DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Film Review: House of Wax


"Good looking... forever!?"

House of Wax (15)
Dir. Jaume Collet-Serra


Reviewed by Matt Adcock


Imagine for a moment regaining consciousness and finding that something is very wrong; you can’t seem to move anything except your eyes. You’re sitting in a big room filled with lots of other people but none of them are moving either – could it be that they, like you, are entombed in a coating of wax awaiting a slow death?
Not necessarily, it could be that you’re actually in a cinema and you’ve just dropped off during the first 45 minutes of House of Wax, which is absolutely bog standard ‘teens about to become psycho fodder’ build up.


Yes in this update / loose remake of the 1953 Vincent Price ‘shocker classic’ some things have changed (we get a much dumber and prettier cast – embodied by Paris ‘One Night In…’ Hilton) but some remain – namely there are still some psychotic nuts who like to take people and cover them in wax…

Is it any good? Well, that completely depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re seeking attractive young people meeting incredibly gruesome deaths for no reason other than stumbling into the wrong town, then House of Wax might well be your cup of tea. If however you’re not into sadistic violence or just looking for a film with a decent plot then you should move a long as there is nothing but grisly ‘killing by numbers’ on offer here. And I’m not kidding about the grisliness – Director Jaume Serra goes all out to depict some of the most gut wrenching death and torture scenes ever in a 15 rated film. You’ll never look at a tube of superglue, a pair of pliers or a waxwork sculpture in the same way again!

To be fair Elisha ‘Girl Next Door’ Cuthbert does try her best and Miss Hilton manages to raise some interest by shedding most of her clothes before dying. But as my esteemed co-critic Matt Landsman noted: “House of Wax was just Texas Chainsaw Massacre with more wax” and he’s got a point.

The killers in House of Wax are unlikely to become horror icons – in fact you could almost imagine them in court claiming that they were just ‘over enthusiastic model makers’ and thanks to the very average U.S. box office for Wax, I don’t imagine we’ll have to suffer a sequel. For an altogether better cinematic experience, may I suggest Sin City which is the very definition of ‘cool’ – more on that next week…

Darkmatt Rating: öö (the sicker you are, the more stars you'll probably give it!)


Reviews of other films and stuff you might want to read indexed here

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