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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 brianorndorf

"Paris Hilton will scare the hell out of you"
4 stars

An interesting early summer surprise, the Dark Castle production “House of Wax” provides some much needed fun for the tired horror genre. An unexpectedly grisly, even-tempered, R-rated affair, “Wax” is a good antidote to the supernatural genre crud that’s been clogging up the theaters recently.

Driving across Louisiana on their way to a sporting event, a group of friends (Elisha Cuthbert, Paris Hilton, Chad Michael Murray, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams, and Robert Ri’chard) get lost in the backwoods and decide to camp-out for the night. When car troubles prevent their departure the next morning, they make their way over to a small, forgotten neighboring town, and its centerpiece: a house of wax figures. What they don’t realize right away is that these figures were once real human beings, and a madman is stalking the town looking for new victims.

The track record for Dark Castle Entertainment is not impressive. This horror film factory (which Robert Zemeckis and Joel Sliver are partners of) has turned out some stinkers over the last handful of years, such as “Thirteen Ghosts,” “Gothika,” and “Ghost Ship.” While traditionally producing Halloween fare, Dark Castle has moved their dump truck to May, and boldly takes on an intensely treasured 3-D cinema classic, “House of Wax.”

With a cast of good looking twenty-somethings and a distinctly French director in music video hack Juame Serra, this “Wax” doesn’t share much in common with the 1953 original Vincent Price production (itself a remake). This “Wax” is more junk food quality, skipping along inside its traditional horror trappings with eagerness and a rare lack of cynicism or pale ghost children. The new “Wax” is a fun piece of horror entertainment that isn’t bogged down in frantic style or pace. In fact, the film takes its sweet time getting up and moving, with a full opening 40 minutes passing by without anything scary or suspenseful occurring. What a strange sensation it is to see a leisurely paced horror film these days; Serra keeps his film moving without pushing too hard, and maintains a nice mystery found in the abandoned town location.

For the majority of the film, Serra appreciates his R-rated production, keeping the murders wildly graphic and inventive. “Wax” marks a return to adult entertainment for Dark Castle, after the inexcusable, PG-13 trainwreck “Gothika,” and “Wax” doesn’t disappoint with its chain of foot slashings, finger cutting, and assorted wax and glue related mayhem. Keeping the horror explicit and fleshy works wonders to cover some of the less desirable aspects of the production, including the cinematography by Stephen Windon, who renders the slimy, creepy world of “Wax” into one big black smear. It’s hard to make out situations when the action gets hectic, and since Serra loves his close-ups like a kid loves candy, the two bungle some crucial moments of tension unnecessarily.

As for the million dollar question: So…Paris Hilton, huh? Well, she’s not a liability to “Wax,” but she certainly doesn’t help matters. Serra is wise to keep Hilton away for most of the movie, as the pop culture starlet is not an actress, and only plays her known personality in the film. She’s overshadowed by the strong work from the rest of the cast, notably Chad Michael Murray and especially Elisha Cuthbert, who gives the film a strong dose of enthusiasm with her Jamie Lee Curtisesque performance.

Unfortunately, like the other Dark Castle productions, “Wax” falls apart (at times quite literally) in its finale. The film takes on too much plot to end efficiently, and in place of a speedy, thrilling closure, we get a drawn-out capper that is a bit too poetic (in a high school creative writing class kind of way) and technically extravagant to be anything more than a complete drag. Still, “Wax” is a summer surprise that patiently enjoys the genre instead of trying to outrun it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12045&reviewer=404
originally posted: 06/03/09 12:01:12
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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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