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
Based on The Wax Works
by Charles S. Belden
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography Stephen F. Windon
Edited by Joel Negron
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 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]
  • United States
  • Australia
Language English
Budget $40 million[2]
Box office $70.1 million[3]

House of Wax 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 based on a story by Charles Belden. It is a loose remake of the 1953 film of the same name,[4] itself a remake of the 1933 movie Mystery of the Wax Museum. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released in US theaters on May 6, 2005.


In 2005, Carly Jones, her twin 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, after which a foul smell hangs in the air. 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 car's fan belt is broken. Carly and Paige wander into the woods, where Carly tumbles down a hill and falls into a pit filled with rotting 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 'House of Wax', a 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. Inside, Wade is knocked out by Bo's twin brother, Vincent, who is wearing a wax mask to cover his disfigured face, since they were conjoined, with Vincent's face attached to the back of Bo's head and separated as children. Outside, Carly realizes Bo is the one who visited them the night before, after noticing his car's broken headlight. She runs to the church for help but finds out that it is populated only by wax sculptures. Bo captures Carly and brings her to the cellar of the gas station, where she is restrained, with her lips glued shut. Meanwhile, Vincent strips Wade naked and straps him to a chair, where he is both injected with and covered in molten wax.

Nick, Dalton, Paige and Blake realize they will not arrive at the game in time and return to the camp site. 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 manages to tear 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 because of 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 beheads him. Meanwhile, Nick and Carly realize that all 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, just as Blake and Paige are about to have sex, Vincent arrives and kills Blake, after which he chases Paige to an abandoned sugar mill where he kills her by throwing a pipe through her forehead. 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. It is revealed that Bo is the "evil" twin and Vincent is the "good" twin; following their parents' death, Bo has been controlling the more mild-mannered Vincent through physical and verbal abuse. After a chase, 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 entire museum. Enraged by his brother's death, Vincent chases Carly to the top floor, but Nick attacks him, allowing Carly to stab him. His body falls through the floor, landing on top of his brother Bo'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 Sheriff learns that Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair had a third son. From inside the ambulance, Carly sees Lester (supposedly the third brother) with the Sinclair dog, waving them goodbye as the van leaves the town.



In January 2006, Village Roadshow Studios owners Village Theme Park Management and Warner Brothers Movie World Australia announced 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]


Opening in 3,111 theaters, the film grossed $12 million in its opening weekend. House of Wax earned $70 million worldwide,[3] $32 million of which came from North American receipts.[2] House of Wax also earned $42 million in VHS/DVD rentals.[6] The film premiered at several festivals, including Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Critics Circle, Tribeca Film Festival, Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, among others.


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 25% based on 151 reviews; 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] On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 41 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[9]

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 said of Hilton's performance 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."[10] Film critic Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post called it a "guilty pleasure" and wrote that it gives horror fans exactly what they want.[11] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle rated it 4/5 stars and wrote, "After a month, no one will talk about this movie again. Still, with a picture like this, there is really only one question: Is it fun? Yes. Lots. Definitely."[12] [13] Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle called it boring and poorly-acted, though he complimented Cuthbert and Murray.[14] A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote, "The set design is fairly elaborate by the standards of the genre, and the victims don't die in precisely the order you might expect, but everything else goes pretty much according to formula".[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Subject Result Ref
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Paris Hilton Won [16]
Worst Picture Joel Silver
Robert Zemeckis
Susan Levin
Nominated [17]
Worst Remake or Sequel Joel Silver
Robert Zemeckis
Susan Levin
Nominated [17]
Teen Choice Awards Best Actress: Action / Adventure / Thriller Elisha Cuthbert Nominated [18]
Best Actor: Action / Adventure / Thriller Chad Michael Murray Won [19]
Best Horror Film House of Wax Won [19]
Best scream scene of the Year Paris Hilton Won [19]
MTV Movie Awards Best Scared-As-Shit Performance Paris Hilton Nominated [20]
International Film Music Critics Association Best Original Score for a Horror/Thriller Film John Ottman Nominated [21]


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

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.[22] A second album, simply titled House of Wax, was released containing the film score, composed by John Ottman.[23]

House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture
1."Spitfire"The Prodigy featuring Juliette Lewis5:08
2."Helena"My Chemical Romance3:52
4."Gun in Hand"Stutterfly3:29
6."Path to Prevail"Bloodsimple3:17
7."Dried Up, Tied and Dead to the World"Marilyn Manson4:15
8."Dirt"The Stooges7:00
9."Not That Social"The Von Bondies3:00
10."Cut Me Up"Har Mar Superstar3:10
11."New Dawn Fades"Joy Division4:46
12."Taking Me Alive"Dark New Day4:43
Total length:50:41

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 "House of Wax (2005)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  4. ^ Jowlabar, Sharmila. "House of Horrors". Tribute. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  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. ^ House of Wax reviews, retrieved 2016-10-24
  9. ^ "House of Wax – CinemaScore".
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (2005-05-05). "House of Wax". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  11. ^ Hunter, Stephen (2005-05-06). "'House of Wax': Come On In, The Horror's Fine". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  12. ^ LaSalle, Mick (2005-05-06). "From waxy buildup to final meltdown, a scary but fun ride". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Westbrook, Bruce (August 5, 2005). "House of Wax". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
  15. ^ Scott, A. O. (2005-05-06). "House of Wax: Paris Hilton and Friends, Pursued by Maniacs With a Fondness for Wax". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  16. ^ Finlay, Janie (2006-03-05). "Razzies pluck 2005 movie turkeys". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  17. ^ a b "Sequels and remakes get Razzie nods". United Press International. 2006-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  18. ^ "FOX Announces Nominees for "The 2005 Teen Choice Awards"". The Futon Critic. 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  19. ^ a b c "'Notebook' wins eight Teen Choice awards". USA Today. Associated Press. 2005-08-15. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  20. ^ "Virgin on Top for MTV Movie Awards". Spin. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  21. ^ "2005 IFMCA Awards". International Film Music Critics Association. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  22. ^ "House of Wax commercial soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  23. ^ "House of Wax orchestral score soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29.

External links[edit]