Lords of Salem is divisive filmmaking. On the one hand, the movie is a visual feast. Zombie has a great eye for composition. That trait has been evident since his first film. Much like Zombie’s incoherent debut House of 1000 Corpses, Lords of Salem has little in the way of plot. Unlike the former, which was a tribute to (derivative of) Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Zombie’s most recent effort offers a smart (if sparse) take on panics over subliminal satanic messages in metal music. That Lords of Salem has little in the way of plot development aids the film, rendering its freaky imagery all the more unsettling. In contrast to Halloween II – a slasher movie intercut with inappropriate unicorn imagery – Lords of Salem’s hallucinatory images work well with the witchcraft theme. The dream-like imagery and floating narrative movement chimes with the plot’s central fugue-inducing record. Do not be fooled by the thudding captions that signal time passing: Lords of Salem is more akin to The Serpent and the Rainbow than The Shining. Indeed, the overall effect of striking set-pieces and drifting narrative is reminiscent of Lucio Fulci’s scrapbook-like The Beyond, which is why I really enjoyed it (and probably why many will hate it). Lords of Salem arguably suffers from being a little too glossy, outlandish, or even self-conscious, and is certainly not a masterpiece. However, for my money it is easily Zombie’s best film to date.