Horror is an incredibly difficult genre to do well. And while I’ve seen hundreds of horror films over the years in search of the ultimate terror experience, I would have to say that there have been very few that I would consider great. When I say great, I suppose I refer to those films that are not just scary (which is very rare in itself) but those that are actually deemed qualitatively impressive beyond the confines of their own community of genre fans. Re-Animator is very funny, for example, and will always hold a soft spot in my heart, but it is neither scary nor a particularly well made film.
It will surprise many (perhaps most) people to hear me say that I believe Rob Zombie is one of the few filmmakers who makes great horror films. I’ll stand behind House of 1000 Corpses, and more importantly his remake of Carpenter’s over-canonised Halloween, any day of the week. I expect most people will disagree, but I see in his work a technical proficiency and deep understanding of what horrifies that I don’t see in many other filmmakers who have worked within the genre. Having said that, he does cross lines that I’m not always particularly comfortable with – but I suppose that’s the horrifying part!
All this is an elongated way of saying that the trailer for Zombie’s new film, Lords of Salem, is out and I’m excited. Take a look: