Monday, October 7, 2013

Horror Movie Reviews--Insidious 2 and The Lords of Salem

I am a huge fan of the first "Insidious" film so I was highly anticipating this movie. I was not disappointed. In fact, I felt that this sequel may have been even more scary than the first. I loved the way it went into more detail and told us a back story. And there was even more humor this time, mostly courtesy of Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson as Specs and Tucker. James Wan is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors having moved on from the gore of the "Saw" films to making intelligent horror films that focus more on the story and genuine creepiness that I find more scary than all out slash and gore. Examples are this film and the first "Insidious" and the brilliant "The Conjuring," which came out over the summer. Leigh Whannell should also be credited for his brilliant writing on this film and others. Needless to say, I'm pleased to tell you that "Insidious 3" has been announced!

About the film
The Lambert family learn their struggle with the supernatural is far from over when a long-buried secret plunges them back into a terrifying world of darkness. Director James Wan reteams with screenwriter Leigh Whannell for this horror sequel starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins. ~from Fandango

There were two reasons that I rented "The Lords of Salem." One...huge fan of Rob Zombie. I loved him when he was in his band, White Zombie, and loved his solo music too. His films, especially "House of 1000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects," have really pushed the envelope. I much prefer the former of these two, as the latter focused too much on torture rather than all out horror. His remakes of the "Halloween" films 1 and 2 were pretty good, albeit quite a bit more gory than the originals, if that's possible. So, with my being a fan, it was a given that I wanted to see this film. The other reason is that it's about witches and its back story has origins in the history of the Salem Witch Trials. Zombie takes liberties with the Salem history because in his story the witches are burned and the accused witches of Salem were not burned. They were hanged and one accused man was pressed to death. Also, Zombie's witches, or "Lords of Salem" weren't just accused, they were really evil witches. Another error, or maybe it was just an error in the spelling on the subtitles (yes, I have the subtitles on while I'm watching), was the misspelling of John Hawthorne's name. Anyone who knows the history of the Salem witch hysteria knows that a John Hathorne was one of the judges (who never repented his actions during the trials). Note the spelling of his name. He was a direct ancestor of author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who added the 'w' to his last name because he did not want to be connected with the ill deeds of his ancestor. Anyway, I'm not going to say that this film was excellent, but there were some genuinely creepy moments and a startlingly freaky performance by Meg Foster (blast from the past) as the hideously haggish and evil, Margaret Morgan, the ring leader of the Salem witches, or "Lords of Salem." There were actually a bunch of blasts from the past which Zombie is known for showcasing in his films, including Dee Wallace (of E.T., Howling, Cujo fame), Bruce Davison, and Maria Chonchita Alonso. And, of course, Zombie's normal regulars...wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, Ken Foree, and Sid Haig. "The Lords of Salem" has its moments, one of them being some deliciously creepy music (listen to the music at the end of the trailer below) introduced in the film via a record album sent to the main character by a band called "The Lords." What a coincidence. I would say see this if you're a zombie fan, or if you just like weird, eclectic horror films.

An excellent review on sums up my feelings about this film almost exactly.

Meg Foster as Margaret Morgan
About the film
Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record -- a "gift from the Lords." The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?

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  1. Looks like I will will check these out! They sound good!

  2. I had kind of been putting off Lords of Salem because I'd been exposed to the awfulness of the novelization. It wasn't the subject matter that was awful, it was the terrible mish-mashed writing by Zombie and B.K. Evenson. I changed my mind and watched it last week because I was reminded that Rob Zombie is actually pretty darn good filmmaker. In general, kind of an odd movie, but worlds better than the novelization.

  3. I rarely read novelizations for that reason. HaHa!

    It was an odd movie, but it had its creepy/Rob Zombie moments. That music was what really got me. It was definitely intriguing.

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