With its languid pacing, elaborate design and expressionistic colour scheme, this supernatural mood piece marks a distinct change of pace for fanboy writer-director Rob Zombie (‘The Devil Rejects’). Even so, its imagery is derivative, the set-pieces feel like self-contained pop videos, and it’s barely held together by a dry-ice fog of dread. Witches torched after the Salem trials of 1692 return to haunt radio DJ and recovering heroin addict Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie). The droning, hypnotic strains of The Lords’ vinyl album incite vivid nightmares featuring faceless figures and priapic goats. Local occult scholar Francis (Bruce Davison) believes the burned witches’ curses have come true. But Heidi fears for her sanity. Are her hallucinations manifestations of an ancient evil or symptoms of her disintegrating mind?
Sheri Moon Zombie’s pale talent continues to wane, but the Stygian gloom is occasionally pierced by devilishly disturbing images and familiar themes: ‘Rosemary's Baby’, in particular, looms large in the scenes featuring Heidi’s solicitous landlady (Judy Geeson) and her two creepy sisters.