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The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

August 4, 2009

VERDICT:
7/10 Family Road Trips

Rob Zombie made a movie that I like. Not a sentence I ever envisioned myself writing.

The Devil’s Rejects is about a good ol’ serial killin’ group of siblings doing their thing across the countryside, murdering and torturing folk of the sort with Johnny law hot on their tail. It’s apparently a sequel of sorts to the Disney favorite, House of 1000 Corpses, but that’s pretty much it.

Now, you’ve probably already gathered as much from the movie’s subtle title, but what might be the best way to describe some of the stuff that goes down in The Devil’s Rejects is probably…sadistic. I’m probably not winning anyone over with that description, but allow me to elaborate.

There’s two kinds of sadism when it comes to horror movies. There’s the torture porn/sadism for the sake of sadism vibe you’d find in something like Hostel that just tries to push the envelope by grossing you out. And that’s stupid; anyone can do that.

Then there’s this kind of sadism, the kind that messes with you, leaves a bad taste in your mouth, challenges you to keep watching and makes you question why every inch of your body isn’t aching to see if and how this sick family gets offed in the end. That’s the kind of horror movie I like because that’s the kind of shit that sticks with you and isn’t easy to pull off.

And it’s not often that the protagonists of a movie like this are the said serial killers. Even weirder is that after a while, you kinda like ’em. Yeah, they’re no doubt gonna burn as soon as they kick the bucket, but they’re an entertaining bunch to watch. Not exactly the kind of people I’d want to hang out with, but two hours through a TV screen is just fine.

It’s probably the combination of focusing the movie around these fleshed out, eccentric, homicidal maniacs and managing to paint everyone else that tries to get in their way as the “bad guys” that makes this movie interesting to me. And sometimes it’s just fun to root for the bad guys.

I don’t know if I’m converting anyone over to this movie if they’re not into this kind of stuff, but if you’re into horror movies and can convincingly remind yourself that there actually isn’t a family of psycho hillbillies out there coming to get you, I’d give it a look. It’s not scary, but it’s pretty messed up. It’s also pretty well made and has an atypically sharp script as far as horror movies are concerned.

Also, great soundtrack filled with Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd tracks. Not the typical music you film murder scenes to, but in some crazy way it totally works. Way to go, Mr. Zombie.

I don’t know how good or bad House of 100o Corpses was, but I’m betting this one has a good deal more to offer. Man, that house must have smelled like straight shit.

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