3 from Hell is Rob Zombie’s latest movie, following the exploits of Baby, Otis, and Spaulding (temporarily) from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Undoing the dramatic scene at the end of Rejects, we find out that they did, in fact, survive the shoot out and were arrested and taken to jail. Spaulding is put to death (rest in peace Sid Haig) while Otis breaks out, teams up with his brother (Richard Brake), and they work to get Baby out and continue doing what they do best.
This movie is much like the others in not only this trilogy but Zombie’s career as a whole. It is violent, has a few problematic moments, but it is a well made and intense ride. Richard Brake does an excellent job jumping into the movie and filling in the role of “the third.” Brake is no stranger to Zombie’s films, or horror movies in general, and brings what he does well. Oddly calm (until they snap) but still disturbing serial killer type. He doesn’t have the same craziness of Baby or quiet rage of Otis but brings his own little flair to it.
There were some interesting parts of the movie and decent kills if you are into that sort of thing, but it just felt like the weaker movie overall. The story felt a little like a repeat of The Devil’s Rejects (starting with corralling a group of people, moving to another location, getting attacked) and lacked a lot of the punch that the other movies had brought. It didn’t have the more art film throwback of House, but also couldn’t live up to the raw and violent realism of Rejects. It is a decent movie, but it pales in comparison to the previous movies.
In all likelihood, I could do a full impressions piece on this movie, so why am I not? Well, after watching this, I have to be honest… I just don’t think Rob Zombie is for me. Please let me complete the thought!
I don’t dislike Rob Zombie’s movies, I rather enjoy a few of them. I didn’t dislike this one either. I just don’t click with them the way I see other horror fans doing, and I have realized he’s just not for me. I think he is awesome, and I get why people like his movies, I enjoy them from time to time and am happy to keep watching in the future. I just don’t love them like other people and have a bit of a hollow relationship with them compared to how I can be about the genre.
I am glad I watched the movie, and I would, for the most part, recommend it. Any time I talk about his films, I have to put the note on that they are rough. They have a lot of violence, some parts that some people might not like, and so I stress caution before diving in. If you like his movies, great. If you like violent horror, come on down. If you haven’t liked his movies in the past, this probably won’t convert you.
For me, I will keep watching. I will re-watch some, hell probably even re-watch this. I will always find parts I am impressed with. But I feel a bit outside of the Zombie fandom overall. And that’s okay. We can’t all love everything, and I by no means think it’s a reflection of his skill.