The Lords of Salem 2012

Critics score:
45 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Neil Genzlinger, New York Times: Considerable care goes into establishing the premise, but the film eventually abandons psychological subtlety for hallucinatory garishness, which is too bad. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: So bad it's hilarious. Read more

Rob Nelson, Variety: Less inferno than slow burn, Rob Zombie's retro witch thriller The Lords of Salem has plenty of portent but not much payoff. Read more

Noel Murray, AV Club: Zombie proves once again that he understands how many different ways there are to give an audience the creeps. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: You get the idea that "The Lords of Salem" would be a lot scarier if you could tell what was going on. Read more

Tom Russo, Boston Globe: A portrait of vengeful occult torment that pushes hard to redefine the meaning of "witch trials." Read more

Drew Hunt, Chicago Reader: Polished and calculated, this is a nerve-shattering fright fest bolstered by immaculate technique. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: Some of this looks cool enough, but most of it's just silly satanic mumbo jumbo that's not particularly scary. Read more

William Goss, Film.com: A more restrained kind of grungy horror throwback than the rocker-turned-filmmaker has offered to date, at least marking a step in a different direction, if not necessarily the right one. Read more

Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter: Although it eventually descends into silliness, this creepily atmospheric effort delivers some effective scares along the way. Read more

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times: "The Lords of Salem" will make you feel bad. But it's supposed to. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Rob Zombie, film scholar? I'm convinced. Rob Zombie, filmmaker? Mmmyeah, not so much. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: 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. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Atmosphere is three-fourths of the game in a horror film, and "The Lords of Salem" has it in spades. Read more

V.A. Musetto, New York Post: Movies by Rob Zombie, the goth rocker turned cult filmmaker, aren't for everybody. But he couldn't care less. Read more

Simon Abrams, Chicago Sun-Times: Instead of retreating into his manic, hyper-allusive style of psychedelic, grindhouse-friendly pastiche, Zombie tested his considerable skills and made something different. Read more

Ian Buckwalter, The Atlantic: 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. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Even as a coven assembles, the movie forgets to scare. Read more

Chuck Wilson, Village Voice: The movie is eerily photographed, but never suspenseful or scary, and eventually, events descend into goat-sacrificing silliness. Read more