House of Wax (2005 film)

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House of Wax
House Of Wax movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Produced by Joel Silver
Robert Zemeckis
Susan Levin
Written by Charles Belden
Chad Hayes
Carey Hayes
Starring Elisha Cuthbert
Chad Michael Murray
Brian Van Holt
Paris Hilton
Jared Padalecki
Jon Abrahams
Robert Ri'chard
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography Stephen F. Windon
Edited by Joel Negron
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • April 30, 2005 (2005-04-30) (Tribeca)
  • May 6, 2005 (2005-05-06) (United States)
  • July 14, 2005 (2005-07-14) (Australia)
Running time 113 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[2]
Box office $68,766,121[2]

House of Wax (also titled Wax House, Baby)[3] is a 2005 American-Australian horror film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and stars Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams, and Robert Ri'chard. It is sometimes called a remake of the 1953 film of the same name, which was itself a remake of the 1933 film Mystery of the Wax Museum, but the 2005 film's plot is completely different from the story told by the two earlier films.


In 1974, a woman is making a wax sculpture in the kitchen while her son eats breakfast in his highchair. Her husband enters with another son who is shouting and kicking. The boy is forced into a highchair and strapped in place. He kicks the table, causing her sculpture to fall onto the floor and scratch his mother's hand. She ends the commotion by slapping the misbehaved child across the face.

In 2005, Carly (Elisha Cuthbert); her twin brother, Nick (Chad Michael Murray); her boyfriend, Wade (Jared Padalecki); her best friend, Paige (Paris Hilton); Paige's boyfriend, Blake (Robert Ri'chard); and Nick's friend, Dalton (Jon Abrahams) are on their way to a highly anticipated football game in Louisiana. Night falls and the group decides to set up camp for the night. A hideous smell wafts through the air, but they ignore it. The campsite is later visited by a stranger in a pickup truck who shines his lights at the campsite, but refuses to leave or address them until Nick smashes one of the pickup truck's headlights with a bottle. The next morning, Wade find his car's fan belt to be damaged. Shortly after, while in the woods, Paige and Carly smell that same smell from the night before. While looking for its cause, Carly falls in a carcass-filled area in the forest. While rescuing her, the group runs into a disheveled, rural man named Lester (Damon Herriman), who offers to drive Wade and Carly to the nearby town of Ambrose to get a new fan belt, while the rest of them go to the football game.

The two arrive at Ambrose, which is virtually a ghost town. Unable to find an attendant at the auto mechanics shop, they wander into the church, disrupting a funeral. There, they meet a mechanic named Bo (Brian Van Holt), who offers to sell them a fan belt after the funeral. While waiting for the service to end, the two teens visit the wax museum, which itself is made of wax and is the central feature of the town. Afterward, they follow Bo to his house to find a proper fan belt. Wade follows Bo into his house, and gets stabbed by a mysterious figure in the dark. Outside, Carly learns that Bo's car is the same one that visited them the night before. She gets attacked by Bo and runs to the church, only to find that the ongoing funeral is populated only by wax sculptures. She is captured by Bo and imprisoned in a cellar, taped to a chair with her lips glued together. Meanwhile, Wade is brought to a room, where the figure strips him of his clothes and is shaved by the figure. The figure then straps him to a chair and sprays wax all over his naked body.

Due to standstill traffic, Blake, Paige, Nick and Dalton realize they're not going to make it to the game in time, and return to the campsite. Nick and Dalton offer to head to Ambrose to fetch Carly and Wade while Paige and Blake remain at the campsite.

In Ambrose, also finding the town completely vacant, Dalton and Nick split up. Dalton heads to the wax museum, and he encounters a wax-covered Wade sitting by a piano. After noticing he was alive, Dalton tries to remove the wax, but ends up tearing his cheek away. The mysterious figure appears, cuts off half of Wade's mouth and chases Dalton. While running, Dalton falls downstairs and is beheaded and his body being dragged off by Vincent. Meanwhile, Nick finds Bo and asks him about Carly's whereabouts. While attempting to catch her brother's attention, Carly gets her finger chopped off by Bo. She tears her own lips open and screams for help. Nick finds and saves her, while Bo disappears. Soon after, they realize that the only inhabitants of the town are the sons of the wax museum's proprietors, who have been trapping their victims for the creation of wax sculptures.

Back at the campsite, Paige and Blake are about to have sex when Blake hears a noise outside and leaves to investigate, leaving Paige in the tent by herself. The killer, who Paige at first mistakes for Blake, enters the tent. Paige flees the tent and trips over Blake who has been stabbed in the neck. She gets up and flees to an abandoned sugar mill while the killer shoves the knife further into Blake's neck, killing him. Paige arrives at the sugar mill, but the killer stabs her in the foot from underneath. Paige hides in a car using a pole as a weapon. The killer finds her, but she escapes again, dropping the pole and hiding behind another car. Thinking that the killer had left, Paige stares through the car window only for the killer to throw the pole she dropped earlier through the car window, penetrating her forehead and killing her instantly.

The two owners, Bo and the mysterious figure Vincent Sinclair were conjoined twins separated at birth by their father (Dr Sinclair), during which process Vincent was horribly disfigured. His father attempted to fix it by building him a wax mask.

Bo soon finds them and chases Carly and her brother Nick to a movie theatre. She runs away, and Bo is shot twice with an arrow by Nick. While in the wax house, the duo are chased by Vincent, and set fire in the building's basement to cut their attackers off. While running from Bo and Vincent, Nick and Carly then head further reaching the wax museum. In one room they see Wade with half his mouth taken off, and a traumatized Carly wants to help him, but Nick pulls her away. The fire then spreads through the museum, slowly melting it down. Carly soon bludgeons Bo with a baseball bat, and runs upstairs, having Vincent going after her. Nick attempts to follow them, but his leg gets stuck in the melting stairs. As he frees himself and goes up, the first floor melts down. Carly kills Vincent and the duo escapes from the wax museum as it melts to the ground, burying the two tragically disturbed brothers in their own work.

The next morning, the smoke from the fire has drawn help from outside and police and rescue workers sift through evidence throughout the town. The sheriff informs the group that the town has been abandoned for a decade, since its sugar mill closed down, and it does not even appear on maps anymore. Over the radio, police discuss the Sinclair had a third son. The film closes and implies that Lester, who had driven the teens to the town earlier, is the third son.



The film was originally titled Wax House, Baby before Warner Bros. realized they had permission to use the title House of Wax.[3] Posters and advertising banners were printed with the Wax House, Baby title. Principal photography of House of Wax took place in Queensland, Australia in 2004.[4]


In January 2006, it was announced by Warner Roadshow studio owners Village Theme Park Management and Warner Brothers Movie World Australia that they were suing special effects expert David Fletcher and Wax Productions because of a fire on the set during production.

The $7 million lawsuit alleges that the Mr. Fletcher and Wax Productions were grossly negligent over the fire which destroyed part of the Gold Coast's Warner Bros. Movie World studios. The alleged grounds of negligence included not having firefighters on stand-by and using timber props near a naked flame. The set where the fire broke out has now been demolished and a field kept for Movie World for future projects.[5]


Box office[edit]

Opening in 3,111 theaters, the film grossed $12 million in its first three days. Though most critics did not recommend the film, many of them acknowledged that it was well made and/or better than other recent similar films. House of Wax earned $70,064,800 worldwide. 46.6% of that total came from domestic receipts. House of Wax also earned $42,000,000 in VHS/DVD rentals.[6]


The film received negative reviews from critics despite being considered better than other teen flicks, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 25% "rotten" rating, with the general consensus being "Bearing little resemblance to the 1953 original, House of Wax is a formulaic but better-than-average teen slasher flick." Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars, writing "House of Wax is not a good movie but it is an efficient one, and will deliver most of what anyone attending House of Wax could reasonably expect, assuming it would be unreasonable to expect very much." He also defended Hilton's performance, saying that "she is no better or worse than the typical Dead Post-Teenager, and does exactly what she is required to do in a movie like this, with all the skill, admittedly finite, that is required".

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Subject Result
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Paris Hilton Won
Worst Picture Joel Silver
Robert Zemeckis
Susan Levin
Worst Remake or Sequel Joel Silver
Robert Zemeckis
Susan Levin


House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture
Commercial soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various, John Ottman
Released May 3, 2005 (commercial), May 10, 2005 (score)
Genre Soundtracks
Film scores
Alternative metal
Gothic rock
Length 50:41 (commercial), 41:46 (score)
Label Varese Sarabande
Alternative cover
Score soundtrack

House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture is the title of a publicly released soundtrack used for House of Wax, consisting of commercially recorded songs.[7] A second album, simply titled House of Wax, was released containing the film score, composed by John Ottman.[8]

House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture
No. Title Performer Length
1. "Spitfire"   The Prodigy featuring Juliette Lewis 5:08
2. "Helena"   My Chemical Romance 3:52
3. "Minerva"   Deftones 4:17
4. "Gun in Hand"   Stutterfly 3:29
5. "Prayer"   Disturbed 3:38
6. "Path to Prevail"   Bloodsimple 3:17
7. "Dried Up, Tied and Dead to the World"   Marilyn Manson 4:15
8. "Dirt"   The Stooges 7:00
9. "Not That Social"   The Von Bondies 3:00
10. "Cut Me Up"   Har Mar Superstar 3:10
11. "New Dawn Fades"   Joy Division 4:46
12. "Taking Me Alive"   Dark New Day 4:43
Total length:
Original Motion Picture Score
No. Title Length
1. "Opening/Tantrum"   3:28
2. "Ritual/Escape the Church"   4:15
3. "Story of the Town"   1:39
4. "Up in Flames"   3:42
5. "They Look So Real"   2:16
6. "Sealed Lips"   3:56
7. "Brotherly Love"   2:28
8. "Hanging with Baby Jane"   3:36
9. "Paris Gets It"   3:07
10. "Curiosity Kills"   2:33
11. "Bringing Down the House"   5:08
12. "Three Sons"   2:28
13. "Endless Service"   2:45
Total length:

There is a song appearing in the film which is not integrated in the Soundtrack. It is "Roland" by Interpol, and appears in the scene when the group decides to camp over the night at the beginning of the film.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HOUSE OF WAX (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b "House of Wax (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  3. ^ a b CineAction, 68th issue, 2006, page 8. "Joel Silver remarks 'So, we had gotten the clearance for the name "House of Wax", which had been the title of a previous film released in the 1950s. We were getting ready to finish work on advertising when someone said "stop, we can't call it that." I thought I had missed a meeting, or that the licensing office had made an error. In actuality, the crewmember didn't know we had clearance for the name, and had been an avid fan of the original "House of Wax". [...] We finished production on the posters and commercials and billboards that read "Wax House, Baby" when we found out we had the proper naming rights, so we had to start over again.'"
  4. ^ House of Wax at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "House of Wax burns down Warner Bros sound stages". Joblo. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  6. ^ "House of Wax Box Office & Rental Numbers". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  7. ^ "House of Wax commercial soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  8. ^ "House of Wax orchestral score soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 

External links[edit]