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House Of Wax (2005)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra/Story by Charles Belden/Screenplay by Chad Hayes & Carey Hayes

     Looking at this film again I found myself conflicted between two very different judgments. In one aspect I can very well see the story that was thought up being left with enough ins and outs of what could potentially turnout entertaining. Separate thought: I also really dislike when a message in the movie becomes so painfully obvious that it becomes annoying. While I’ll save the majority for later in the review, I will say that last final scene at the museum was such an unnecessary and obsolescent method in showing what they had already re-iterated into your brain for the past hour and half. Message received guys, thanks! It did, however, have a bit more gore which I have stated in the past doesn’t essentially need to be had in a film. But  certainly assisted in it having its own unique voice.

     The movie begins set in 1974 and we’re shown a woman melting wax while working on a mask. We see her two boys in high chairs eating their breakfast. One behaving with the other throwing a fit and getting so out of control that his parents are forced to bound him to the chair. With leather straps. A quick slap to the face knocks us right into the future as we see two girls chatting that were actually apart of a bigger group. The six of them on their way to a football game per request of Blake (Robert Ri’chard). His girlfriend Paige (Paris Hilton) being solely a gal pal for survivor girl Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) to interact with. Carly’s boyfriend Wade (Jared Padalecki) seems more than willing to put aside his macho man feelings so as to maintain peace with Carly’s twin brother Nick (Chad Michael Murray). Who has brought along for his entertainment, his oh so funny friend Dalton (Jon Abrahams). Crazy little hexagon of togetherness they have going on huh?

     Just so everyone is on the same page, please take notice that these six are the essential roles needing fulfillment within most Horror films. Most of us know this, no need to insult us by having some pre-meditated lecture on breaking it down for us, Cabin in the Woods but I digress. In case you are not aware or have no idea what I’m talking about, I do not mean to offend and can offer a simple enough solution. You have the survivor girl, the “frisky” one, the sport jock, the heart-throb, the “bad ass” and the funny guy. Covers as much of the spectrum as willing, noting that the funny guy can also be replaced with a geek/stoner of some type to suffice.

     Wanting to drive straight through to the game, they decide to camp out for the night, obviously never have seeing a Friday the 13th movie. Soon after enjoying themselves receive a visitor who approaches in a pick-up truck. Not saying a word or turning off his car. Nick can’t help his bad boy ways and hurls a beer bottle knocking out the guys headlight. The driver takes his cue and proceeds back just as creepily as approached and drives off without a word.  Now if that’s not a red flag to get out of there I’m not sure what is. They wake up the next morning already late and in the midst of packing, Wade discovers that his fan belt has been tampered with. Which seemed the perfect time for Paige and Carly to venture off when they soon discover a trench filled with rotting roadkill. A slight stumble has Carly almost enveloped by the decaying material, landing awfully close. The guys in her circle coming to her rescue before that could happen and they run into creepy guy #1 played by Damon Herriman. (Wasn’t given an actual name for the role so I liked this better) He offers to drive Wade into town and Carly offers to go along while the rest of the gang persisted on to the game. Fast forward to the two ditching Mr. Creepy and venturing into the town by themselves. Stopping by the local wax museum; where we also get the history of the museum, all 2 or so minutes of it. The rest of the group surrendering to traffic realizing it was a lost hope and turning back around.

    Accidentally walking in on a funeral Carly and Wade rush outside to wait for a distraught Bo (Brian Van Holt). Upset due to his recent loss, Bo tells the two to wait for him at his corner store and he’d be right with them. Upon returning reports that the part needed was at his house and offers to drive them the up to further assist. Pardon my rushing, but back at the camp shit starts to get real, after Nick and Dalton decide to take the hike up to the town and leave Paige and Blake behind. Moving on to a very unlucky Wade who encounters Vincent, the hidden artist behind the wax museum who takes him and we’re shown the method behind the madness of how he made the figures. Bo catches Nick snooping around his store and offers as much assistance without really being helpful. Unaware that his sister was locked up underneath the store as she tried to pry her mouth open from the super glue used to close it. Nick is able to get passed Bo and rescue his sister but only for the moment. We get rushed and sporadic pieces of Vincent and Bo’s story development and what drove them to such malevolent behavior. It seemed Bo convinced Vincent to go along with everything who only wanted to continue his mother’s love of wax figures. He gave into his brother because he had no one else. After discovering the truth of the two, both sets of twins end up returning to the museum where it is then set on fire and burns to the ground. What happens to both set of twins? I’ll make ya watch, JUST in case you haven’t seen it. 

     Considering the pseudo typical characters, the actors sufficed. However, Murray is in no way a bad ass. I found his “tough persona” sadly laughable and wasn’t convincing in the least. Cuthbert did fine considering. I preferred her prior roles more so however but there wasn’t anything I would have liked to see taken away from how she played the part. Hilton was surly a surprise and hey, I didn’t mind getting to see her die…sorry! Abrahams was funny which was to be expected and Padalecki was great in this small role, usually maintaining such distinction.  

     The gore factor of the film was fulfilled most definitely. There are a couple of scenes that are worth recognition and sure to make you cringe. The story was the basic version of any horror script that is being remade because the good story was already taken to begin with. It’s also told from the groups point of view which we know nothing about except for the fact that we’ve been dropped in the middle of their run-in with death. But we’ve seen that in the re-imagining of Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and recently Cabin in the Woods.  Redundancy is futile and that leaves the story line involving the twins. Their statement of family and kin ship became something they shoved in the cameras face til the very end. You can’t rush through whats a necessary story when it should have gotten more play. The figures they had in the museum were also quite were nothing in comparision to the original. Overall not a bad flick to own if you’re a fanatic or at least something to watch periodically.

Mad Fact: The bed used in the end sequence of the film was made out of peanut butter.