House Of Wax (2005)

Guilty pleasure film alert.  This film took a lot of shit from critics and moviegoers alike.  Yes, Paris Hilton is in it.  Like that fucking ruins a film.  She’s attractive, try telling me that you wouldn’t hit that and I would call you a liar.  Secondly, she’s not the star, and plenty of less talented actresses have done horror.  It’s kinda the thing about horror is that a lot of people with limited talent does horror as a stepping stone.  Reality TV sunk lower than horror, so Paris used porn to get to reality TV to get to horror.  She’s worked hard dammit!  Anyway, you most likely have come in to this film with a preconceived notion that you won’t like it, and in the year 2017, every last mother fucker has an extreme opinion and won’t listen to reason.  So do whatever, but I’m going to do me, and enjoy this film for what it is, good and bad.  I will be writing about the film as it happens and so I will note that there are spoilers coming up.  After that, I will provide my final thoughts and my rating at the end of this blog, so skip to that if you hate spoilers.

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We start in 1974 and we see a lady working on a wax mask or head, and we see a good brother eating his cheerios in the high chair, then his brother from hell comes in, fucks everything up, breaks the mask, has to get strapped in the chair, scratches mom while dad gets bitched out.

Roll the credits.  The early 2000’s where 90% of horror has to start with loud rock music.  We meet Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) and Paige (Paris).  Carly is doing some internship for a magazine, and her boyfriend is Wade, who you may recognize from the Friday the 13th reboot.  Paige’s boyfriend is Blake, and he likes his car more than her.  Nick is Carly’s brother and Blake’s friend who just got out on bail thanks to Blake.  Dalton is the douche-bag with the red hat and video camera.  There, that gets us through most of the main characters.  Blake thinks that he found a shortcut, but they end up on a detour.  At one point, Wade pulls his car up side by side with Blake’s and we see Paige giving Blake a BJ so Dalton films it in night vision.  Very nice, now we have gotten all caught up on our pop culture references….for now.  “Is she flossing her teeth with that thing?”  They decide to pull over for the night, but then see a sign for a wax museum.  No shit.  Paige is apparently pregnant.  They are apparently on this trip for some big football game.  Nick apparently is one of those guys that blames everybody for all of his failures, and claims to be the bad twin.  I can see why people would be turned off by this whole camping scene.  It’s just obnoxious filler.  Finally a truck shows up.  The guy won’t turn off his headlights after being asked numerous times so Nick throws a beer bottle and breaks one of the lights.  That seems reasonable in my mind.  Fucking guy says nothing, does nothing, you get got, or at least your headlight does.  

The next morning, Dalton’s camera is missing and we see Carly squatting.  Why does horror show women peeing so much in movies?  It just seems odd.  The girls are chasing this awful odor, and Carly finds this pile of dead animal carcasses,  A truck shows up at the pit.  The driver doesn’t even acknowledge the group, so they ask him about the hand as he tosses out a deer carcass.  He shows them that it’s a fake hand.  Anyway, this guy offers to drive Wade to see Bo about 15 miles up the road to get a new fan belt, Carly wants to stay with him while the others make it to the game.  Great.  This guy is great, has no name that I can find.  Carly and Wade are kinda mean to this dude.  He offered to get them the rest of the way, but needed help with his truck.  They were such dicks though, but they have made it to Ambrose.  Ohhh, a Pet Sematary reference.  There’s a movie theater, church, puppy store, and the wax museum.  They walk in the church and there’s a funeral, and Bo is pissed but apologizes after.  Wade is all pissy because guys are checking out Carly, whose rack looks divine in that wife beater.  Perfect size and shape for her body frame.   

We see a person working on a wax sculpture, focusing on the nipples.  The house of wax is literally made of wax.  It’s supposed to be closed, but they just invite themselves in.  We see that Vincent is the guy who crafted all of the art.  Carly just saw somebody in the mirror, nice.  Wade startles her, causes her to knock down a nd behead a statue.  More twin talk.  The group never made it to the football game, so now they are coming back to get Wade and Carly.  Blake and Paige are gonna stay behind and do things to each other while Nick and Dalton go snag them.  Bo doesn’t have the right size fan belt, but he does at the house.  Good.  We find out that Trudy was the mom in the opening scene, her husband a doctor who got his license revoked.  She was the main artist, but then got a cyst in her brain and she went crazy.    Doc killed himself because he couldn’t handle it. The boys got sent to foster homes.  Bo brings Wade into his house to go to the bathroom, and Carly stays in a truck because Bo is going to drive them back to where the road is washed out.  We find out that Dalton was the one who stole the car and Nick took the fall for him.  They are so trying to paint Nick as a good guy who just takes it on the proverbial chin.  Wade doesn’t just go to the bathroom, he wanders through the house like a dumbass.  Seriously, who does that?  I really want Wade to get got for going through this guy’s stuff.  What a shit guest.  No social decorum I tell you!  Carly gets out of the truck, realizes that the mystery truck is at the house.  She honks the horn but the lights go out in the house.   Good luck bad guest Wade.  Well somebody creeps from behind Wade from a coffin with a pair of big ass shears and cuts his Achilles.  Damn, why they always doing that?  Well Wade just got fucked up, but by whooooo? It’s Vincent.   Carly tries calling Paige, but Blake stops that shit, Carly locks herself in the truck when Bo comes out but no Wade, so he smashes in his own window to snag that bitch. Then shit gets foolish.

Carly start driving while Bo holds on, but she’s laying down and driving, but gets the truck stuck.  She runs away.  Dalton wants to nail Carly, but Nick says no.  Vincent is cleaning and stitching up Wade while the dog watches.  Carly is running away, and then the town’s lights all come alive.  Wade is getting hooked up, and is about to get waxed. This looks incredibly painful, and I am pleased.   Now if we can kill Dalton, then probably Paige and Blake at the very least.  You know that Nick has to play a hero role at some point.  Carly goes to church and realizes that it’s all wax people made up of real people.  The person in the coffin is Trudy it appears as Bo calls her Momma.  Bo gives chase out of the church and then the tackle.  Bo brings her to the shop and ensures to put on some modern rock music.  He tapes her to a chair.  We see that Bo has the wrists marks, so that must mean that Bo was the bad twin…..dun dun dun.  Nick and Dalton split up because that’s what you do.  Bo super glues Carly’s mouth shut.  Like that didn’t win over several male viewers.  Just shut a bit up every once in awhile.  Nick sees Bo outside the shop and is asking questions.  She is trapped below where there are talking and sticking her finger up through the grates and Bo cuts the finger off, so she frees her lips and yells, so now the action is ON!  Nick finds Carly and frees her.  Dalton is in the Museum and finds Wade at the piano.  Dalton peels off way too much of Wade’s face and then it gets hacked by Vincent.  After a short chase, Dalton’s head is removed from his neck.  I like that Nick is seemingly looking for weapons at all times.  

Carly leads Nick to the one house where she saw the curtain get pulled back, but it’s a figure and all for show.  They are finally having their aha moment.  Paris is about to do a strip tease for Blake.  Still a great scene.  She wants to talk, but the music stops, and she is about to tell him, but he cares more about the music.  Well he gets Carly’s voicemail from when she was in Bo’s truck and he smashed the window.  Vincent shows up and is after Paige, and she trip, finds Blake with a knife in his neck.  She’s doing her best girl in a horror movie stuff.  This is what audiences paid to see, that and her tits.   She’s walking on a grating and a knife comes up to attack her.  She makes it to a car and hides in the back because that’s a safe spot to hide.  She is also holding onto a pole or pipe of some kind.    He enters the car and she hits him in the face so he applies something like wax to hi face.  She shows her face and harpoons that pol through her dome.  I guarantee theater crowds cheered.  Props to her for doing the scene.  Down to the twins vs the…well the twins.

Nick and Carly end up in the theater, which is playing Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and Bo is trying to figure out where they are.    Nick uses a crossbow twice on Bo, before Daryl Dixon made that shit cool.  Why are Carly’s lips looking healthier and healthier as this film progresses?  They were super glued!  Anyway, they go back to the house looking for Wade and Dalton.  They find guns, locked behind a cage bolted to the wall.  She finds that the boys were Siamese twins and their dad performed the procedure to separate them.  Bo is back wandering the house.  Watching him pull the arrow out makes me hope to never have to do that.  See Vincent trying to smooth his face out a bit with a heated spoon, and Bo tells him that Mama would be proud.  I do appreciate how all of the names are super simple.  Nick is flipping all kinds of switches to generate power but was a dead away for their position.  Dumbass.  They also find Dalton.  Nick accidentally snaps his head off.  Vincent approaches with his big ass knife.  They hold off Vincent by setting a big ass fire and then find Wade and Bo.  The whole place is wax and burning.  Carly and Nick get the upper hand as Vincent arrives to see his brother getting pummeled by Carly.  Carly walks up the melting stairs because that makes sense.  This is a huge point of contention that I have with this film.  It’s illogical to go upstairs, especially in the case.  We finally see Vincent without the mask and pretty solid.  Everybody is falling through the melting flood.  This couldn’t have been cheap to make.  In order to escape they must dig through the wall.  Some of the CGI is awful, but it was 2005.  The next day, the cops are there and Carly’s lips are fucked up again.  Good continuity!  Hey, they found the missing camera!  Ohhhh, the cops ran the Sinclair family name through and come to find out, they had 3 sons, and then we see the creepy deer guy.

End Film


Final Thoughts – I want to give props to the soundtrack, it’s really decent.  Anyway, I get the criticism to an extent, but it’s usually not focused at the right things.  There is some serious logical fallacies towards the end, but it’s a fun, campy horror flick.  I loved how they unraveled a lot of the story and gave you hopes that other people lived there, but nope, just the 3 brothers.  The set pieces were incredibly unique and fun to see what they did with it.  I don’t feel like they half-ass’d it.  Based on what I had heard, I expected this to be terrible.  Don’t listen to the lemmings, watch this and form your own opinion.  No, it’s not great, but the story is there, the gore, the kills, and the characters weren’t bad.  Some were just token characters.  The brothers were unique though, I felt.  I will say that Carly’s lips didn’t look the same throughout the film and they should have caught that.  That’s a big negative for me.  Here’s a gallery in chronological order.

Rating: 6.1 is fair for a guilty pleasure film.  Lots to like, lots to make fun of, and a bit to nitpick.

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