Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Apr 14, 2013
    100
    Rob Zombie understands horror as an aural-visual experience that should gnaw at the nerves, seep into the subconscious, and beget unshakeable nightmares.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Apr 18, 2013
    90
    The Lords of Salem is like some queasy-making machine, a chamber piece of possession and madness that exerts a strange, disturbing power.
  3. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Apr 14, 2013
    83
    The Lords of Salem is a product of Zombie’s better creative impulses, so it’s ok that it also features several of his worse indulgences, too.
  4. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Jun 11, 2013
    75
    A genuinely nasty and disturbing piece of work, but its cumulative nerve-shredding effect is not just the product of effective direction. Sheri Moon Zombie delivers her best serious dramatic performance yet (before marrying Zombie, she used to be a porn star).
  5. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Apr 18, 2013
    75
    Movies by Rob Zombie, the goth rocker turned cult filmmaker, aren’t for everybody. But he couldn’t care less. He makes movies exactly the way he wants to, with no thought of pleasing mainstream audiences. They can like it or lump it. His latest effort, The Lords of Salem, is true to form.
  6. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Apr 17, 2013
    75
    For a rock star and old-movie buff like Rob Zombie, The Lords Of Salem offers a chance to riff on the notion of rock ’n’ roll as the devil’s music, while recreating scenes from old Hammer witch pictures. Zombie does both of these things—just not always as expected.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 14, 2013
    75
    Zombie's witches aren't as scary as the credible psychopaths he has portrayed before, but The Lords of Salem contains enough frenzied imagery in its climactic moments to make the spell linger.
  8. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Apr 18, 2013
    70
    The Lords of Salem is more creepily atmospheric than truly scary and eventually lapses into silliness. But it does provide some evocatively spooky moments along the way.
  9. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Apr 17, 2013
    67
    I could go on and on about Zombie’s style-over-substance direction, but why bother? The Lords of Salem is so clearly a project that Zombie has had stewing in his blood-and-black-lace heart for, I assume, ever, that the fact that it’s not a masterpiece seems almost moot. It’s a head trip, to be sure, but it’s Zombie’s electric, haunted head, so my advice is just sit back and goggle.
  10. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Apr 22, 2013
    63
    The film’s final shot ranks among its least graphic and yet most puzzling, a slap-in-the-face piece of punctuation that reminds the most accommodating viewers that, even on his good days, Mr. Zombie is really only making movies for an audience of one.
  11. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Apr 18, 2013
    60
    Considerable care goes into establishing the premise, but the film eventually abandons psychological subtlety for hallucinatory garishness, which is too bad.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 18, 2013
    60
    Atmosphere is three-fourths of the game in a horror film, and The Lords of Salem has it in spades. It’s not too much to say that until this culty-witchy throwback chiller turns too bloody, it shows how far a little style can go.
  13. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 16, 2013
    60
    This may be terrifying news to Rob Zombie fans, but after years mining the 1970s for gunky shock moments, the musician-turned-filmmaker has emerged as an unusually sensitive director of actors.
  14. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Apr 18, 2013
    50
    There are echoes of Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” in all of this that are impossible to miss.
  15. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Apr 14, 2013
    50
    The helmer’s narrative dead end here registers not as a lack of nerve so much as a lack of imagination.
  16. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Apr 17, 2013
    42
    Unfortunately, it’s just a witchy mess.
  17. 40
    The Lords of Salem is gloomy, lacks variety, and is not without its flat patches. Heidi is an increasingly dullish heroine, and in the first 15 minutes you’ll know what’s going to happen in the next 80.
  18. Reviewed by: Jamie Graham
    Apr 19, 2013
    40
    Occasionally potent but mostly risible, this tale of the occult sees Rob Zombie cast a weak spell. Disappointing.
  19. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 17, 2013
    40
    Some of the imagery is memorable, in a twisted-horror kind of way. Zombie has no trouble scaring up atmosphere. But other scenes are ridiculous, unintentionally funny, particularly one he builds up to ominously, only to give us a silly payoff.
  20. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    Apr 16, 2013
    30
    The movie is eerily photographed (by Brandon Trost), but never suspenseful or scary, and eventually, events descend into goat-sacrificing silliness.
  21. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 16, 2013
    25
    This one is so bad it’s hilarious. Sheri Moon Zombie is no Mia Farrow, Rob Zombie is no Roman Polanski, and The Lords of Salem seems to have been made by people on the rubber bus headed for a rubber room with bars on the windows.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 4 out of 13
  1. Feb 19, 2014
    2
    What the hell is wrong with Rob Zombie? I get that the guy grew up on Heavy Metal and old black & white Horror movies, but there is twisted and then their is **** insane. The things that must be going through this mans head, that encouraged him to write something like this, is the true definition of horrific. The film follows a radio DJ in Salem, Massachusetts, who has been seeing some strange things. One day a weird record shows up at the station and the DJ plays it on the air. The seemingly innocent record becomes the most requested song on the station, but not without consequences, as it posses the local female population. I am a fan of his music, so I know how strange and twisted Rob Zombie can be, but even I have my limits. Following one of the best horror films I've ever seen, The Devil's Rejects, I was really looking forward to Zombie's next project. That film was a good story, with strong characters, and an amazing ending. This film is pure garbage, meant to shock and disturb audiences, and it does a very good job of that. From nude elderly women, spitting blood on babies, and opening gateways to hell to scary psychics and beast like creatures running around in the dark, this movie is full of things you just never want to see. Rob's wife, Sheri Moon Zombie stars and the once beautiful, up and coming star of the Devil's Rejects, is now covered in tattoos and looks like she hasn't eaten in months. Her performance is flat and unbelievable, adding to the mountain of manure that this film is offering. I love Horror movies and I love weird **** but this was just above and beyond freaking weird. I should have turned the film off when nude witches were spitting blood on babies, but I didn't, I stuck with it and I'm sorry I did. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get some of the horrific images out of my head. Full Review »
  2. Oct 13, 2013
    3
    i found it to be boring and not very memorable it hurts me because rob zombie has not failed me before. it had some interesting elements and twists but not nearly enough to keep me interested at all. Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2013
    0
    This movie was horrible. The plot was lame. He used his wife (again) as a star role, which is getting really old. The end was really bad. He had a bunch of pictures flash with cheesy Photoshop effects that a grade school kid could do and the movie just never took off. Find a new hobby Z man. Full Review »