This 2005 remake of House of Wax is a surprisingly entertaining film that fills you with dread and leaves you guessing until the very end
This 2005 American-Australian horror film was one that I avoided since its release. Largely due to my disdain for Paris Hilton going into acting, I refused to watch it. I noticed it on Netflix and realized I didn’t even know what this film was about. I thought it was about time I gave it a chance. It was very different than what I expected, and I ended up really liking it.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, this surprisingly creepy take on a wax museum is sure to make you look at Madame Tussauds differently.
House of Wax follows Carly (Elisha Cuthbert), Nick (Chad Michael Murray), Wade (Jared Padaleki), Dalton (Jon Abrahams), Paige (Paris Hilton), and Blake (Robert Richard) as they travel to Louisiana for a football game. They set up camp at nightfall and notice a horrible smell creeping in. Wade discovers his car’s fan belt is broken in the morning, and Carly goes with him into town to get a new one.
Upon arriving into Ambrose, they notice how empty it is. There is no one on the streets, and the gas station is unmanned. They find the mechanic, Bo, at a funeral service taking place at a church down the street. They wait for the service to end by visiting the House of Wax, which is a dusty old museum filled with posed wax sculptures. But nothing in the town is quite what it seems, and they find themselves in a race to escape Ambrose before it’s too late.
While probably not the best film, the concept is what made this film for me.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the mystery of the wax museum is amazingly creepy. I found that Cuthbert and Murray gave great performances, especially compared to the rest of the cast. Hilton was about as bad as you would expect, but her role was not as significant as I was expecting.
House of Wax has a very creepy atmosphere that works well with the plot of the movie. When they enter Ambrose, it’s very isolated and quiet. The abandoned wax museum is filled with dust and cobwebs, which gives the museum an even creepier feel.
The best scene in the movie is when Dalton finds Wade in the wax museum. Covered in wax and posed in the museum, Wade is astonishingly still alive. This scene sets the mood for the rest of the film. The thought that the rest of the museum is filled with real human wax figures makes the threat more serious.
*End Spoiler Alert*
While House of Wax is considered a remake of the 1953 movie of the same name, it’s not identical. The plots of the two films are very different. The only similarity is the mystery of the wax figures.
I would recommend this film to all horror fans. The slow start quickly burns brighter with a heart stopping chase for freedom. What it lacks in performance and gore, it makes up for in atmosphere and dread.