The Lords of Salem
The latest film written & directed by Rob Zombie is set in Salem, Massachusetts. What is Salem most know for? Definitely the Salem Witch Trials of the late 17th century. That is where his film starts out in 1696. The Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne appears sitting & writing in his diary about the group of witches in the forests of Salem & his dedicated plans to stop them. The movie then cuts to the group of the 6 accused witches performing one of their rituals.
This is a film I’m glad Zombie decided to make. Of all the horror films I’ve watch over my lifetime, I’ve don’t recall many involving witches that I enjoyed. Zombie made this film exactly as he wanted. He had complete creative control. That being said, I don’t think the average viewer will enjoy this film. If you are a big fan of horror or Zombie’s other films, you will most likely enjoy TLOS.
Zombie says TLOS is cinematically his biggest film and described it as, “if Ken Russell directed The Shining.” He was obviously inspired directing this film by Stanley Kubrick & Roman Polanski’s work. I even thought I saw some early John Carpenter influence thrown in there. (Maybe from his Halloween remakes?) To me, this film is a mash up of The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, & The Fog. All of these elements from this film make me excited for what Zombie has in store next. I can’t say this film has the most original story, which is I think what he had hoped to achieve in the begging. The not-so-original story & mimic of Kubrick/Polanski style doesn’t bother me at all. I mean, if you liked House of 1000 Corpses… that was basically his nod to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. (1974)
Overall, I really enjoyed the film. I watched it more than once & plan to watch it again sometime in the future. I felt there were some sublime scenes in the film & some images that have really stuck with me. This isn’t a date movie & don’t show it to your kids…..yet.