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House Of Wax (2005)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Director:
Jaume Collet-Serra Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring:
Elisha Cuthbert Elisha Cuthbert
Chad Michael Murray Chad Michael Murray
Brian Van Holt Brian Van Holt
Paris Hilton Paris Hilton
Jared Padalecki Jared Padalecki

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Slasher Film, Teen Horror
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 18, 2005
The problem with Dark Castle is that they churn out just as many flops as they do hits. They have released five films since their conception, the brainchild of producers Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis. "House On Haunted Hill", the remake of the classic Vincent Price chiller, did wonderful business and led to another remake, "Thirteen Ghosts", which did even better business and raised their stock considerably. Dark Castle then semi-retired from the remake business. "Ghost Ship" was as lame as they come, and "Gothika" did very little other than remind us of why Halle Berry did not deserve the Academy Award. "House of Wax" marks their first remake in four years, and is yet another remake of a William Castle/Vincent Price horror flick. It is the same formula that gave them such success in the early days of their existence, and they have also done something that very few horror films are doing these days -- they have reached for the 'R' rating. Most horror flicks cut down the blood and the gore for that all too coveted 'PG-13' rating, so little Johnny and Janie can get in to see the picture. "House of Wax", if anything, has added more blood and guts, with the hopes of attracting that over-17 age bracket that want violence and carnage. They have also loaded the film with hot young actors that younger audiences will recognize: Elisha Cuthbert from "24", Chad Michael Murray from "One Tree Hill", Paris Hilton from "The Simple Life" and that famous videotape, and Jared Padalecki from all over the map. This was probably a wise idea. Not only did they add a little spark to the remake, but they also drew in the audiences...enough to not be considered a flop.

The film is your classic horror film. A group of teenagers set out on a road trip to see the most anticipated football game of the year, but thanks to a detour, wind up stumbling upon one of the most unusual towns in the United States. Elisha Cuthbert and Jared Padalecki are Carly and Wade, a couple struggling with post-high school angst; Paris Hilton and Robert Ri'chard are Paige and Blake, a couple obsessed with sex, sex, and more sex; Jon Abrahams is Dalton, the geek with the camcorder, who seems to have no business hanging out with the cool people; and, Chad Michael Murray is Nick, Carly's criminally minded brother who seems to be trying his best to make enemies and win the award for Overactor of the Year. These kids find themselves at the mercy of two ruthless madmen, hellbent on turning all of them into the newest exhibits in the local House of Wax. That's right -- these ingenious bastards use real people for their wax museum, and have been doing so for years and years, thanks to some good old fashioned abuse at the hands of mommy and daddy. Brian Van Holt plays both Bo and Vincent, the two former Siamese twins separated at birth, who derive their pleasure from turning flesh into wax. Can the popular television stars make it out alive? Will the audience stand up and cheer when Paris Hilton meets her ghastly demise? Is Vincent Price rolling over in his grave?

THE GOOD: The blood. I am one of those horror fans who believes that more blood makes for a better cinematic experience, especially in a horror film. "House of Wax" is all about showing us the gore. When Elisha Cuthbert falls into a pit filled with roadkill, it is one of the most stomach wrenching sequences I have seen in a long while, yet no one is killed. When we watch the process of Vincent turning one of the kids into wax, they do not hesitate to show us every gruesome detail. I liked that. If Wes Craven had directed this flick, he would have compromised his artistic integrity and went for the MPAA blowjob. Dark Castle refused to follow in those once great footsteps. I also enjoyed the 'old horror movie' feel to the picture, especially the scenes of the kids at their camp site. Jaume Collet-Serra, the director, really extracted all of the right elements during those sequences and brought back memories of films like "Friday the 13th", "Maniac", and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". They also took their time with getting to the killing. People were not dropping left and right, and some style was added to the death scenes, especially the fun that was obviously had in the killing of Paris Hilton. The filmmakers, and Hilton herself, had to know how the audience would react to her dying, and they drained every ounce of shock and entertainment and placed it into that sequence.

THE BAD: My biggest problem was with Jared Padalecki dying. He was the most likable character in the film, not to mention the most gorgeous. And they show everything -- every second of the process of his death. I kept waiting for him to hop out of that wax casing and escape to freedom. Alas, this never happened. I also disliked Chad Michael Murray...and I mean really disliked him. His acting is mediocre on television, and it was worse than that here. He has not business attempting to play a bad ass, when he is so noticeably not a bad ass. His depth as an actor extends only to the point that we see his eyes squint and his lips snarl. And, I mention Paris Hilton in the bad only because you will be expecting me to; however, she did a fine job. The acting was decent enough, and she looked like she was really enjoying herself, unlike Murray and Cuthbert, who seemed as if they were under contract and really did not want to be there. The worst aspect of the film, though, would have to be the ending. I hate it when films are pretty decent all the way up to the ending. It was as if the filmmakers had ran out of steam. And, how laughable was the big wax house melting, and Murray and Cuthbert trying to claw their way free. I was laughing hysterically. And, is it just me, or would these kids have third degree burns all over their bodies from the amount of hot wax smacking up against them? We see the steam and we see the heat, but we do not see these bastards reacting. That is where a little thing called consistency comes in to play.

So, in what I have described as 'the year of the horror film', "House of Wax" is just another mediocre remake, though it is leagues better than the previous two Dark Castle films. Jared Padalecki made amazing eye candy for me, and I cannot wait to see whatever he comes along in next. Paris Hilton was not nearly as bad as most people wanted her to be, Vincent Price is probably only partially turning in his grave, and Chad Michael Murray and Elisha Cuthbert need to stick to their day jobs, or movies co-starring Emile Hirsch. "House of Wax" is a balls-to-the-wall horror flick, and I appreciate that. I appreciate it when directors do not try and dictate what an audience can and cannot handle. You learn than by trial and error -- that is the best way. If people cannot stomach watching a gorgeous guy getting melted alive by hot wax, they will let you know by writing cheesy reviews and complaining -- that is what I am doing, and that is what everyone else should do. Why did you kill him? We wanted him to live. Why didn't you kill Chad Michael Murray, like the audience was wanting. He was a dick. When someone is a dick, you kill them -- plain and simple. When someone is nice, well intending, and looks kick ass in a black and white striped shirt -- you let them live. Horror movie logic 101.

6.5/10
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Farrah #1: Farrah - added 05/27/2005, 09:55 PM
This movie was good. Not the best but not the worst. I was wondering if ne1 knew the name of the song (and who its by)that Paris is stripping too, that song has grown on me. Thanks
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 05/30/2005, 09:27 PM
What? Paris Hilton obsessed with sex? Oh, say it aint so!
Chad #3: Chad - added 03/09/2008, 10:44 AM
Dark Castle. Another remake. Paris Hilton. Suffice it to say that I didn't expect much from this, and hence, I put off watching it. I'm shocked to say that I agree with this review... yes, this one was actually pretty good. The only thing I'm going to have to disagree with is your love for Jared Padalecki - I was rooting for that guy to die, and quick. His character was such an asshole that he definitely had it coming, and I couldn't have been happier when he got it.

Oh, and I bet there wasn't a theater in the country that didn't light up with cheers when Paris bit it.

8/10.
billie #4: billie - added 03/18/2008, 09:08 PM
Paris actually wasn't that bad. I think that the fact of her being Paris Hilton makes it seem like her acting was horrible. i know it wasn't all of that but it was good for what it was.... I think that the movie was very good and pretty entertaining.
Shakes #5: Shakes - added 02/17/2009, 08:39 PM
i liked the scene where paris hilton gets impaled
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