Salem: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

Salem: Season 1 (2014)




Critic Consensus: While the horror scenes are well-executed, Salem lacks enough substance to sustain even a guilty-pleasure interest.


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The world of the Salem witch trials is explored in this supernatural drama set in 17th-century Massachusetts. Season 1 opens in 1685 with Capt. John Alden (Shane West) returning from war to discover that his Puritan community has become gripped with mass hysteria and that his former lover Mary (Janet Montgomery) is now married to the wealthy village elder George Sibley (Michael Mulheren). What he doesn't know is that when he left seven years ago, Mary, pregnant with his child, turned to Tituba (Ashley Madekwe), a skilled practitioner of the magical arts, to rid her of the unborn baby. In the time that followed, Mary has become the most powerful witch in Salem and is using panic and paranoia to her advantage, while fending off threats of being deposed by Magistrate Hale (Xander Berkeley). But her lingering feelings for John put them both at risk as he enters into an alliance with Rev. Cotton Mather (Seth Gabel), who, when he isn't engaging in activities of ill repute, has been defending the people of town against witchcraft. Also starring Tamzin Merchant, Elise Eberle and Stephen Lang.


Janet Montgomery
as Mary Sibley
Shane West
as John Alden
Seth Gabel
as Cotton Mather
Xander Berkeley
as Magistrate Hale
Tamzin Merchant
as Anne Hale
Elise Eberle
as Mercy Lewis
Michael Mulheren
as George Sibley
Stephen Lang
as Increase Mather
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Critic Reviews for Salem: Season 1

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (17)

For the most part, it works.

December 28, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Salem is replete with scenes that make little sense. It's mostly a jumble of decent enough special effects, less-than-decent acting, a script that also should be lashed with "10 hard ones" and lots of blood-curdling screaming.

April 18, 2014 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

West and the rest of the cast perform solidly as well, and once we know the lineup, presumably we'll dive deeper into the game.

April 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

At the end of the episode, we get an idea where the series is headed. But by then, Salem has failed to cast a spell.

April 17, 2014 | Full Review…

Consider this initial effort a whiffed ball.

April 22, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

What Salem is, though, is a surprisingly smart, well-executed and extremely scary new spin on a familiar trope. Enjoy it if you dare.

April 22, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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