Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams and Robert Ri'chard

Jaume Collet-Serra

Running Time:
113 mins

Out to buy on DVD 03/10/05

"Everything is Wax"

On the way to the big game Carly (Cuthbert) and her friends stop to camp overnight in the country. When they wake the next morning, the group find that Wade's (Padalecki) car's fan belt has snapped, so Carly and Wade head into the local town of Ambrose to see if they can find a gas station. As the others head to the game, Carly and Wade investigate the town, finding it deserted but at the centre is a House of Wax attraction which Wade really wants to visit. When they enter however, they find that the wax works seem eerily realistic.

As Hollywood's well of ideas continues to run dry, the film factory returns to the back catalogue to reinvent another classic of the horror genre, but can this modern retelling of the Vincent Price classic have the same impact at the box office or will it just melt away?

With on the name of the film having anything in common with the 1953 original, the new 'House of Wax' is a typical Hollywood slasher movie were college students die in increasingly gory ways. While this might not be the most original direction to take the film it is quite enjoyable all the same.

Twins as both victims and villains is an interesting approach. When this is mixed with the premise of corpses becoming exhibits in the attraction, you have an open pallet for grizzly murders. Brian Van Holt plays Bo and Vincent Sinclair, the murderous brothers trying to complete their mother's dream of a realistic waxwork town but they have taken that vision a bit too far. Now instead of sculpting the figure out of wax, the pair covers their victims in wax for that ultra-realistic look. Each of the college students is picked off in increasing gory and inventive ways that are more fun that they should be, that should delight fans of the genre.

The victims are your typical Hollywood fair. Elisha Cuthbert and Paris Hilton are the eye candy for the piece and they do a really good job. Anyone who has seen the TV series '24' will know that Elisha Cuthbert plays the victim extremely well as she is a great screamer and is a magnet for dangerous situations. She looks gorgeous throughout, even as she becomes more and more bloody as the killings and dangers intensify. Socialite turned actress Paris Hilton does a decent job as prospective victim Paige. Employed totally for her looks and not her acting ability, Paris delivers her limited lines well and even manages to make fun of her own persona in the process. Chad Michael Murray is the only male actor that gets any real screen time as Carly's wayward twin brother Nick. Having the two leads as brother and sister makes the film more about survival, as it is not dogged down by any romantic connotations that might slow the pace down or fill the film with sentimental claptrap.

'House of Wax' is a fun genre horror flick that is more entertaining than you might be expecting. With some inventive death scenes and an over the top finale that you can't help enjoy, this is the first film from Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis's horror label Dark Castle that is actually a decent horror movie.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the movie is presented very well.


B-Roll and Bloopers with Video Cast Commentary (26.50 mins)
Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton and Jared Padalecki provide video commentary to the behind the scene and blooper footage. Covering 'the first day of principle photography', 'filming on the road', 'return of the campsite', 'abandoned sugar mill', 'the washout', 'Bo's torture room', 'the Sinclair house', 'Paris and Robert's last scene', 'lots of running for Elisha', 'movie theatre shootout', 'the wax chamber', 'wax bed fight' and 'filming the gooey climax', the group talk about the scenes via a split screen. This is strange decision because it would have been better to have them doing a full commentary for the movie.

Wax On: The Design of the House of Wax (7.25 mins)
Director Jaume Collet-Serra, producers Susan Levin, Herb Gains and Joel Silver, production designer Graham 'Grace' Walker, director of photography Stephen Windan and stars Elisha Cuthbert and Jared Padalecki talk about how the film built the entire town of Ambrose. Highlighting the gas station, the Sinclair House, the church and the House of Wax, we see how the production constructed these sets.

House built on Wax (10.11 mins)
Director Jaume Collet-Serra, producers Susan Levin, Herb Gains and Joel Silver and visual effects supervisor John Breslin talk about the origins of the movie plus the special effects involved with the wax figures, Vincent's face and the melting house.

Gag Reel (3.16 mins)
A montage of gaffs and mishaps from the making of 'House of Wax' Alternative

Opening: Jennifer Killed (1.37 mins)
See the original filmed opening to the movie.

From Location: Joel Silver reveals 'House of Wax' (1.50 mins)
From the set of 'Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang' mega producer Joel Silver describes the film while in the middle of a take for his new film.

Theatrical Trailer (2.15 mins)
Watch the promotional preview for the movie.


This is not a package for fans of the movie. The lack of a commentary track is very puzzling when you bear in mind that Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton and Jared Padalecki provided video commentary for the B-Roll and Blooper footage. The featurettes are not bad however and this should satisfy fans of the film.


House of Wax (1953)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Usher Home | Hush, Hush... | The Big Story | The Usher Speaks

Stuck @ Home | Coming Soon | Links | Contact the Usher