I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie, both his music and his films. I've defended Halloween numerous times and genuinely think that the Devils Rejects is a great horror/exploitation movie. (Okay I may have avoided watching Halloween 2 just because I've heard bad things about it.) Hearing that this would be the last horror film he directs, I knew I had to watch it for Halloween.
This is a much more mature Zombie film that wants to take it's time and build to a shocking conclusion. It shows that the man has a great deal of talent behind the camera and will probably bring a lot to his non horror films. However all is not perfect.
Sherri Moon Zombie is pretty and I can kind of understand why Mr Zombie puts her in front of the camera. However while she can pull of the psychoness of a character like Baby (House of 1000 Corpses/Devil's Rejects), she does struggle with the more serious fare. Having her up front as the lead of the movie might be a bit much for people but I thought she does a competent enough job.
However for me it's Bruce Davison as witch researcher Francis Matthias that really anchored me to the movie. I'm not sure why but I was really drawn into this journey of trying to discover who The Lords of Salem are. If it wasn't for him then I probably wouldn't of liked the movie as much.
As for the film itself, it's firmly in head fuck territory with a lot of scenes and images thrown into to screw with people rather than progress the story. Still it never totally derails the plot, instead we get a focused little movie that shows reality crumbling around our lead. Is it in her head? Is it the lords? There's enough to keep people going
For Rob Zombie fans this movie is a must, for everyone else this is a film that needs to be seen once. Zombie always seems to be stronger when he deals with his own material. I'm glad he's gone out of horror on such a strong note.