Rob Zombie strikes me as one of the best B-movie makers working in America today, and certainly one of the preeminent horror directors of late. The Lords of Salem only solidifies that opinion, a work that extrapolates from the boldest, most experimental aspects of his more tightly controlled productions that results in a work of vivid expression. A host of referential touchstones is smoothed into a singular creative vision through a stripped-down variant of Zombie's usual grindhouse aesthetic, as well as his unorthodox sympathy for his tormented characters. There's a perverse comedy throughout the film, from the freeze-frame on a goat forced to witness a coven at the start to hellspawn paying little attention to that same coven at the end, but the comedy is always directed at the evil forces, not those who are already suffering enough. A major work.
My full review is up over at Spectrum Culture.