Critic Reviews

57

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Rob Zombie understands horror as an aural-visual experience that should gnaw at the nerves, seep into the subconscious, and beget unshakeable nightmares.
75
Movies by Rob Zombie, the goth rocker turned cult filmmaker, aren't for everybody. But he couldn't care less. He makes movies exactly the way he wants to, with no thought of pleasing mainstream audiences. They can like it or lump it. His latest effort, The Lords of Salem, is true to form.
75
A genuinely nasty and disturbing piece of work, but its cumulative nerve-shredding effect is not just the product of effective direction. Sheri Moon Zombie delivers her best serious dramatic performance yet (before marrying Zombie, she used to be a porn star).
70
The Lords of Salem is more creepily atmospheric than truly scary and eventually lapses into silliness. But it does provide some evocatively spooky moments along the way.
63
The film's final shot ranks among its least graphic and yet most puzzling, a slap-in-the-face piece of punctuation that reminds the most accommodating viewers that, even on his good days, Mr. Zombie is really only making movies for an audience of one.
60
This may be terrifying news to Rob Zombie fans, but after years mining the 1970s for gunky shock moments, the musician-turned-filmmaker has emerged as an unusually sensitive director of actors.
60
Atmosphere is three-fourths of the game in a horror film, and The Lords of Salem has it in spades. It's not too much to say that until this culty-witchy throwback chiller turns too bloody, it shows how far a little style can go.
50
There are echoes of Roman Polanski's “Rosemary's Baby” in all of this that are impossible to miss.
42
Unfortunately, it's just a witchy mess.
40
Some of the imagery is memorable, in a twisted-horror kind of way. Zombie has no trouble scaring up atmosphere. But other scenes are ridiculous, unintentionally funny, particularly one he builds up to ominously, only to give us a silly payoff.
25
This one is so bad it's hilarious. Sheri Moon Zombie is no Mia Farrow, Rob Zombie is no Roman Polanski, and The Lords of Salem seems to have been made by people on the rubber bus headed for a rubber room with bars on the windows.

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