House Of Wax

1 out of 10


Teen Slasher Quality Meltdown

You know a horror flick is in trouble when the cast says that they had "so much fun making it" ...just like you won't when you pay to see it. And when its marketing depends upon making fun of one of its own actresses with "Watch Paris Hilton Die", it says so much about a film that makes her porn video look positively high brow. And her own role? With acting more phoney than the church full of stiffs, she is entirely superfluous to the story. It's true that her death is a brutal one, but it still contributes nothing to the plot and has been added just to give her a toehold on stardom..

A group of teenagers go camping in the woods where they find a village where everyone has been murdered and turned into a wax dummies. Soon, they too are dying to experience it with all the enthusiasm that the average renter at Blockbusters must feel with "House Of Wax" in his hands. With barely enough material to stretch out into a half-hour "Outer Limits" short, the script of Chad Hayes, an over-the-hill, bit-part actor who has turned to typing trash to pay the rent, methodically dumps out each teen slasher cliche: the visit to the mortician, the creepy museum etc.. Even the nutters behind the village turn out to be the obvious ones you meet at the start. There's not a twist nor barely a hint of suspense for the average audience, yet neither does it even have the level of callous violence neccessary to satisfy the average sicko.

Remakes abound in Hollywood, but even the original version was no cult classic, just a crummy B movie that even Vincent Price couldn't make fly the first time around. With a budget of $30million, something serviceable should have resulted this time, but instead, all the cash just melts away in the hands of director Jaune Collet-Serra, more used to making MTV teen bopping videos rather than teen slasher ones. With this tosh, barely even breaking even, one hopes that it was not just a first-time, but also a last-time big screen project for someone so gauche.

Valiant efforts by art directors Brian Edmonds and Nicholas McCallum and a team of top wax technicians do produce a spectacular final meltdown of a vast house made entirely out of wax, but by then you'll have seen more of your own wristwatch that the movie. By the end, it's more than earnt it's place on the Razzies' Roster.

I know that I've seen worse movies than "House Of Wax", but asking myself to name them makes me feel like Paris Hilton put infront of a Post-Grad paper on Higher Integral Mathematics.

As much fun as having your legs waxed

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett