Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton,
Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams
While they share the same name, the 2005 version of House
of Wax and the 1953 version, which starred Vincent Price,
only bear the similarity that they involve, well, Houses
of Wax. In the 2005 version, we follow six young adults
as they drive from Florida to a college football game in Baton
Rouge. On the way there, they camp overnight and wake up the
next morning with a cut fan belt in one of the vehicles. This
forces Carly (Cuthbert) and her boyfriend (Padalecki) to hike to the nearby town for a replacement while the others attempt to make the game (great friends, aren't they?).
It doesn't take long for Carly and her boyfriend to find
trouble in the nearby town. After discovering the whole town
is populated with wax people and two whack-job brothers, Carly
manages to run, leaving her boyfriend to his grisly demise.
When Carly's brother (Murray) and her other friends return,
they are picked off one at a time. While I might make the
story sound moderately deep in that the bad guys have demented
ulterior motives to the action, but that would be giving the
plot way too much credit.
House of Wax falls in line with the likes of Boogeyman
and Darkness Falls - a mediocre
offering hoping to "redefine" the genre but only managing
to be a waste of a ticket price. So many of these new horror
films try to be dark or even maybe a little unique, like an
extended music video, but only end up poorly paced or executed.
In House of Wax, the movie takes what feels like an
hour just to get to killing the first victim. While one may
use the excuse that the movie was building tension, this tension
is squandered by a cast of characters that are unlikable on
When the movie finally does get to the killing, it still
feels slow and drawn out. There are a few cringe-worthy moments,
but since even the badguys lack a certain fear factor, it's
really not long lasting. Not only is the pacing for this film
completely mismanaged, but it suffers from massive lack of
originality. So much so that the whole of the script is pretty
predictable. This causes any degree of horror to feel shallow and like a wasted effort. And because it takes so long to get to the action, I personally didn't care what happened to the cast. I just wanted someone to die so that the movie would be over soon.
I could possibly stomach the crap-fest script and plot if
the movie at least featured decent scares or effects. But,
after seeing the second-rate wax models, I really held out
no hope for the movie. While the wax models didn't have to
be of Madame Tussaud's quality, most barely looked close to
realistic. And then there was the fact that we were told that
the house and everything within was made of wax, though nothing
really looked the part until the ending.
Unless you want to waste money on a brain-dead horror flick
in which Paris Hilton dies after an hour of tedium, skip House
of Wax. Seriously. It's the kind of film that ruins careers.