House of Wax (2005) Horror Movie Review
Written By: DMG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Producer: Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis, Susan Levin
Writer: Charles Belden, Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Based on: short story called The Wax Works (1932) by Charles Belden
Date Released: May 6, 2005
Elisha Cuthbert as Carly Jones
Jared Padalecki as Wade Felton
Chad Michael Murray as Nick Jones
Brian Van Holt as Vincent Sinclair aka Bo
Jon Abrahams as Dalton Chapman
Robert Ri’chard as Blake Johnson
Paris Hilton as Paige Edwards
Damon Herriman as Lester Sinclair
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) and a group of her friends are on their way to Louisiana to see a Football game. While traveling, the group decides to take a shortcut to save some time traveling. However, during their travels, they must take a detour because of a road blockage. While camping out one night, the group is visited by an unknown person who is sitting in his vehicle and shining his car lights on them. The next morning, they find that one of the groups vehicle’s engine parts is broken leaving the vehicle useless. Carly and her boyfriend, Wade (Jared Padalecki) manage to hitch a ride with a local resident to a strange town nearby called Ambrose. While in the town of Ambrose, Carly and Wade come across a museum called the House of Wax where everything, including the museum is made of wax. Upon further exploring the town, they meet a man named Bo (Brian Van Holt) who offers to give Wade the right supply for his vehicle. Carly and Wade soon discover that what appears to be real people in town are in fact wax figures.
Carly soon discovers that the wax figures of life-sized people were in fact real people who were covered in wax. There is one scene when Dalton (Jon Abrahams) tries to get Wade out of his wax covered shell. While doing so, it appears that the wax has become Wade’s skin and as Dalton is peeling the wax off, so to does Wade’s skin. Wax monuments generally can be rather disconcerting to look at. But these scenes are cringe worthy. The other notable scene is when Blake (Paris Hilton) gets a stake thrown at her that pierces through her head. If memory serves me well, the audience cheered during this scene. Overall, House of Wax does offer some fun gory scenes.
The Grave Review
House of Wax (2005) is an adaptation of the 1953 film with the same title. In addition, the 1953 version was based on a 1933 film called Mystery of the Wax Museum. It is safe to say that House of Wax is not original story. But, with the advancements in technology, the 2005 version should have been able to perfect this film. Unfortunately, just because you have more resources at your disposal does not necessarily mean you know how to properly utilize and integrate those resources. The latest version of House of Wax failed in this way.
As a whole, the acting was not very believable. The most believable character was in fact the one that you saw the least of in the film, Lester the truck driver (Damon Herriman). Lester played a redneck, truck driver who is first seen putting dead animals in a pile. You almost wanted his character to be more involved in the story line. The acting from the other characters did not feel real. For example, Nick who plays Carly’s brother gives Carly his shirt to change into. Meanwhile, he has this ripped body and shows it off as if he was a Calvin Klein model. The notion of placing more average people in these scenarios would have been more fitting.
One positive of the film is that the town of Ambrose did fit the story very well. This ghost town in the middle of Louisiana added an eerie and disturbing presence that was on par with the plot. Even the House of Wax was very impressive to look at. In this way, some of the environments and props that were used were very impressive.
Overall, this film is nothing to get too excited about and may even be boring to some. As such, if you like slasher/mystery films, you may be disappointed.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives House of Wax (2005) two graves out of five graves.
Did you like our review? Comment below.
You may also like our review on the film, Dead or Buried.