House of Wax (2005)

Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton, Elisha Cuthbert, Brian Van Holt,
A group of unwitting teens are stranded near a strange wax museum and soon must fight to survive and keep from becoming the next exhibit.
  • 5.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Charles Belden, Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes, Writer:
  • Jaume Collet-Serra, Director:
  • Susan Downey, Joel Silver, Producer:
7 / 10

Beautifully twisted. Satisfyingly gross.

I do not think that this movie deserves the low rating that most will give it. It's one of the best "teenager" horror films I've ever seen; and that's saying a lot. Nothing is left without an explanation to back it up, the characters and plot break countless horror movie stereotypes, and it has got nothing to do with some other horrible pieces we've been submitted to lately. (A clear example is the mindless "Saint Ange".) The first 30-40 minutes might be downright boring with the exception of the beginning, although some minor light mistakes can be easily spotted. After the arrival to the village, though, the horror -a different, twisted kind of horror- begins.

With the plot and the details, goofs are minor; the characters are this movie's strongest point, given that so many clichés are broken in it. For example, the two main male characters, Nick and Wade, are not by any means the idiotic types we're used to; although Dalton might fit better in this stereotype, not is he the only one to pay for this lack of consciousness. Some scenes are truly, satisfyingly horrible, making up for tense moments scattered around all the film. And, in the end, and although everything is decorously explained, it's easy to see that things won't go so easy to the surviving characters.

The only errors I can see, and which do not imply continuity (IE, Carly not finding her own cut finger in the unconscious Bo's pockets) is the illumination, which is somehow annoying during the first, boring 30 minutes. Although, plot and effects-wise, everything is drastically and cruelly twisted with the arrival of the main characters to Ambrosia, that little village in the midst of nothing, so I'll give it that. It's been pretty much argued that about 70% of the movie is illogical; "How can two people build an entire house of wax?", "Where do they get all the wax from?". These wouldn't be uprising questions if people would have paid more attention to the movie. The Sinclair brothers did not build the House of Wax; their mother worked making actual wax figures, and they were exhibited at the museum. And the scenario where Paris Hilton's unfortunate character meets her untimely death is the answer to the second question; what is with all the personal objects (mobile phones, cars, clothes) of the dead people? Using their third brother as a connection with the exterior, it's pretty much arguable that the Sinclair twins should obtain the money necessary to buy the wax, in a WWII-type fashion.

So, that aside, I think the movie deserves a lot more than it gets, and nobody should lose the chance to watch it. So go see the House of Wax. Right now.

7 / 10

Great Slasher!

I wasn't expecting to much of this movie when I went into the theater but I had been waiting for it for many years. To sum it up, it was pretty damn good! Chad Michael Murray was pretty good, I thought he was going to be another Chris Flynn from Wrong Turn but I was wrong. Elisha Cuthbert was also good but the best performance has to go to Brian Van Holt. He played the bad guy too well, I mean he was sick, sadistic, and very cruel. The back story between the brothers was good, plus I liked how no killings took place until about 40 minutes into the film. It gave you time to pick the character you wanted to see live and the one you wanted to see die. Jon Abrahams was pretty good as the goofy best bud of CMM. I liked how Chad kind of cried when he found him dead, it was better then just him being like, "Whatever, my buddy is dead, who cares". It showed how he really cared. So overall, this was a darn god slasher with some great effects. Bravo!

7 / 10

...and we all cheered

A lot of people are flaming this film for the presence of Paris Hilton, but this is not a fair reason to object to the movie. The reality is that Paris has a fairly minimal part, she spends the vast majority of the movie off screen. The film also makes fun of her on several occasions, usually involving a camera and at least once in night vision. For those who enjoy Paris Hiltons stage presence, this may be a movie to see at home when its released on video, because at the screening I was at, we all laughed at her misfortunes through the movie and she is portrayed as a "woman of questionable values".

The movie itself was pretty good (unlike the recent flood of weak horror flicks), it has everything a good horror should; a creepy villain, excessive violence, acts which make that average person cringe...this movie hit all the bases. It is definitely worth a watch.

8 / 10

Surprisingly violent, and lots of fun.

While HOUSE OF WAX will never be mistaken for Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE or HALLOWEEN, it does try and ultimately succeed in being a worthy addition to quality horror film making. There is enough tension and enough implied gore in here to please the young audience of today and there is also enough explicit gore to please some of the purists of yesterday. Overall, it is quite a well done film that should do okay on DVD.

Six kids on the way to a football game get stranded in a DELIVERANCE like setting and what ensues actually looks like it may have been taken out a discarded Deilverance sequel and the backwoods hicks seem to taunt the group. Eventually the group has to break up and half of them head into the desolate town to get some car parts. The other half of the group stays behind at camp and this sets up the second half of the film.

House of Wax has many strengths. The first is that it is blessed with a very likable cast. Paris Hilton is fine in her role but she is far from the focal point. Chad Michael Murray, Elisabeth Cuthbert and Brian Van Holt are three very charismatic actors and their presence in the film adds some panache, some credibility and some flair. I had never really heard of Chad Michael Murray, only that he was a pin-up type teen heartthrob. But he has a presence to him. He imbues an intangible to him that seems to translate into his performance. He is instantly likable and he possesses a strong character trait. I enjoyed his performance much more than I figured I would and when he was on screen, the film flowed.

The question now becomes, "Is this film a worthy horror film?" And the answer to that is a resounding YES. As I mentioned off the top, it is not in the same class a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET or LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, or even THE RING, but it is relatively tense, quite graphic and there are some very inventive death scenes. This is not the HOUSE OF WAX that your parents told you about. Vincent Price is nowhere to be seen and when you start seeing fingers being cut off and hot wax covering comatose bodies, you realize this film is a little on the edge.

I'd like to see an uncut director's X rated version. I bet there is one out there somewhere that would be much more violent than this one. Be that as it may, this is a very good entry into the horror genre and it is heads and shoulders above weak films like I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and DARK WATER and a few others. It is definitely worth a look.

8/10

9 / 10

Very Entertaining!

I've never seen the original "House Of Wax" so I really didn't know what to expect when I went to a sneak preview of the new film. After a somewhat wobbly start introducing our young characters, "House Of Wax" shifts gears and becomes an extremely effective horror outing.

The plot really doesn't matter too much here - I think most people know upon seeing this that these stranded kids are going to meet up with a nasty killer and find some awful things in the titular house of wax. It's all about the special effects here, and they are top notch. Viewers who like their horror movies with lots of blood will be satisfied here, but there are other ghoulish effects as well. The production design and sets are excellent, and the cast makes the most of their under-written roles.

Of course, many people are probably wondering just how Paris Hilton's performance is. To be honest, Hilton acquits herself quite well, and she doesn't portray "herself," as so many people are predicting. Her character is sexy and sweet, and I think her good work will hopefully change a lot of people's opinions about her. Elisha Cuthbert is also good, moving up from her previous movie, the atrocious "The Girl Next Door." Her character is put through a lot, and Cuthbert proves to be a feisty heroine. Chad Michael Murray, like Hilton and Cuthbert, is pretty to look at, but unfortunately is not very convincing as the "bad boy" of the group.

I predict good things for "House Of Wax," as the audience at the screening I attended hollered, screamed and clapped through out many parts of the movie. Congrats to the cast and crew for a job well done.

And a congrats to Paris Hilton for proving a lot of people wrong. Like she always says - "That's hot."