Sunday, 9 June 2013
The Lords of Salem (2012).
It has taken me numerous viewing of this movie to take everything in. I admit than on my first few viewings, I found myself incredibly irritated by the mass of migraine inducing images and sheer madness of the movie. With subsequent views though, it all started coming together. What is apparent in The Lords of Salem is that Rob Zombie makes movies for himself, and he certainly doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks, hence why most things in the movie don't make much sense,but overall, it all joins together to make one of the best occult horror movies in a very long time.
Heidi is a radio DJ. She is surrounded by satanic rock and by the history of the town of Salem where she lives. She receives a record from 'The Lords', and when drunk and tired one night, gives it a spin, only to be awakened by images of blasphemy and witchcraft. The film continues to trace her mental decline, throwing in some very memorable imagery in the process.
The setting is as atmospheric as can be, and Rob Zombie has managed to couple both image and sound to create a totally unnerving experience. The movie is filled with hallucinogenic sequences of demons, death and blasphemy, and they really do create a dizzying feeling in the viewer that is rarely felt when viewing the horror movies of today. The soundtrack of the movie is a great tool used effectively to create an aura of fear, and even when nothing was happening on screen, the music kept the tension high.
There is a real art house feel to The Lords of Salem, and he is incredibly proficient in using the characters surroundings and architecture to create atmosphere, to the point of reminding me of Argento. The film certainly distances itself from the gritty, violent films that Zombie has directed before.
Although I certainly didn't think so on my first few viewing of the movie, everything about The lords of Salem is perfect. The production design, the score, absolutely everything. I picked fault with the slow pace, the annoying way in which the movie didn't make any sense, the migraine inducing hallucinations. But the more I watched, the more it became apparent that it wasn't supposed to make sense. The viewer is meant to lose oneself in the madness being displayed on screen.
I applaud Rob Zombie for making a movie that is true to his vision.It is certainly a throwback to European occult horror, but it is also so much more. It is a director throwing off the reigns of restraint, being born again from the flames and creating something that is unsettling, crazy and wholly unsavory, and for that Rob Zombie, the whole of the horror community should be on it's feet and applauding you for taking a chance and doing something different.