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Flash Movie Review: The Lords of Salem

Hiding under the basement staircase was a poor choice. The sound of the slow, heavy footsteps descending the stairs echoed louder. Across from me was my only means of exiting: a brand new door. One of its metal locks caught the dull wisp of moonlight through the nearby glass block window, reflecting it to me, hoping to entice me. I tried steadying my breath, since I could hear my heart beating in my ears. The sound of footsteps was no longer audible. Though I had no idea who broke into my house, I knew they were going to kill me. As I thought about making a run for the door, a thick warm hand from behind gripped my throat. I tried to scream but the sound was cut-off at my Adam’s apple, while the hand squeezed harder. The last thing I remembered was gagging as I felt a foul breath spreading across the back of my head. Jarred awake from catching my breath, beads of sweat were traveling towards my beard. Last autumn I experienced this same dream for several consecutive days. I still have not figured it all out, but I would rather experience it again then sit through this horror movie for a 2nd time. This was my first encounter with one of director Rob Zombie’s (House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween) films. Sheri Moon Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween) played recovering addict Heidi Hawthorne. She along with both Hermans, played by Jeff Daniel Phillips (Faster, Unknown) and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead, Water for Elephants) hosted a local radio show in Salem, Massachusetts. After playing a record she received as a gift, Heidi began to experience disturbing images in her dreams. Was she suffering flashbacks or was there some meaning to the gruesome scenes? The movie actually caught my attention early with its fresh, edgy filming and plot set up. But as the story progressed; things fell apart, losing any tension that had been building up. The director, I have read, was proud to make this movie on a low budget. I am happy for him, but the scenes suffered with their cheap props. It was embarrassing to see Bruce Davison (X-Men franchise, Harry and the Hendersons) and Dee Wallace (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Cujo) in this film. I understand the fun of putting older celebrities into a film, but at least write them a good role. This was a nightmare of a movie and that is not a compliment. There were multiple scenes of blood and gore.

 

1 2/3 stars

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