House of Wax (2005)
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Review Date: May 06, 2005
Director: Jaume Serra
Writer: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Producers: Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis, L. Levin, Susan Levin
Elisha Cuthbert as Carly
Chad Michael Murray as Nick
Paris Hilton as Paige
Honk if you’ve heard this one before. A bunch of moron teenagers packed into two cars, head into the woods, take a detour and end up in the middle of nowhere, where hicks with bad teeth pay them an eerie visit. Before you can say “This movie blows”, the kids are straddling around a nearby small town, in which a house of wax seems oddly attractive to them. As each of the idiots gets mowed down by the local psycho, we gnaw at our popcorn, grab our date’s boobs and smile as Paris Hilton bleeds like a stuffed pig.
I’m a pretty big fan of Elisha Cuthbert. Let that be known. That said and knowing full well what one should expect to get out of a “slasher movie” as such, I thought this film was “ayight”, but nothing really more than that. I’m hesitant on whether to recommend seeing it on the big screen (6/10) or waiting for video (5/10), since it truly does not have any original points about it, other than its obvious “wax” angle, but maybe if I enumerate what I did like about the film versus what I didn’t, I can figure myself out. Stuff I liked? Ms. Cuthbert’s cute face, her acting chops and her tanktop. I’m not sure if it’s her curved nose, her curved ass or her beautiful smile (or the aforementioned acting chops), but I was totally on board with Elisha as the lead, and more than happy to gaze upon her in most every scene, as opposed to the blond bimbo. And speaking of which, I also really enjoyed Paris Hilton’s kill scene. Our entire audience burst into applause when she got hers, and I’ll give the bubble-head enough credit to know what her “fans” really want from her: a great death! The rest of the kills weren’t as creative, but there were quite a number of gory shots (thank you R-rating!), as well as a couple that went a little overboard (the bat scene was pretty damn cool). I also thought the film looked really nice, and the house of wax itself, as well as the small town in which it rested, were well designed. Chad Michael Murray’s character was also fun to follow, only because he was such a rebel-wannabe, which was cute. The rest of the cast was there to perish, which is fine for a movie like this, I suppose.

What didn’t I like about the movie? Well, it took a little too long to get going, for one. I mean, we all know that they need to get to this small town and into the house, so don’t linger on about other stuff in the meantime. Half an hour is way too long to wait. Second of all, I was really unimpressed with the film’s opening sequence. As is tradition nowadays, horror flicks need to start things off with a real bang (the intro to GHOST SHIP was awesome-- despite the film sucking somewhat), but this one really disappointed. As I said earlier, there’s nothing in the film that is particularly surprising either, as most of what goes down is telegraphed from step one (including the kids’ dumbass moves). The bad guy was also “okay”, but nothing particularly memorable or captivating. And despite the film building some decent tension from time to time, none of its “boo” scares really got me – although others in the crowd seemed taken aback every now and again. All that said, you really have to look at a film like HOUSE OF WAX, starring a bunch of teens getting murdered by a madman, for what it is, and if it delivers in the realm of scares and entertainment. For the most part, I enjoyed my ride in this crack-house, with a nice shot of Hilton’s derriere and a couple of shirtless guys, adding to the festivities of blood and gore. Oh, and back to my original point, I would slightly recommend that you see this film on the big screen instead of video (although it would play much better on the small screen, in the dark with your girlfriend messing around under the blanket), because its final 15 minutes are actually damn-well exciting, with lots of cool eye-candy, suspense, blood and tons of gooey wax to go around. Not a classic by any means, but satisfactory in the basics of the genre.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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