Monday, 22 October 2012

The House of Wax (2005)

"The House of Wax" (2005, Jaume Collet-Serra, Village Roadshow Pictures, Dark Castle Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures) is the modern remake of the 1953 horror (of which you can find my review here: http://horrorev.blogspot.ie/2012/07/house-of-wax-1953.html ), which was itself a remake of a previous film from 1933! (Which is also really good, but isn't a horror - more a murder mystery!)

Naturally, the 2005 version is sexed up, bloodied up and taken in a completely different, and somewhat more perverted, direction. Also, Paris Hilton is in it. But don't judge it on this fact alone!

At my High School Prom (back in ye olde 2006), we watched this film at my friend's house afterwards. We saw one particular clip 15 times on repeat. Three guesses as to which bit... Let me give you a hint, it involves Paris Hilton and a large spear.... Now you're thinking something really disturbing, aren't you? Filthy minds!

This film has suffered some terrible reviews over the years. I think it's main issue is people don't care about Wax museums any more, and not that many modern viewers (particularly the teenage group this film was aiming at) have heard of the Vincent Price or the '33 versions. The plot seems outlandish and odd to some. Unless you've been to Madame Tussaud's, however, and realised how freaky wax figures really are!!!

Following the common horror convention of a road trip (football game in this case), several promiscuous 20-something-year-olds, couples mostly, but you can't always tell in these types of films, get stuck. Their car then breaks down so they stop and camp for the night. During the night, the camp is disturbed by someone menacing in a truck.

In the morning, they split up (Excellent plan. No possible harm could come to anyone with this plan!), some staying with the broken Dodge and the others going in search of someone to sell them a new fan belt. The two who left the camp come across an odd little town called Ambrose, which is very quiet. They accidentally walk in on a funeral, and meet a mechanic called Bo (Brian Van Holt), who offers to help them once the service has ended. Feeling embarrassed, but glad of the offer, the two look around the local Waxwork museum (which is itself made of wax!). It's all very eerie... then we delve into the horror.

I got this film in a triple boxset which had the 1933 and 1953 versions in it, and as much as the 2005 version pales in comparison to the two classics (in regards to plot), this film has quite a lot going for it: It's gory, it has psychotics which overreach the polite boundaries trodden by Price in the '53 version, and it has Jared Padalecki in it (That's Sam Winchester from 'Supernatural' if you don't know already)! Not that I knew who the hell Jared Padalecki was in 2006, but it's one of the main reasons I keep this film on my shelf (aside from the gore of course!).

There are quite a lot of cheap scares and sheer bloody scenes, but that's what you're watching it for! And if it's not, then maybe you should be looking at a different genre? It doesn't exactly break any new ground, but I've never understood what makes it 'bad' in some people's books? It just seems like your average modern horror to me (boobs, blood and scares)! Plus, the plot is actually pretty disturbing, even if it's not very likely. Give it a try!

[Image: Village Roadshow Pictures & Dark Castle Entertainment]

Hani