The Lords of Salem

Film Review by | 29 Apr 2013
Film title: The Lords of Salem
Director: Rob Zombie
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Meg Foster
Release date: 19 Apr
Certificate: 18

Rob Zombie’s love of 70s grindhouse has been apparent throughout his often crass, brutal filmmaking career. With The Lords of Salem, however, the headbanger-cum-helmer seems keen to develop, drawing instead from more respectable wells. Polanski, Kubrick and Ken Russell loom large in this twisted and artful offering.

Zombie’s wife and go-to leading-lady Sheri Moon plays Heidi, a rock DJ in famed witchcraft hotspot Salem. When a mysterious LP signed simply by ‘The Lords’ arrives at her radio station, Heidi plays the track and is immediately entranced; weird visions and increasing mental disquiet soon follow.

Conjuring a creepy, doom-leaden atmosphere, the writer-director has a field day with his reference points. The Shining, The Devils and Rosemary’s Baby are prevalent, but there's The Exorcist and a touch of Cronenberg’s The Fly thrown in for good measure. Mrs Zombie cuts a sympathetic demonic patsy, while striking imagery and a wicked score from John 5 and Griffin Boyce haunt. Featuring some playfully deranged fantasy and flashback sequences to compliment what is overall sober, superior horror, this budding auteur of the macabre is hitting his groove.