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Overall Rating
2.63

Awesome: 12.98%
Worth A Look: 24.43%
Just Average: 3.05%
Pretty Crappy31.3%
Sucks: 28.24%

11 reviews, 65 user ratings


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House of Wax (2005)
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by Lybarger

"Melts in your brain, not in your hand (or is that it melts your brain?)"
2 stars

When Disney’s Hollywood Pictures division was in existence, people noticed that the logo was no guarantee of quality. When the Sphinx appeared before the opening credits, detractors quipped, “If it’s the Sphinx, it probably stinks.” The same can be said for the Dark Castle name plate.

The folks behind that label have a knack for wasting talented actors like Tony Shalhoub and for insulting viewers at every turn. The company takes classic horror titles and updates them for less intelligent audiences or makes “original” films like “Gothika” that suck just as badly. In short, “If it’s the Castle, expect a hassle.”

In the case of “House of Wax,” they loosely rework the Vincent Price 1953 chiller into a tedious contemporary slasher devoid of suspense or scares. Verteran music video director and amateur feature director Juame Serra helms a cast of moonlighting TV actors who portray the stupidest people in screen history.

Smart characters make for better thrillers. Part of the reason most Hitchcock movies or even slashers like “Halloween” and “Scream” work is that their protagonists did everything within reason to avoid danger, but it still surfaced.

The leads in “House of Wax,” however, leap into dire situations head first. For example, most people would probably decline an offer to ride in a pickup driven by a redneck straight out of “Deliverance.” He’s just used his vehicle to dump road kill deer into a makeshift landfill.

In “House of Wax,” however, our heroes Carly Jones (Elisha Cuthbert, from “24”) and her boyfriend Wade (Jared Padalecki) happily accept a ride and are surprised when things go wrong.

This is only one example of a stupidity that permeates the film. Our Rhodes Scholarship team winds up in a nearly vacant town because they camp out in the words miles from the stadium before a big football game.

Nothing wrong with camping, but do these folks really need to do that and deal with scalpers when a simple call to Ticketmaster might have been simpler? Hey, one of them is played by Paris Hilton, and chances are she can afford the service charges.

Also, don’t these folks know that drinking beer, camping out or having sex is the surest way to become knife bait? As “House of Wax” progresses, viewers halfway expect Jamie Kennedy to show up and lay out the survival rules like he did in “Scream.” Then again, that probably wouldn’t do any good because these folks would be too dim to heed his advice. They should also beware of any town where gasoline still sells for $1.19 a gallon.

To be fair to Serra and others involved, the title structure is actually pretty intriguing. Not only are the statues made of wax, but the entire structure is made from it. This doesn’t make much sense (the movie’s supposedly set in Louisiana, where such a building would melt to the ground in seconds during the summer). As fire engulfs the building at the end, the film’s only decent visuals occur. The characters have to run for their their lives as even the floor itself melts below their feet. Of course, these folks are dumb enough to run up the stairs as the House of Wax is giving way.

The plot twists are obvious, so in many ways this film is actually a step down from Paris Hilton’s famous video offering. There’s no use in hiding spoilers because there are no surprises here. Someone needs to tell Serra and his cohorts that gore and chills are not synonymous. The pervasive sadism makes you wonder if they are more like the villains than they let on. I’d hate to eat a dinner prepared by these jokers because the dish might be somebody I care about.

The only other highlight in this film is watching Hilton running for her life in her uncomfortable looking undies. Her 15 minutes must be coming to an end because her demise had my audience cheering. Maybe they were upset because she wasn’t naked.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12045&reviewer=382
originally posted: 05/07/05 17:35:58
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

2/20/17 morris campbell house of shit is more like it 1 stars
10/18/09 Chad Dillon Cooper Should have been called "House of Hollywood Hostess Twinkie garbage". 1 stars
7/14/09 faiche13 Ultra creepy campy fun 3 stars
6/23/09 Kailee An okay movie, very slow beginning but it picks up towards the end 3 stars
6/09/09 RHYS Not SCARY enough. No suspense, just drags. Good special effects at end. 2 stars
8/14/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 1 stars
6/10/08 PAUL SHORTT IT ADHERES STRICTLY TO TEEN-SLASHER FORMULA BEFORE SIMPLY MELTING AWAY 1 stars
11/07/07 art excellent 5 stars
11/01/07 hank3395 favorite scene: when Paris dies 2 stars
5/19/07 wooo hooo kid i like it andthe song and when paris is in the tent 5 stars
2/21/07 Beau For Paris her performance was good, but elisha cuthbert and chadwas amazing!! good casting 4 stars
1/13/07 bullit16 Wow. An absolute abortion of a movie. 1 star is 1 too many 1 stars
11/09/06 sofi best part wen paris gets killld wooohhoooo 4 stars
11/01/06 cody Slow at first , but the movie delivers in the end, good mixture of blood and scares. 3 stars
8/05/06 Taelor Blevins I thought it was great Paris Hilton and Chad Murray and Elisha Cuthbert done a great job! 5 stars
7/29/06 Shaun Wallner it was alright 4 stars
7/13/06 Stanley Thai This is the BEST horror film of 2005. Don't listen to other people. It's not crap but it's 4 stars
7/11/06 Anthony Feor My favorite part was the acting 1 stars
7/08/06 drydock54321 this is a nice one 4 stars
6/15/06 Garrett So many talk bad about Paris, But im sure she is a main reason why they watched the movie. 4 stars
5/08/06 Brittany I LOVED IT 5 stars
4/30/06 BILL it wuz to brillent but to perdicetble 4 stars
4/24/06 Carol Baker Too Predictable for words to describe 2 stars
1/19/06 Danny Repulsive. Poor Jared! Yuck! 1 stars
12/20/05 Carolyn Rathburn the only thing that impressed me was the painting by Vincent 2 stars
12/12/05 Trisha Gifford it was relli good, the main chick was relli good tha hot black guy was sooo fine 5 stars
11/20/05 Indrid Cold Being slightly better than the typical slick Hollywood horror movie makes it just average. 3 stars
11/15/05 Jeff W Great fun. As good a slasher as anyone can ask for. 5 stars
11/11/05 j I LOVE THIS MOVIE BECAUSE I'M A COMPLETE FUCKING MORON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/05/05 HGTV fanatic I loved this movie for one reason--Paris bites the dust---now "THAT'S HOT"!!!! 1 stars
10/27/05 dylans gurl this film rox and i soon will own it hopfully and i luv the part where chad takes off his s 5 stars
10/25/05 chris fox (the god) a good movie worth watching 5 stars
10/17/05 Nikki Louise Gledhill I thought it was brilliant. It was pretty scary 5 stars
10/10/05 Tom Burns I loved it. A great horror movie. 5 stars
9/12/05 Svante Skoog I LOVE GORE!! Finally the slashers of today are bringing back the splatter to life :) 5 stars
9/08/05 Lloyd Kaufman is a Sex God It has Elisha Cuthbert in it and Paris Hilton getting killed. What more could you ask for? 4 stars
9/08/05 Kyle More than delivers on its promise. 5 stars
8/21/05 Christian A vehicle for Paris Hilton, bleh 1 stars
7/26/05 Jerry MUCH better than recent slasher movies. No reason for the harsh reviews. 5 stars
7/17/05 Vic it was texas chainsaw massacre with wax..paris hilton should stay away from acting! 2 stars
7/16/05 Charlene Javier Lame-o! 2 stars
7/15/05 Green Gremlin Great production design...shame about the story !!! 2 stars
7/15/05 Steve W. Thankfully, there are two critics on this site who know what a GOOD slasher movie is. 5 stars
7/08/05 Sophia Great horror movie. Fun, popcorn entertainment. 5 stars
6/22/05 nicky white i didnt understand why they were killing people 1 stars
6/15/05 adrian ace pure garbage, trailers looked great, movie sux ass 1 stars
6/14/05 JFK awful script 2 stars
6/05/05 Dave Really good special effects, but little else. 2 stars
5/31/05 jocelyn i haven't been on edge at the theater in a long time. this was a very welcome scare! 5 stars
5/17/05 kelsey we only went to see it to see Paris Hilton die. this movie was ok but it wasnt the best. 4 stars
5/17/05 Tracie Smegelski I liked it! Seeing Paris die was worth it! Just call me brain-dead, I guess... 4 stars
5/17/05 Neon Another sad remake of an old movie - Hollywood needs new material 1 stars
5/16/05 E-FUNK 20 minutes of gore in the middle of this turd is worth your time. Otherwise, SHIT-FEST. 2 stars
5/13/05 Sgt Slaughter For beter Paris Hilton, see the South Park episode where she coughs up cum the whole time.. 1 stars
5/12/05 James The only people that will call this a awesome movie is brain dead teenagers. 1 stars
5/12/05 Naka Slasher shit. We can do better then this one. 1 stars
5/12/05 irbear as slasher flix go this one is entertaining 4 stars
5/11/05 ROY L. CAIN JR. The greatest movie of all time. ("Please don't kill me!") 4 stars
5/10/05 Jeff W. Why the negative reviews? Anyways, it's a terrific horror movie, and worth the ticket. 5 stars
5/08/05 Taylor I thought this movie was pretty good. it was not scary at all just gory. 4 stars
5/06/05 Danielle I don't know what these people are talking about. Truly entertaining, grisly horror flick. 4 stars
5/06/05 Naka SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT! 1 stars
5/06/05 Nikky It was very bad 1 stars
5/06/05 Kristina Williams look at the cast. Were you expecting greatness? Fools. 1 stars
5/06/05 Genny Knowl This is really a dumb movie with bad acting 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-May-2005 (R)
  DVD: 25-Oct-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  14-Jul-2005




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