“Half of you will love this movie and half of you will hate it.” That was pretty much the extent of Rob Zombie’s introduction to the US premiere of The Lords of Salem and, honestly, he was right. Not being a big horror fan, I had serious trepidation about walking into the Topfer Theatre on Monday at midnight to see Zombie’s long-awaited fifth feature film. Waiting in line to enter the show, I found myself surrounded by serious horror aficionados and diehard Rob Zombie fans. They told me that I was likely to both scream and laugh during the show and that, yes, I might just have nightmares.
Unfortunately, it seems Rob Zombie was right. I didn’t hate the movie, but it seemed that many in the Topfer were less-than-enthused about The Lords of Salem. It took a long time for the story to take off and even after it did, it didn’t seem to go as far as it could to meet its potential. Still, the film had a more arthouse air about it than fan favorite House of 1000 Corpses and offered some pretty stunning visuals. Instead of relying on the constant gore that many fans seemed to be expecting, Zombie used subtle effects that made the film play more like the am I going crazy? narrative it’s supposed to be than a hardcore gore film.