Movie Review: House of Wax (2005)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2005 horror film starring Elisha Cuthbert and Paris Hilton.

Synopsis: A group of college students travel to a football game and decide to camp out on the side of the road. After an encounter with one of the locals results in one of their cars being sabotaged, two of them head up the road to a small town looking for the necessary part and quickly discover things aren't what they seem.

Who's In It?

The movie stars Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki and Brian Van Holt.


As I've mentioned in the past, I'm not a huge fan of remakes. However, there are, admittedly, some exceptions to that and this one, surprisingly, is one of them. In fact, when I came across this movie on Netflix this past weekend, I ended up putting aside time just so my wife and I could watch it again.

I've seen the original Vincent Price version of "House of Wax" numerous times and even watched it with my oldest daughter not that long ago. The 2005 version corrects a lot of the things I didn't enjoy about the original.

One of the main things I like about this movie in particular is it isn't as predictable as you would expect it to be. After seeing the original, I had a general idea about the plot and the secrets the mysterious House of Wax held. This movie, however, managed to build on that and added quite a few surprises. As a result, I wasn't sure who was going to live (if anyone) and who would be killed by the deadly twin brothers (both played by Van Holt).

Another thing I liked about this movie was the fact the college students didn't just scream, run away and try to hide. Instead, unless they were caught off guard, they actually made an effort to at least reach for a weapon and defend themselves. This did keep the movie interesting because their efforts helped make some of the scenes much more intense.

I also will say I was very impressed with Paris Hilton in this movie. The one scene that involves her doing a strip tease was a bit forced and didn't really fit in with the rest of the film but, other than that, I thought her performance wasn't too terrible.

In fact, the scene involving her trying to escape one of the brothers was actually pretty memorable, though I did have to criticize her decision to drop her quickly-improvised but effective weapon when she decided to run rather than follow through with her efforts to injure the man that was chasing her. When will the victims in these movies ever learn?

Final Opinion

I never thought I would pick a Paris Hilton movie over a Vincent Price film but, in this case, I do. If you haven't seen this and like scary films, this is worth watching.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 08/21/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/08/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system here has both the original and the remake in its Blu-ray and DVD collections. It's convenient to be able to watch them, perhaps back-to-back this weekend.

You mention that "The 2005 version corrects a lot of the things I didn't enjoy about the original." What were some of those un-enjoyable aspects?

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