A Strong Start But Kinda Fizzled At The End
I’m not what you would call a fan of Rob Zombie, in fact, he hasn’t made a movie I liked, but even so, this was a film I was looking forward to seeing. It has an eclectic cast who are all well known from yesteryear, like Dee Wallace for instance, but even though the casting was “different” it actually worked out alright.
What helped was the fact that mature women were used as witches, and lets face it, that’s the way it should be done in my opinion. It’s the first authentic-looking Pagan-ceremony I’ve ever seen. When this sort of ritual went on, all those years ago, they would look more like the portrayal witnessed in The Lords of Salem, rather than the usual Hollywood, twentyone-year-old, with a perfect goddess-like body, which are usually put on display. At least our witches can all act extremely well.
The story isn’t completely original but it is a fresh take and been done rather well by Mr Zombie. There is a nice steady build up, with an undeniable 60’s and 70’s feel, which is nicely presented, and also an underlying feeling of doom-and-gloom. Also, what little violence is shown, is always pretty understated but works very well and actually adds some authenticity to the proceedings. There are two things at the end of the film that I can’t get my noggin around. The first is the cheap psychedelic cartoony effects, which I assume were to represent their strange sense of being, but the ending is one hell of a risk to take because it might mean something in the director’s head, but it meant eff all in mine and anyone elses by the looks of things.
Five minutes of strangeness at the end, has made this potentially great movie, another bog standard indie horror to throw on the pile. A damn shame, however, I did still enjoy it, instead of loving it, all for the sake of trying to be overly creative, which does not suit Mr Zombie, in my humble opinion, however, I have to commend Zombie for at least having a go at pushing his rather small envelope. You know, his efforts haven’t been a pleasure to watch up to now but after this recent attempt, I’d have to say I’m actually looking forward to his next movie, but sadly, he doesn’t appear to have anything penciled in at this moment in time. This is his best to date, and aside from the less-than-brilliant ending, it was a highly entertaining flick.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Special to Influx Magazine