House of Wax (2005)

<strong class="MovieTitle">House of Wax</strong> (2005)

(On TV, November 2015) Two or three things distinguish House of Wax from your usual run-of-the-mill teenagers-attacked-by-crazy-hillbillies thriller.  Depending on your mood, they may be worth a look.  The first is that one of the teenagers is played by none other than Paris Hilton, and her inevitably gruesome death sequence may be what you’re looking for.  The second may be more important: Our psycho hillbillies here are big fans of wax sculptures, or more accurately spraying wax on living subjects until they live no more.  The sequence in which they discover an eerily silent village, and then a house filled with waxy bodies, is a cut above the usual horror shlock.  This was Jaume Collet-Serra’s first feature film as a director, and the visual sense he would demonstrate in latter film (as well as a penchant for crazy scripting) is already fully featured here.  None of those positive points are enough to make House of Wax any better than an average horror film.  The first act takes too long, the characters aren’t particularly likable; there’s an almost-complete lack of thematic depth to the proceedings and the end sequence doesn’t amount to much but a spectacular waxy melt-down.  The visual atmosphere, I suppose, is enough to save the film from the memory oblivion that awaits most horror films.  It could have been worse, of course.

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