Shawhan: Catch 'Infernal Masterpiece' Lords of Salem While Still in Theaters

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With Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem in local theaters just two more days, the Scene's Jason Shawhan urges you not to miss one of the most striking horror releases in years. A taste of Shawhan's review:

In the course of five features, the rock star turned shock auteur has become one of the most interesting American horror filmmakers working today. ... Gone are the sleazy rednecks, roadhouses splattered red, and grungy shocks that lurked around seemingly every corner in his previous works. His vision of Salem is something unusual. Restrained. Quiet. And suffused with a grandeur and power that, while occasionally surfacing in House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects, and Halloween and Halloween II, never quite sustained feature length. (Though for the record, Zombie's Halloween II is immeasurably better than Rick Rosenthal's.) ...

The movie has been dogged by reports of budget troubles and entire excised subplots (vestiges of which remain in the credits), and yet it's a testament to Zombie's operatic eye and unique genre stylings that what's here leaves a viewer hungry for more. More mayhem, sure. More horror, yes. And, in a first for Zombie, more love. That's not to say there isn't enough of these elements to be had — far from it. But this small masterpiece is cold and cut to the bone, and it's not unreasonable to want to soak in more of its exquisite horrors. ...

And damn if The Lords of Salem isn't gloriously atypical. It's an infernal masterpiece that would please Kenneth Anger and Donald Cammell and horrify anyone whose cosmology is completely uncertain. When Zombie's Halloween came out, he seemed ill at ease working in a truly wide aspect ratio. But here he composes his frames with graceful precision, employing the colors of Bruegel and Bosch in a space where the real and the surreal entangle like lovers. ,,,

Read the full review here.

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