Rob Zombie’s new horror trailer recently came out online, and anyone who thought that Halloween 2 was the nail in his cinematic coffin may be proved dead wrong when they see this…
One of the first things that I saw in the trailer which shocked me more than anything else was that the producers of Paranormal Activity are involved in this. This is all personal preference, but I hate these shock shaky cam features. However, any concern I had that this style of horror would dilute Rob’s normally scary style was quickly squashed. All of Zombie’s film trademarks are here. Weird people, creepy imagery, and an innocent, caught up in something they don’t understand.
The film features an impressive horror pedigree as far as the cast goes. We of course have Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie, who always accompanies the director. In addition we get Bruce Davison who was the original ‘Willard’, Barbara Crampton (Re Animator), Meg Foster (They Live), Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror Picture Show), and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead). Not to mention genre legend Dee Wallace who starred in The Stepford Wives, The Hills Have Eyes, Cujo, Critters, and The Howling and plenty of others.
The story the trailer sets up feels like it came straight out of a Hammer Horror movie, but looking at the plot summary on Wikipedia, it seems a lot more of a modern take on an old theme. Here is the plot breakdown, so if you don’t want any spoliers look away now.
Heidi DJs at the local radio station, and together with the two Hermans (Whitey and Munster) forms part of the ‘Big H Radio Team’. A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, “a gift from the Lords”. She assumes it’s a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords’ record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords’ record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon Heidi and her cohorts find that the gig is far from the rock spectacle they’re expecting; the original Lords of Salem are returning, and they’re out for blood.
Reading this made me think that this sounds like an old Rob Zombie song. The face paint Heidi wears at the end of the trailer helped to reinforce that idea even more. The mix of music and satan certainly seems a great fit for Rob and I imagine there are plenty of shocks to come.
Going back to the film references I noticed that the dirty and poorly patterned walls leading up to the sinister apartment were very similar to the Overlook’s hallways from The Shining and gave me the same kind of chill. There is a heavy dose of Rosemary’s Baby here, as well as the uncomfortable feeling that The Wicker Man gives you. A sense of unease comes over you while watching this trailer. I doubt that this film ends well for anyone.
The main thing that impressed me about this trailer was it was quite freaky to watch and had me looking over my shoulder half way through, that tingle of dread in your spine is always a good sign when watching a movie trailer. Rob Zombie makes scary movies, House of a 1000 Corpses was incredibly unnerving, and say what you like about the Halloween remakes, they did have some scary sequences in them. The 70s and 80s style is on the come back with movies like House of the Devil, Kill List and V/H/S all harking back to a different era focusing on story and characters. This feels like it will fit right in with this movies, especially Kill List which has a very similar style and set up.
Here is hoping that it lives up to the promise shown in the trailer. And if you missed the first trailer, here you go…