The Lords of Salem (2013)



Critic Consensus: The Lords of Salem has lots of atmospheric portent, but it's unfortunately short on scares.

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From the singular mind of horror maestro Rob Zombie comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood. The Lords of Salem tells the tale of Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a radio station DJ living in Salem, Massachusetts, who receives a strange wooden box containing a record, a "gift from the Lords." Heidi listens, and the bizarre sounds within the grooves immediately trigger flashbacks of the town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the "Lords of Salem" returning for revenge on modern-day Salem? (c) Anchor Bay
R (for disturbing violent and sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some drug use)
Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Bruce Dern
as Francis Matthias
Bruce Davison
as Francis Matthais
Jeff Phillips
as Herman "Whitey" Salvador
Billy Drago
as Judge Samuel Mather
Judy Geeson
as Lacy Doyle
Dee Wallace
as Sonny
Ken Foree
as Herman Jackson
Maria Conchita Alonso
as Alice Matthias
Sheri Moon Zombie
as Heidi Hawthorne
Michael Berryman
as Virgil Magnus
Meg Foster
as Margaret Morgan
Richard Fancy
as A.J. Kennedy
Andrew Prine
as Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne
Sid Haig
as Dean Magnus
Bonita Friedericy
as Abigail Hennessey
Nancy Linehan Charles
as Clovis Hales
Flo Lawrence
as Sarah Easter
Brynn Horrocks
as Mary Webster
Suzanne Voss
as Elizabeth Jacobs
Susan Gray
as Martha Bishop
Torsten Voges
as Count Gorgann
Niko Posey
as Cerina Hooten
Julian Acosta
as Priest
Lisa Marie
as Priscilla
John S.
as Halvard the Guardian
Piggy D.
as Butcher Olaf
Roger Morrissey
as Beelzebub
Barbara Crampton
as Virginia Cable
Michael Shamus Wiles
as Francis Matthias
Dustin Quick
as Maisie Mather
James "Jammers" Messersmith
as Judge Samuel Mather
Wayne Toth
as Puppeteer #1
Brian Rae
as Puppeteer #2
Ernest Thomas
as Chip McDonald
Carlos DelValle
as Interviewer
Camille Keaton
as Wench Girl
Udo Kier
as Witchhunter
Richard Lynch
as Reverend Hawthorne
Daniel Roebuck
as Frankenmonster
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Critic Reviews for The Lords of Salem

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (20)

Polished and calculated, this is a nerve-shattering fright fest bolstered by immaculate technique.

Full Review… | April 25, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's a credit to Zombie's interest in growing as an artist that he's drawing from more mature inspirations here, but it's also part of why the movie doesn't work.

Full Review… | April 19, 2013
The Atlantic
Top Critic

It's all meant to be monstrous, unspeakable, blasphemous horror but it comes across more like a slightly dirty drawing, passed in seventh-grade religion class.

Full Review… | April 18, 2013
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Movies by Rob Zombie, the goth rocker turned cult filmmaker, aren't for everybody. But he couldn't care less.

Full Review… | April 18, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

Considerable care goes into establishing the premise, but the film eventually abandons psychological subtlety for hallucinatory garishness, which is too bad.

Full Review… | April 18, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

"The Lords of Salem" will make you feel bad. But it's supposed to.

Full Review… | April 18, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Lords of Salem


Great atmosphere and imagery. The scene in the kitchen made me jump. Salem is a great spooky setting. Not much seemed sacrified because Heidi had already invited Satanic forces into her life and her radio show. The concept of the Lords and their evil song was cool. The modern day witches were really effectively evil. The backstory was good. It's a bit of a shame all that calculated buildup was dumped at the end and forgotten.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

[Zero Stars] Rob Zombies' brand of atavistic, 70's-era throwbacks to the horror of yesteryear is an acquired taste. For as refreshingly old-school and grungy as 'The Devil's Rejects' was, his 'Hallowee' remake was a platitudinous, unintentionally funny flatliner. Which brings me to 'The Lords of Salem' which I can safely assume (or hope) is the worst film that Zombie has been associated with. For one thing, the character depth of Heidi as a recovering junkie is superficial at best with truncated scenes of her as a support group to indicate her struggle. Zombie is completely clueless about minute details like how a small-radius radio station works with Heidi and her deejay friends using obnoxious sound effects ad nauseum and playing unsolicited records. The phantasmagorical imagery is putrid and avant-garde (ranging from a midget with flailing intestines and Heidi bucking atop a goat). Although it has been touted as "blazingly original", the trajectory of the story with a vessel for Satan's birth has been tread dozens of times before. The acting from Meg Foster as the coven leader is cringe-inducing and hammy. The pacing is plodding to the point of boredom. From concept to execution, 'The Lords of Salem' is a solemnly self-serious, excruciating piece of drek that ranks as one of the worst movies of the year.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

two stars

MisterYoda ?
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

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