Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: None listed
HAS anyone made a career out of being kidnapped and chased quite
so effectively as Elisha Cuthbert?
Having fallen foul of evil-doers through three seasons of real-time
TV thriller, 24, she
then played The Girl Next Door,
a former porn star on the run from her former employers.
Now, she becomes a potential victim once again in House of Wax,
a remake of the Vincent Price classic that bears little resemblance
to its predecessor.
Poor Elisha plays the supposedly bright member of six Louisiana
friends whose decision to take a short-cut deep into the backroads
of America has dire consequences for just about every member of
Rather than getting them to their destination faster, the route
brings them to a town watched over by twins who have dedicated
their troubled lives to recreating a town made from wax - using
fresh bodies to 'inhabit it'.
As a result, the hapless teenagers must try and avoid becoming
additions to the twins' trophy cabinet, while finding a way to
escape from their nightmare.
To be fair, House of Wax is one of
those movies that's so bad it's actually quite entertaining.
Aside from Cuthbert's woman in peril, there's also a certain
Paris Hilton to run around and scream in skimpy outfits, who seems
fully aware of the film's exploitational intentions and enters
into the spirit with relish.
Quite what she would make of the chorus of cheers that greeted
her demise is another matter entirely, though!
Yet as game as everyone is to play by the rules of the film's
cliche-ridden script, House of Wax still struggles to emerge with
much credit and is a fairly bog-standard entry into the stalk-and-slash
What's worse is the unforgivable stupidity of just about every
character, who seem to go out of their way to do the most obvious
thing to put them in harm's way.
Cuthbert, especially, seems intent on getting herself killed,
frequently venturing out into the night-time by herself, or remaining
in buildings that obviously pose more threat than the outside
But then every cast member has at least one laugh-out-loud moment
of idiocy that contributes to their demise.
Were it not for the grisly nature of the violence, this might
have played better as a spoof, given its continual ability to
raise smirks rather than shivers.
As things stand, it provides its fair share of thrills - but
for all the wrong reasons.