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
Written by
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 $68.8 million[2]

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


In 1974, a woman makes a wax sculpture as one of her sons eats breakfast. Her husband enters with another son. After being strapped and taped into his chair, he scratches his mother's hand. Then she slaps the child across the face.

In 2005, Carly Jones, her brother Nick, her boyfriend Wade, her best friend Paige, Paige's boyfriend Blake, and Nick's friend Dalton are on their way to a football game in Louisiana. When night falls, the group sets up camp. A stranger in a pickup truck visits their campsite, shines his lights, and refuses to leave or address them until Nick smashes one of his headlights. The next morning, Wade discovers that his fan belt is broken. Carly and Paige wander into the woods, and Carly falls down a hill, into a pit filled with animal carcasses. After rescuing her, the group meets a strange, rural man named Lester, who offers to drive Carly and Wade 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 gas station, they wander into the church, disrupting a funeral. There, they meet a mechanic named Bo, who offers to sell them a fan belt after the funeral. While waiting for the services to end, Carly and Wade visit the wax museum, which itself is made of wax and is the central feature of the town. The gas station does not have the right size fan belt, so they follow Bo to his house. Wade is knocked out by Bo's brother, Vincent. Outside, Carly realizes Bo is the one who visited them the night before, after noticing the broken headlight. She runs to the church for help, but finds that it is populated only by wax sculptures. Bo captures her and brings to the cellar of the gas station, where she is restrained. Meanwhile, Wade is stripped naked, shaved, and strapped to a chair, being covered in wax.

Nick, Dalton, Paige, and Blake realize they will not arrive at the game in time and turn around. Nick and Dalton arrive in Ambrose to find Carly and Wade. Nick visits the gas station, where he questions Bo about Carly's whereabouts. When she tries to gain Nick's attention, Bo cuts off the tip of Carly's finger, but she tears her glued lips apart and screams for help. Nick fends off Bo and frees Carly. Meanwhile, Dalton finds Wade, who is still alive but unable to move due to the wax. Attempting to peel off the wax, Dalton realizes that he is unintentionally removing Wade's skin in the process. Vincent finds Dalton and slashes Wade's face with a machete, killing him. After a chase through the museum, Vincent catches Dalton and decapitates him. Meanwhile, Nick and Carly realize that all of the town's inhabitants are real people covered in wax; Bo and Vincent have been luring people in and covering them in wax to make the figures look more realistic.

At the campsite, Vincent kills Blake and chases Paige to a sugar mill, where he kills her. Nick and Carly return to the house to find Wade and Dalton. When Bo and Vincent return, they chase Carly and Nick to the House of Wax, where Carly beats Bo to death with a baseball bat. Nick unintentionally sets the House of Wax on fire, and the wax figures start to melt, as does the whole house. An enraged Vincent chases Carly to the top floor, but Carly and Nick stab Vincent. His body falls through the floor, and he lands on top of his brother's corpse. Carly and Nick escape the House of Wax as it melts to the ground.

The next day, the police arrive and report that Ambrose has been abandoned for ten years when the local sugar mill failed. As Nick and Carly are taken to a hospital, the policeman reveals Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair had a third son. From inside the ambulance, Carly sees Lester, who smiles and waves goodbye.



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.[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 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 is 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]


Rotten Tomatoes reports that 25% of 151 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 4.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "Bearing little resemblance to the 1953 original, "House of Wax" is a formulaic but better-than-average teen slasher flick."[7] Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film two -out- of-four stars and wrote, "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."[8]

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
House of Wax soundtrack cover.jpg
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.[9] A second album, simply titled House of Wax, was released containing the film score, composed by John Ottman.[10]

House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture
No. Title Performer Length
1. "Spitfire"   The Prodigy featuring Juliette Lewis 5:08
2. "I Never Told You What I Do For A Living"   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. The song that plays during the end credits is "Helena" by My Chemical Romance.

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. ^ Mallinder, Terry (2015-01-12). "Queensland's horror filled history". NewsMail. Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  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 (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (2005-05-05). "House of Wax". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  9. ^ "House of Wax commercial soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  10. ^ "House of Wax orchestral score soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 

External links[edit]