Salem's Lot

caitlyn huebner


Ben (David Soul) returns home to write his latest book, to a house that has tormented him since childhood. When he arrives, a series of strange events transpire. Ben can only attribute the events with the pure evil resonating from inside the house. With the help of Mark (Lance Kerwin), a young horror-enthusiast, Ben aims to eradicate the evil within Salem's Lot.

A Stephen King horror-classic brought to life by director Tobe Hooper, the original 1979 made-for-TV movie is, as the movie’s slogan reads, "The ultimate in terror!"

As a horror-enthusiast myself, I have been watching horror movies from what some would say an unhealthy young age. Many of the other horror classics unfazed me, even as a young child. Chuckie, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, Halloween, Friday the 13th and other King movies such as It, Pet Cemetery and Children of the Corn would keep my adrenaline pumping throughout, but never seemed to linger with me days or even years later such as Salem's Lot had.

After watching only 10 minutes of Salem's Lot as a child I ran out of the room screaming, vowing never to relive that nightmare again. Now in my early 20s I decided to, once again, face the only horror movie that had ever truly scared me. After staring at the DVD for days contemplating whether or not I could actually muster up the courage to sit through the 180+ minutes of terror, I finally, one afternoon, decided it was time. I grabbed my go-to movie snacks and settled in.

Not even an hour into the movie I found myself hiding behind blankets, screaming the loudest I ever have at a movie and jumping as if I were a flea, hopping from one victim to another. The pure anxiety I had while watching Salem's Lot left tightness in my chest and, shamefully, a tear or two in my eyes. I sat thinking over and over, "How can I make it through this movie!?"

The unconventional scare tactics leave you unsure when or who will become the next roaming dead. Right when you think you’re onto a pattern you're thrown a curveball. Unlike in typical horror movies, there is very little warning of a jump scare. There's no ominous music building in the background and no complete silence. The genius behind these scares occurring amidst typical activity makes the whole storyline much more believable and far more terrifying.

It’s not until almost the end of the movie you finally catch a glimpse of the Nosferatu-looking demon Kurt Barlow (Reggie Nalder) for the first time. And boy do I wish he just stayed on an antique trip as his human partner Straker (James Mason) suggested multiple times.

If you, like me, are a lover of horror, this is defiantly the movie for you. Make sure to grab a friend who will tough it out and protect you. This movie should be, and is for me, number one on the "Do not watch alone" list. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly it is that makes this movie so terrifying. It easily could be the sheer creativity behind Stephen King, or it could be the atmosphere the movie carries from beginning to end. However, I am certain you should keep some garlic by your side, just in case, and to sleep with your windows covered.

If nothing else, make sure to never invite them in.


View trailer of Salem's Lot


Caitlyn Huebner is a junior Communication major and Creative Writing minor. She loves Halloween and all things horror related; she aspires to be the next Stephan King/Edgar Allen Poe mix.