When I grow up, which is in a year when I graduate college, I plan on working in a museum. I love museums so much that I could live in one if possible. I love each and every type of museum, Historical Houses, Natural History, Botanical Gardens, Zoo’s, and Art Museums. But there is just one type that I have always seemed to lack interest in, and that is Wax Museums. I’m not sure if they’re even considered real museums, I mean probably, because museums are basically collections of stuff (whether it be dead, art, living animals, plants, etc), it just doesn’t seem like it should be one to me.
This of course brings me the topic of this post, a little gem called House of Wax. I still have yet to see the original, Vincent Price version, and I’m sure it’s much better than the 2005 version by a long stretch, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this version. And anyway, we all know I’m a sucker for a shitty horror movie. Okay, so why do I enjoy this movie so much? Is it the gore? Probably, the acting? Ha! No. But Chad Michael Murray is definitely a reason. I also do like the main character, Carly. Mostly the whole twin-bond thing, or lack thereof. I think the biggest thing about House of Wax, though, is the fact that it’s about a wax museum, and if that isn’t creepy, than I don’t know what is!
Friendly reminder that this is not a spoiler free blog, so please do not proceed any further if you don’t want any spoilers.
For starters, I should give you a run down of the plot.
It begins with 6 friends on their way to a big college football game when car trouble arises. What follows is a bunch of bad stuff in a creepy wax town. Anyway, the characters consist of two couples and two friends. The main character’s, however are Carly and her estranged twin brother Nick. I say this because these two are the only two that the movie bothers to even give a background (other than kind of giving Nick’s friend Dalton one). Besides these two, and Dalton, there are Wade, Carly’s asshole boyfriend (okay, sorry my opinion), Paige (Carly’s friend) and Blake, Paige’s boyfriend (?). There’s also a surprise appearance of Dewey Crowe from Justified, but I won’t really get into that. Just that he basically plays the same character, except a bit smarter. I feel like I need to get more in depth about these characters, though, because I actually have opinions (gasp!) about them.
I’m going to start with the lesser known characters (not including any of the bad guys). This means I’m going to start with Blake. The least characterized character ever. All we know about him is that he loves his car and he also really likes sex and Paris Hilton, er, Paige. The guy doesn’t get much of a chance at survival. In fact, we don’t even see him die, that’s how unimportant he is! I didn’t care much for him anyway, since he was really insensitive to Nick about Nick’s time in jail. Not that Nick was a bundle of joy to any of them, it just is really rude to insinuate that you think someone is stupid, especially when that someone didn’t really even commit the crime (i’ll get to that).
Next is Paige, played by Paris Hilton. Yes, Paris Hilton is a joke, and yes she’s coming to Summer Fest to DJ and I’m pissed they spent money on her and didn’t attempt to get someone else (like say Twenty One Pilots?). But that is not about House of Wax. Paris didn’t do so bad in House of Wax, especially if you compare her acting in this with her part in Veronica Mars! I think that says a lot about the writers if they managed to make Paris Hilton look not so dumb! Anyway, her death scene was kind of a good one too. She runs for a while, and almost makes it out, so we have to give Paige kudos for that. She also had more of a personality than her boyfriend.
Next is Dalton, Nick’s buddy. We don’t know much about Dalton, except that he’s a perv (a nice one though? ew), and carries around his camera filming everything. And I mean every thing. He seems to like having a good time, because he does join in the game of catch Wade and Blake have going on (unlike Nick), and he also allows the girls to give him a makeover. His death may have been the saddest, mostly because he was so close to discovering the tunnel’s and then bam, or should I say slice? He must mean a lot to Nick because Nick does something really important for him, which I’ll get to later when I talk about him.
Before that we need to talk about Wade, who is played by Jared Padaleki and is the first to die. Well, actually he isn’t really dead, yet, more like…taken captive and made into a wax figure. I think Wade is the biggest asshole of all assholes ever. Why? Well, first off, he doesn’t deserve Carly. He talks bad about her brother like her brother isn’t even her brother, let alone twin. Even though they were kind of estranged, and Nick could be an asshole, it didn’t give him the right to do so. And when his girlfriend falls into that pile of dead animals, he doesn’t offer her a shirt. Her twin brother takes his own shirt off his back and gives it to her instead. Whether this was just to get Chad shirtless, or not, I’m not sure, but it sure as hell says a lot to me that he was the one that did that and not Wade. Then he let’s Carly come into town with him, granted, Nick doesn’t stop her, but come on. Dewey Crowder (okay I know that’s not his name, but that’s who he was in Justified, so I refuse to call him anything else) is one creepy sonuvabitch, why would you let your girlfriend anywhere near him? Then there’s this thing where he has a habit of going into buildings that say ‘closed’ but aren’t locked. Both incidents do not end well, and one turns out to be fatal for him. The first is the house of wax, the draw to which I still cannot find. He drags Carly in, despite the closed sign and proceeds to hold a lighter up to wax figures! WHAT AN ASSHOLE! When Carly thinks she sees someone in the window (which she did), he goes outside to look and proceeds to slam on the window when he can’t find anything, scaring the hell out of Carly (who was already frightened). He could have gone back inside instead and told her, but he didn’t. Later, he forces Carly to go into the gas station to find the belt he needs and when they’re in Bo’s house, he sneaks into a room with a closed door. This is where he meets his end, but seriously, how much of an asshole are you that you’re just going to sneak into a room with a closed door? Rude. So, yeah, I have issues with him.
Next is Carly, because I’m saving Nick for last since I find him to be the most interesting of the bunch. Carly is fairly smart for someone in a horror movie. The fact that she survives also proves this. Too be honest, the only flaw I see in Carly is the fact that she would date an asshole like Wade.
Nick is my favorite, partially because its Chad Michael Murray at his hottest, or partially because he’s s got the most character. First off, he’s quiet and angry. At first we think it’s for no reason, but then we learn something really important about him. He didn’t commit the crime he was in jail for. He took the fall for Dalton! Sweet, goofy Dalton let his best friend take the blame for him and allowed him to spend time behind bars. Nick’s family looks down on him now, even his own twin sister. That’s so awful! And this is all because Nick is so fiercely loyal that he’d take the fall for his best friend. Then there’s the fact that he just keeps searching for his sister, when he could have just taken the truck and left. The guy gets fucking stabbed in the leg to save her. WHAT A MAN. He also has sticky fingers and steals Dalton’s camera back from the police despite it being evidence and I have to give him cred for that because I think he knew that the deaths of his friends were filmed on there, and like hell he’d let anyone watch that.
There’s also this unspoken tension between Carly and Nick. The problem with Chad and Elisha is that they actually had loads of chemistry and it’s really hard to see them as twins and not as something else. It almost makes you wish they weren’t twins, and I feel a bit dirty for that. But that’s not the point of this review. If you want an even more detailed version of this idea, check out this blog. Or, here’s a compilation of pictures of them.
The gore levels are not completely off the charts (you want gore, watch Band of Brothers), but it’s certainly one of the gorier horror movie’s I’ve seen. It doesn’t focus much on the atmosphere, and that’s probably because a Wax Museum and a deserted town full of wax figures is creepy enough. I think it doesn’t need the atmosphere or too much gore, because well, it has a decapitated head, so that’s always good, and the guy cuts their achilles heels, superglues their lips, and proceeds to pour hot wax on them while their still alive. That’s gross enough.
And while the ending is a bit hard to believe (I mean, that wax would have definitely been boiling hot if the house was on fire), it isn’t so bad. It’s almost a happy ending, and I actually just want all horror movies to have one because the survivors have been through so much. I’m probably the only one that thinks this. And anyway, the not-so-surprising twist of there being three brothers, not two, kind of makes the ending creepy, but honestly, I don’t think Dewey Crowder is going to try and find them after all this is through. I mean, he was right by the police in the end, who are now searching for another brother, so he either gets caught or he lives in the woods somewhere.
Maybe I didn’t make you want to watch it. Maybe I did. Whatever the case is, I still enjoy House of Wax quite a bit and probably will choose it over any Saw movie or any Paranormal Activity and day. Whatever. Here’s a great cast photo I found on google images:
Friendly reminder that all of this death could have been avoided if Wade had just left his car there…