October 17, 2013
Ingenious reworking of Rob Zombie’s misbegotten Lords Of Salem into a moody silent movie. Zombie’s attempt was laughably pretentious, but steFAN has crafted something between arthouse and indie. A serious blood curse that takes generations to flower.
Video - Black n white, rather soft focused. Editing solid throughout. Most of the transitions are iris wipes and more consistency would be preferred. Closures are too swift, then there is a lag between opening the next scene. Not a major problem, but this could be smoothed. Also, once or twice only one half of the iris wipe is used.
Audio - Fine 2.0 stereo, well thought out musical track. Most of the ambiant cues deftly channel the unsettling tone. No subs, of course, but there are inter-titles. As mentioned by That One Guy, and in the forum thread, there are several misspelled words and grammar errors. These could easily be corrected. Very imaginative fonts are used, a script font as well as a blocky type. The script could be a little bit larger. Neither font is especially difficult to read, yet both require a second or two additional time to visually “decode.” Consequently, most of the inter-titles ought to remain visible on screen a beat or two longer.
One title card in particular goes on far too long, however. The apartment sequence with Heidi and the “three witches” seems to go on and on and on. This really needs to be cut into three edited cards, broken up with facial closeups or hands or clock ... The classic rule - show, don’t tell applies.
Narrative - Cohesive storyline, though the ending was utterly baffling. I had to reread the forum thread to see what steFAN’s intention was. Perhaps a touch of colour during the finale would have clarified Heidi’s fate.
Enjoyment - For me, absolutely! Know your limitations, however. Black n white - Silent - a measured pace. This edit is rich in imagery, the tempo is best described as lingering. Passing familiarity with the works of L'Herbier, Duvivier, or especially Dreyer (though Mr Zombie is NOT among that group) will help navigate steFAN’s conception and execution. This is an excellent edit, and I believe with modifications could be truly outstanding.