Tag Archives: ti west

The Lords of Salem: A Love Letter To A Lost Genre

salem


The Lords of Salem (2013)
Written & Directed by Rob Zombie
101 min.

Mild spoilers.

If there’s one movie trend I can totally get behind, it’s the “B Movie Love Letter”. It’s almost its own genre at this point. Recent examples include Neil Marshall’s Doomsday, Wright and Pegg’s Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (and their upcoming The World’s End), Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained (really his whole catalogue), Ti West’s House of the Devil, Lexi Alexander’s Punisher: War Zone, and Peter Travis’ Dredd. And Star Wars and Indiana Jones are some not so recent examples. These filmmakers mine their inspirations for their best aspects and transplant them into modern productions—which are almost inevitably better than the movies they pay homage to, as the ‘originals’ were often made quickly and on the cheap just to provide cheap thrills and make a buck or two. Dredd was much talked about last year, and I’m hoping The Lords of Salem gets similar attention this year, because it’s even more fun.
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The Innkeepers: A Crappy Horror Movie That Could’ve Been One of the Best Ever

innkeep

The Innkeepers (2011)
Written & Directed by Ti West
101 min.

Spoilers ahead. But not in the two paragraphs directly below this sentence.

What happened with this one? It really makes no sense how it could be so bad. The House of the Devil, Ti West’s film right before this, is pitch-perfect. A modern classic dripping with maturity. Easily one of my favorite horror movies of all time. The Innkeepers, however, is blatantly botched. So much so that it’s hard to believe he didn’t make it prior to The House of the Devil. How does one go from being the most intelligent horror writer-director around to being a hack in two short years? Did he get hit on the head or something?

I suspect the studio insinuated itself during the writing process, with awful script notes and the like. The thing just plain feels tinkered with and compromised, because the story starts off solid, and where he seemed to be going with it was genius and groundbreaking. And then unfortunately, for whatever reason, knowingly or unknowingly, he veered off onto a well-worn, safe, hackneyed path that robbed it entirely of depth.
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