Thursday, January 28, 2021 10:35

House of Wax (2005)

We sat through this remake of the Vincent Price original the other evening, and, I have to say it’s certainly no world-beater, but it was entertaining, and seemed to know its limitations. With a little bit more work – and a better cast – it could have been a decent film, even if a derivative one, and problems with getting funding for new horror projects aside, it could even have stayed away from remaking anything.

The obligatory gaggle of dim-witted teens are heading out on an overnight trip to find tickets and seats for a football game. They end up staying overnight in a patch of deserted woodland where, in true Wolf Creek style, they realise they have been spotted by a suspicious figure in a pick-up truck. Come the next morning, mysterious car trouble prevents them from completing their journey, and instead they hitch a ride to the nearest town. You’ve guessed it – all is not as it seems in this particular town!

The real joy of this film is the obvious care and diligence which went into developing the sets. Using a remote African town completely built in the Art Modern style as a guide, the crew built the town from scratch, as well as very literally creating the House of Wax…out of wax. The sets look fantastic and my eye wandered from the screaming and the killing several times to gape at the decor! What that says about me, I don’t really care to consider…

The filmmakers were honest enough to sell this film on the grounds that Paris Hilton gets murdered in it; harsh but fair, I feel. Her performance in this film really does beggar belief as she mopes and slurs her way atonally through the script. Even with a metal rod through her head she still has that preternatural smirk on her face…

All in all though, this was a decent stab (sorry) at a horror film. It presses all the right buttons, doesn’t do anything phenomenally different, and paces itself well. Definitely one for a group watch, or any circumstances where you won’t miss a great deal if your attention wanders.

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