The Lords of Salem
Directed by Rob Zombie
Starring Sheri Moon Zombie
Rob Zombie’s sixth effort as a feature film director finds the metal icon shifting away from the saga of Michael Myers and “Halloween” and toward a centuries-old coven of witches from Salem, Mass., another potent horror institution.
But “The Lords of Salem” is a jumbled mess in which Zombie evokes the stylized, production design-centric approaches of a Roman Polanski or Dario Argento (“Suspiria”) but fails to generate a story that amounts to more than a blur of sights and sounds and half-formed ideas.
Sheri Moon Zombie, Rob’s wife, stars as Salem radio DJ Heidi, who begins experiencing terrible visions after hearing a vinyl record that’s been sent to her station and labeled “a gift from the Lords.”
Turns out there’s a whole lot of supernatural terrors on the way, including demented visions, hellfire imagery and Heidi’s underlit, decrepit apartment building that’s just waiting to be haunted.
The imagery is there — Zombie has become an astute visual director with a clear sense of classical cinematic modes — but these cornball terrors hardly qualify as scary.