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Film Review: The Lords of Salem


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Before we get down to if this was a good film or not, there’s one thing I’ll say about The Lords of Salem that I haven’t honestly said about any other movie in a good solid while: it has something for everyone.

Not in the way where Finding Nemo or Forrest Gump have something for everyone because people of the ages two, 22, and 102 can sit through them and have a good ‘ol time. In the way where I’ve never witnessed such a wide spectrum of reactions to a film, ever. Or anything, actually.

I viewed this film with a good few other people, as often happens when you view films. Every single one of them seemed to have a drastically different experience to the next. To my right sat a man who laughed hysterically throughout the entire thing. Directly in front was a lady who was fast asleep before the opening credits and still very much in that state when we made our way out. A couple rows behind me emerged the unmistakable sounds of tears on more than one occasion. Somewhere to the right sat a gentleman who threw up a little at one point. To my left sat a man who got up and went to the toilet three times. There was also someone towards the back who offered a rather unwelcome cacophony of aroused breathing throughout. Or potentially just a person who was getting some serious jip from his asthma.  Something for everyone, though.

The Lords of Salem is undoubtedly a fun time. If you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re not, then what are you even doing bothering reading the reviews? Just turn this off and go and see The Croods. If you’re generally into pretty unusual stuff then this is one you can’t miss; wanking Satans, spitting on new-borns, and more pointless nudity than you could shake a stick at, it has it all. There’s a chance that someone might mention that it contains a copious amount of scenes involving naked witches dancing about. Well, don’t make the mistake others have made and presume that, by witches, they must mean Emma Watson. Because they don’t mean Emma Watson. They don’t mean Emma Watson one bit. 

The protagonist is, as with every Rob Zombie film, played by his wife, Sheri Moon Zombie. Sheri Moon Zombie’s prowess as an actress have often been critiqued rather heavily in the past but she did a fair job with this one. She spends the majority of the film having some right unfortunate hallucinations/dreams which, even though her general diet is not focused on, we can probably assume can be blamed on cheese.

When she’s not dealing with the consequences of apparent mass pre-bedtime cheese consumption, she has to make a go of living in the same apartment block as three crazy old women. One of which always wears a knee-length cardigan, which, as you probably already know, is the international symbol of being a Mum. That isn’t really relevant to the plot of the film but what’s a review without a sly bit of cardigan trivia?

The other two women consist of Julie Walters and then a ginger one. All three women inexplicably flit between English and American accents. It is not explained why. As a viewer, I came to the conclusion that they probably moved to America as young adults and therefore gradually adopted the accent but didn’t fully take it on. Acquiring a new accent is a much more fluid process for children due to the school environment and all that. It doesn’t quite work that way for adults. I imagine they probably came over as Au Pairs 30 or so years ago. Pissing off the U.S to become an Au Pair was quite a popular idea in the 70s and 80s. Most likely on a J-1 visa, I presume.

Later research has told me that the woman playing that small supporting role in Rob Zombie’s latest low-budget horror is in fact, not BAFTA award-winning actress Julie Walters.

There was also an unfortunately weak bit where a Family Tree website is used to solve everything in the space of about eight seconds.

The thing with Rob Zombie is that he always has a vision, and no doubt there is a great one lying around someone behind this. But maybe it gets a little lost along the way. It’s definitely an enjoyable time but unfortunately not quite on the level of his films which arguably fall into the ‘cult classics’ category like House of 1000 Corpses, its sequel The Devil’s Rejects, and his 2007 remake of Halloween. The Lords of Salem focuses a bit too much on mood which unfortunately ends up taking away screen time of potential storytelling and horror-ing.

It’s moody and far too much time is spent telling the story of the history of the witches. So much time, in fact, that by the time that bits all done, it’s time for the film to end. I’d still recommend it, though.

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