them around for almost two hours as they chewed out and occasionally killed people, I would be all over it.

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