House of Wax (2005)

house of wax poster 2005 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some creepy/gross visuals, watch Paris die

Convoluted set-up, so-so acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  House of Wax

Studio:  Village Roadshow Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  May 6, 2005

MPAA Rating:  R


I’m still smiling!

A group of teens headed to a game are forced to camp in a deserted area for the night. After an encounter with a local, they wake up the next morning to find one of their cars isn’t working. Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) and Wade (Jared Padalecki) stay behind to fix the car while the others travel to the game. Discovering a town with a wax museum made out of wax, Wade is captured and turned into one of the many wax dummies. Now Carly’s twin brother Nick (Chad Michael Murray) must save his sister from Bo (Brian Van Holt) and his twin Vincent.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, House of Wax is a remake of The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) and House of Wax (1953) mostly in namesake only. The movie was met with negative reviews but did profit.


Paris…Dead Paris…

Much of the success of the film could be linked to Paris Hilton’s appearance and pimping of the movie. It was at the height of Paris Hilton’s “popularity” and the studio encouraged a “Watch Paris Die” campaign for the film. The movie also incorporated Paris’ “That’s hot” line. This is all very odd since the movie wasn’t really about Hilton’s character. It was still nice to watch her die…

The whole set-up of the movie is too weird and convoluted. The groups get separated for the game that doesn’t happen, and the Carly and Wade wander around the abandoned city while they just drive around. The game group comes back, goes camping, while Carly’s brother and another guy go to pick up Carly and Wade…Why is the set-up so complex? Why didn’t the writers just plop them in the town or have more characters get killed in crazy ways?


You’re going to melt up some new stairs after this!

The movie loses the mystery of the wax museum, but there is a lot of gruesome scenes. The live coating of the victims is pretty creepy (the original film used dead victims) and the torture scenes (like supergluing Carly’s lips together and her having to rip them open) are tough.  Once the people are coated, the scenes in which the wax is removed is awful (skin coming off with each pull)…It is quite nasty and for some reason got to me a bit more.  In addition to that, you also have fingers snipped off in another painful scene.

The house of wax is visually interesting but totally unrealistic. A room of wax or a floor of wax would be ok, but a whole house of wax is a bit ridiculous…The characters were from the Louisiana area and the house would most likely melt in the sun and humidity. It is a fantasy so it is acceptable, but I think that the people would be more hesitant to enter a giant wax house and wonder why they hadn’t heard of an amazing tourist attraction.

House of Wax isn’t very good. It does have a lot of horrific moments and it kind of feels more like an ’80s horror film than the smart kids horror films of recent years…that is a plus. An overly complex story set-up and poor acting hinder this film with does have some clever visuals.

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Related Links:

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

House of Wax (1953)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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