One thing had become clear from watching all of Rob Zombie’s previous films: He didn’t know what he was doing. Sadly, even in the bloodiest recesses of the horror genre, Zombie has been an atrocious director, save for some good stuff sprinkled into House of 1,000 Corpses. But The Lords of Salem is far better, which is to say, almost entirely watchable. His technical abilities are vastly improved and Salem is the first film for which Zombie develops a complete, consistent style. It’s an old-school kind of story, involving a DJ (the director’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) who receives a mysterious record by a band called the Lords. The music isn’t just weird; it also unleashes witchcraft (this is Salem, after all). Zombie doesn’t pitch a complete game here, but it’s the most imagination and vision he’s shown behind the camera yet.