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House of Wax (2005)

R | | Horror | 6 May 2005 (USA)
A group of unwitting teens are stranded near a strange wax museum and soon must fight to survive and keep from becoming the next exhibit.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Bo
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Dragicia Debert ...
Trudy Sinclair (as Dragitsa Debert)
Thomas Adamson ...
Young Bo
Murray Smith ...
Dr. Sinclair
Sam Harkess ...
Young Vincent
...
...
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Storyline

Six friends are on their way to a football game. They decide to camp out for the night and continue driving the next day. The next day the friends find that they're having car troubles, so two of the friends accept a stranger's ride into a small town named Ambrose. The main attraction in Ambrose is the House of Wax. Except something is not right in this town, the wax figures are so realistic and the whole town is deserted - except for two murderous twin brothers. The six friends must fight to survive and escape from being the next exhibits in the House of Wax. Written by Nicky

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gejagt. Ermordet. Zur Schau gestellt. (Hunted.Murdered.Displayed.) See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence, some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wax House, Baby  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,077,236, 8 May 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,064,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$70,064,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On 26 June 2004, a sound stage being used for the film burned to the ground during a test of special-effects equipment. The fire, started by a candle, destroyed a studio at Warner Bros Movie World on Australia's Gold Coast. One crew member was treated for burns to his arm, but no one else was injured. The smoke reached a nearby highway, which was not shut down. See more »

Goofs

After Vincent cuts off the right lower half of Wade's face, Dalton runs away, but you can see that Wade does have the right lower half of his face as if left untouched by Vincent. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Trudy Sinclair: You are being such a good boy. Would you like some more cereal, sweetheart? Here you go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Random letters in the end credits of the movie begin to melt down from the screen as they appear. Also, some pairs of letters are joined, just like Bo and Vincent when they were born. See more »

Connections

References What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

I Never Told You What I Do For A Living
Written by Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Matt Pelissier, Frank Iero and Ray Toro
Performed by My Chemical Romance
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Home Sweet Home
9 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

I do not think I am alone when I say that 2005 has not been particularly kind to the horror genre. While "Cursed", "Hide and Seek", "The Ring Two", and "The Amityville Horror" all showed glimpses of interest and potential, there have been more misses than hits. For proof, see: "White Noise", "Boogeyman", "The Jacket", "Mindhunters", and "Alone in the Dark". Imagine my surprise when "House of Wax", tightly written by siblings Chad and Carey Hayes, turned out to be... well, a surprise.

Carly Jones (Elisha Cuthbert) is a young woman, traveling with her trouble-making brother, Nick (Chad Michael Murray), and boyfriend, Wade (Jared Padalecki). They are, along with Paige (Paris Hilton), Blake (Robert Ri'chard), and Dalton (Jon Abrahams), hoping to score tickets to the final football game of the season. Along the way, they run into some car trouble, and are forced to enter a desolate town where nothing is what it appears to be.

Upon hearing of this, a remake of the classic Vincent Price B-movie, I rolled my eyes. I did not even want to think about what disaster freshman director Jaume Serra had cooked up for his audience. In a time when most high-profile horror films are disappointments, latent with bad writing, static direction, and amateur acting, I consider myself lucky that Serra and the Hayes brothers took it upon themselves to make a good, old-fashioned, spook fest. Unlike the disappointments that I named before, this flick pulls no punches, and uses every cinematic trick in the book to give everyone exactly what they came for.

I am happy that the Hayes' actually took the time and effort to create likable and believable characters, thus making the events that much more urgent. It also gives the young actors portraying them something grip on. As she did in "The Girl Next Door", Elisha Cuthbert proves to audiences what a skilled actress she really is. In the 2003 remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", Jessica Biel silenced naysayers by delivering a raw and emotional performance, one that put the viewer right there with her. Here, Cuthbert does the same. Chad Michael Murray ("A Cinderella Story"), in one of his first more mature roles, is no slacker as Nick. Murray exudes charisma and a hard edge, as well as some impressive athleticism on top of it. Murray and Cuthbert gel perfectly, and have tangible, familial chemistry.

More so than anything else, the press and the American public have made a field day about Paris Hilton's major acting debut. As I expected, Hilton does not embarrass herself. In fact, she is just as good as anyone else in the movie (do with that what you will). Like Cuthbert and Murray, Hilton has screen presence. She is sexy and playful. I cannot think one of reason why she's gotten the worst of the film's harsh reception, other than they are simply picking on her. Jared Padalecki (TV's 'Gilmore Girls') memorably manages to overcome his underwritten role. Robert Ri'chard (TV's 'Cousin Skeeter') and Jon Abrahams ("Meet the Parents") do not have much to work with, but get the job done. With only one scene, Damon Herriman ("Soar") makes an unforgettable impression, and his presence hangs over the rest of the film. Finally, Brian Van Holt ("Basic") is superb and threatening in a dual role.

Once more, kudos must go to the screenwriters for avoiding clichés whenever possible. Despite popular opinion, "House of Wax" is quite unpredictable for a majority of its running time. Take this for example: It seems as if the killer is down for the count and Carly bends down to retrieve something from his pockets. What do you expect to happen? See the movie, and you will understand what I mean. It is also refreshing to see a horror film in which the characters show even a modicum of good sense.

Unlike most horror scores, John Ottman's exhilarating work never distracts. However, as with Dark Castle's other releases, the visual aspects of "Wax" are award-worthy, and lift the film above its genre trappings. The talents of cinematographer Stephen F. Windon, production designer Graham Walker, art director Nicholas McCallum, and editor Joel Negron highlight the ghoulish imagery. Speaking of imagery, I believe that the gore hounds will be thrilled with the many makeup effects and tricks in store here. Each death scene is more stomach churning than the last. Considering his past in music videos and commercials, it is obvious that Jaume Serra has a great eye for style. His "in-your-face" approach is a great asset to this film's success. Just when you think the camera will turn away, it does not. He is also particularly good a building thick layers of dread and atmosphere. One standout shot is our introduction to the killer, as he slowly emerges from a trap door.

In a case like this, I would usually admit when I am in the minority (Shut up, okay? I liked "House of 1000 Corpses"!). In this case, I firmly that the detractors have gotten it wrong. I am not sure why people are so hard on this film, considering it's much better than recent genre entries. Maybe they're afraid to admit that a horror flick starring Paris Hilton could possibly be worth watching... Who knows? This is a horror film, and a commendably stylish and effective one at that. As a lifelong horror fan, all I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed "House of Wax", in all of its lurid and sadistic glory. I safely consider it a great accomplishment in modern horror, as well as (along with "Sin City") the first completely satisfying release of 2005.


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