Oh Jebus, I wanted to hate this so bad. I wanted it to suck so so bad. It stars Paris Hilton - need I say any more? And yet...ugh, like a moth drawn to a flame...ugh...I slightly enjoyed it.
I guess it's a remake of the two House of Wax films that came before it (1930s and 1950s) but if so, it's pretty liberal with it's interpretation of the story line. Here, a group of snotty teenagers are on their way to some football game in (we are led to believe) Florida (though Florida is devoid of the hills and trees shown here, but whatever). They're kind of a hodgepodge (shocker) - there's a princess, a jock, rebellious tough guy, a dopey dude who just wants to party, a sweet nice guy type and Elisha Cuthbert who is sort of holding it all together. Sort of like the Breakfast Club, except... not. They camp out overnight where they encounter a big 70's truck that shows up glaring it's high beams at the kids until the rebel dude throws a bottle at the truck which causes it to leave. Oh, but don't worry, you'll see that truck again. Uh - DUH.
Morning arrives and the nice guy's shiny, flawless 1972 Dodge Charger has had it's fan belt cut. Oh no! Now they'll miss the game! No worries, we'll figure it out, we're smart college kids. How about this, after we run across a pit full of rotting dead animals and a creepy hillbilly unloading more dead animals into the pit, you guys can all leave and me and Cuthbert will get a ride into town with the hillbilly. You'll catch the game, I'll get the fan belt I need and all will be happy. See? Smart college kids.
From here things become remarkably implausible and very very dumb, but just entertaining enough that I kept watching. Admittedly there are some cool ideas here. For one, the House of Wax each dopey teen invariably runs across is pretty cool, if only because it's made of wax itself which turns out to be a fun idea in the film's finale. Also, there are some pretty gnarly death scenes that are worth sticking around for - especially when Hilton gets it. Her death scene is fantastically gory. Yaaay!
Overall, House of Wax delivers what one would expect it to, given it's intended audience. It's a teen-horror for sure, a genre that demands certain cliches and plot lines, all of which are in full force here. By no means is it a good movie, but it's ok for what it is.
I do wish the people at Dark Castle would stop ruining classic films though. But then, I wish Paris Hilton would remain in prison for the rest of her life. And obviously that isn't going to happen any time soon.
- Complaint Department