Review – House of Wax (2005)

house-of-wax-546e30421314a.jpg

house-of-wax-5216284437d47Have you ever been to an actual house of wax? I have. While a lot of people may call them creepy, I found them pretty awesome, actually. Real houses of wax usually have famous celebrities remade in wax form, but in House of Wax, they just seem to be wax figures of normal people. Again, I wouldn’t call it creepy, just boring. Here’s the thing, houses of wax did start off creepy. Even my own mother, who saw her first wax figures at Disneyworld, was freaked out by the likeness of these things. That’s just it folks, when wax people just started to come out, they were creepy, to a lot of people. That’s why they made House of Wax. The original movie, anyways. But can you realistically make a remake trying to explain something as creepy that, in general, isn’t creepy to most people anymore? That’s the question we have to ask ourselves today.

What is it about? It’s primarily about a group of friends that are hanging out and heading to a concert…or something. That’s when their car breaks down, forcing them to wonder around a mysterious town that may have the parts they need to make it to the concert on time. Now, this town has a house of wax, which really interests one of the men in the group, and he decides now would be an okay time to break into the closed house of wax building to see his favorite past time. Needless to say, they are quickly running for their lives from a psychopath running around with a wax mask and obsession with making wax people for some mysterious reason. Will they live? Watch the movie and find out!!

Alright, so horror week is coming to a close. We’ve reviewed five different films after I finish writing this one. I told my wife that I was planning this week, and she requested I watch and review this movie – which is a movie that she personally likes, but often called it silly – like, so bad it’s good. So with that in mind, I watched the movie expecting something like that, and that’s not really what I got. What I got was more of a movie that lacked any proper motivation. The concert was a ploy to get the plot started, the guy’s interest in houses of wax was way over the top if he’s willing to break into a building just to see some wax figures. It all seemed way too guided and fake, just in order to get the main story going, and it was too noticeable to ignore. Finally, the main villain literally had zero motivation, or at least it wasn’t really explained. At most, it explains why he has a wax mask, but not why he continues to make wax people.

It’s like one of those movies that try to be showy for no other reason than for you to experience watching something crazy, but without any real substance behind it, you get something that lacks pretty heavily. That being said, I still consider this to be a film that can be spoiled if I say the wrong things, so I’ll watch myself and give you the 411.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 4/10
Acting – 0|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 1

Alright, so first off, we have the people score, which it needed some major help with. As far as acting goes, it has Paris Hilton in it, need I say anymore? The rest of the cast doesn’t really do any better, as I’ve seen them in better roles. The characters are all pretty darn forgettable other than maybe the villain. Importance? Most of the characters are completely useless and are pretty much there to just die. Finally, how about the chemistry. Well, here and there, there is some good brother-sister chemistry, but everyone else falls below par.

WRITING SCORE – 6/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 1|Story – 0|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2

The dialogue was typical, nothing stood out there. It was a little convoluted, as the group split up for no real reason, one group is doing one thing that’s dumb, the other group is doing some other dumb stuff…it felt like it could’ve been more efficient, but it wasn’t. I would, however, consider this an interesting and original film, absolutely. It had its heart in the right place, just not much more.

BTS SCORE – 5/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 1|Music – 1

As far as behind-the-scenes goes, everything could have been done better.  The visuals were pretty great at the end, but it gets ruined when they do pan out shots that look terrible, and the rest of the movie is mostly basic and mediocre at best. The direction was typical, so nothing stood out for either directing or editing. As far as the advertisement goes, I was expecting something so bad that it’s good, mostly because of how it was advertised to me by my wife, and because I didn’t get that, I say it was slightly advertised falsely. Finally, the music is as typical as it gets. Nothing stood out here at all.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles -2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1

On a technical level, the narrative arc score did really well. Whether they were well done or not is irrelevant. I’m just looking for elements that were clear and evident. The introduction here was all about the kids, and when their car breaks down, that’s the inciting incident. They are running from a madman in a wax mask, which is where the obstacles come in. The climax is pretty darn awesome (and visually stunning), which is where the falling action comes in. Because there was kind of a hint to a sequel, that counts as partial falling action…but there wasn’t much there at all.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 6/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 1

So, how entertaining is it? I would say it’s not half bad for this category. It’s a fun, rewatchable movie that sometimes sucks me in. I wouldn’t mind having a discussion with someone about this film, but it doesn’t drive me mad not to. Finally, I don’t consider it a movie I’d buy, but I don’t mind watching it again.

SPECIALTY QUESTIONS – 20/50
Scary – 0|Cheesy – 0|One of the worst – 5|What lures them – 5|Halfway Decent – 10

Alright, onto the five specialty questions that were written before watching the movie. First of all, this is a horror film, so how scary is it? Not at all. Second of all, my wife often said how this was so bad that it’s good, so is it cheesy and silly, reveling in its goofiness? No, not at all. Would I consider this one of the worst horror films? Not really, but it’s also not the best. I also wanted to know whatever it was that lured them into the house of wax, and what I got was really lame. Finally, I would say this is halfway decent. I can’t really think of what I would do to make it better…maybe replace Paris Hilton? It doesn’t matter, though, since her character was pretty useless in general, and she’s the perfect person to play useless.

RATING: 50/100

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