What do you get when you mix 20 tons of wax, over 100 “dead wax people” and two hot actresses? Well, one thing is for sure it isn’t an Oscar winning storyline, but a fun as hell movie filled with violence and gore certainly fits the bill as House of Wax forgoes an original story and delivers enough gore to keep horror enthusiasts satisfied.
House of Wax is a “remake” of the 1953 Vincent Price horror classic, and while it builds on the idea of encasing real people in gallons of wax, Dark Castle producers Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis, twin brother writing duo in Chad and Carey Hayes along with first time director Jaume Serra go off the map with this story.
Our story begins as a group of six friends, made up of Carly (Elisha Cuthbert), her boyfriend Wade (Jared Padelecki), her brother Nick (Chad Michael Murray), Nick’s buddy Dalton (Brian Van Holt), Paige (Paris Hilton) and her boyfriend, Blake (Robert Ri’chard) are making their way to the biggest college football game of the year. As the night begins to fall on their two car caravan they decide to take a side road and camp out for the night and finish the drive the next day. Nothing original yet eh?
As sex and drinking, including one hell of a sexy dance by Paris in her red skivvies, dominate the mood the night turns eerie thanks to a visit from an unknown truck that only pulls up just to shine their brights and leave. Things don’t get any better however as the crew wakes up the next morning to find out one of their cars may have been deliberately tampered with forcing Carly and Wade to accept the help of a seemingly inbred, yellow-teethed local and stay behind and search for a new fan belt in the creepy town of Ambrose.
Once in town, the absence of people should have been a hint that things weren’t exactly kosher, but this is a horror film and common sense is out the window. Wade also proves to be quite the curious cat as he breaks into the local House of Wax followed by a regrettable amount of snooping in the house of a helping hand, a case of curiosity that soon turns fatal setting the stage for what turns into a bloodbath at the hands of two crazed twin brothers and a whole lotta waxy goo.
As far as the story goes it is all reason to get to the next death as imagination runs wild in how our next victim will be decided and what is the best extremity the blood should spew from, which is a’ight with me, I am always up for a creative bit of decapitations and facial lacerations and House of Wax delivers on every level in this concern.
It also playfully tells the beginning stages of the film with the help of Dalton’s handheld video camera, which garners laughs every time Paris is seen smooching it up with her boyfriend on the handi-cam, but the audience isn’t prepared for her death scene as it is not only celebrated but undeniably gruesome and easily the best of the film.
My largest beef with the flick is that it takes far too long to get to the good stuff and if it wasn’t for the fact that the good stuff is really good this movie would fall flat on its face, but as far as horror movies go, the second half of this film delivers on every level and then some.
While, in the long run, this movie will not be celebrated on a critical level, I remain confident that teenage horror films are the ultimate date movies as they always offer up enough skin to keep both sexes intrigued and when the blood starts flowing House of Wax is up there with the best of them.