Midway through Dark Castle’s latest effort, House
of Wax, thoughts began running through my head.
Goodson to some Xbox Live Doom
to take some vitamins for the cold that’s been looming
overhead the past week.”
to say, when you find yourself making mental reminders such
as these during a film, it likely means the film is not
doing its job. Or maybe I was just bored.
of Wax is actually pretty good, for being what it is,
which is essentially a mindless, humdrum, run of the mill
horror film chock full of cheese, gore, and cheap scares.
If you are a fan of schlock horror, then certainly knock
yourself out because House of Wax will please.
many remakes and retreads, House of Wax pulls its
formula from more deservedly canonized and classically revered
entries into the genre, but it surprisingly references very
little from the original film upon which it is based. In
fact, the similarities are essentially left at the premise
stage, a museum of wax figures that are actually sculpted
from the bodies of real people.
of treading a similar arc, director Juame Serra and writers
Chad and Carey Hayes owe much more to Tobe Hooper’s
now infamous breakthrough film, as House of Wax
is essentially The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in a
wax museum. Both Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray
bring enough to the table to keep us interested in their
characters, sibling twins, Carly and Nick Jones, who are
at odds with one another before things begin to melt underneath
know the drill, a group of college students are on there
way somewhere when they decide to take a short cut which
ultimately leads to them bedding down in a potentially unsafe
area, only to be attacked, cleaved, hacked, slashed, and
mutilated beyond recognition. Serra provides a few surprises
to spice up the ride, among them a reference to socialite-heiress
Paris Hilton’s notorious xxx adventures with ex-boyfriend
Carly, and friends find their way one by one to the desolate
town of Ambrose, equipped with the requisite house of wax
from the film’s title. What ensues is an onslaught
of twists and turns one comes to expect from films such
as these, all of which centers around two brothers who were
conjoined at birth and whose father performed an experimental
procedure to separate them. This was followed by years of
torture at the hands of their parents, but why and for what
reason? Who knows.
interesting that the film attempts to draw parallels between
a set of “good” fraternal twins and a set of
evil identical twins. However, what exactly the film is
trying to imply with this parallel is unclear.
the how to truly scare an audience into oblivion, Serra
at times seems poised to flip the genre clichés on
their ears, suggesting that our dear protagonists may not
be as invincible as they appear, all the while feeding Hilton’s
Paige Edwards some of the smarter decision making moments
in the film. Frightening.
way, Serra seems oddly fixated with spearing his characters
with bludgeoning objects, then lingering on to watch as
said projectiles are slowly, and painfully, twisted and
pulled from carcasses and appendages in excruciating detail.
Perhaps porn and horror films aren’t as far removed
from one another as we might like to think.