Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Movie #262: House of Wax

House of Wax is a slasher flick and a remake-in-name-only of the previous House of Wax film. It stars Elisha Cuthbert, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Chad Michael Murray, Jon Abrahams, Robert Ri'chard, and Brian Van Holt.

Carly (Cuthbert) is taking a road trip with her boyfriend Wade (Padalecki), twin brother Nick (Murray), and his buddies Dalton (Abrahams) and Blake (Ri'chard), and Blake's girlfriend Paige (Hilton). There's a bit of friction between the siblings; Nick is just out of jail and Dalton and Blake are kind of in awe of his badass image, and he treats Wade like shit in an attempt to poke at Carly. They're headed to a football game, but stop to camp for the night after getting lost taking a shortcut.

Next day, Wade's fan belt is busted, and they wind up catching a ride into Ambrose with a creepy-ass dude who throws roadkill into a ditch for a living (Damon Herriman). They discover the town is largely empty, but find a man who claims to be the town mechanic (Brian Van Holt). While snooping around his house, Wade is attacked and killed by a dude wearing a wax mask (also Van Holt), and mummified alive in wax.

From there, it's a slasher movie - the town is entirely empty, people by wax-covered corpses. The twins are in fact the sons of the Sinclairs; their father was the a surgeon who separated them as babies (they were born conjoined), while their mother was a skillful artist who created the House of Wax, but then lost her mind due to an illness. They've been killing ever since.

Obviously Cuthbert survives, and since her boyfriend dies first and her bad-boy brother softens up, he lives, too. Everyone else is toast. The movie ends with the house of wax (which is literally made of wax) catching fire and melting, and the (good) twins smooshing their way out with nary a burn, which is silly.

I actually like this movie; yes, it's a slasher movie, but it's a good one as these things go. There's some attention paid to cinematography - mostly hands poking through things (the tent flap, wax) and smoosy, gooey textures. The story holds up about as well as these things do, and the characters all have enough to do and say that you remember which one's which.

There's a scene that's a little torture porn-y (Bo tying Carly to a chair and supergluing her mouth shut), but that's not really the genre; it's a pretty pure slasher flick. Like a lot of Dark Castle films, there's a good movie in here, trying to get out.

My grade: B
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: House on Haunted Hill (1958)