House of Wax (2005 film)

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House of Wax
House Of Wax movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJaume Collet-Serra
Written by
Based on"The Wax Works"
by Charles S. Belden
Produced by
CinematographyStephen F. Windon
Edited byJoel Negron
Music byJohn Ottman
Distributed byWarner 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]
  • United States
  • Australia
Budget$40 million[2]
Box office$70.1 million[3]

House of Wax is a 2005 slasher film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes. The film stars Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt in a dual role, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams and Robert Ri'chard. It is a loose remake of the 1953 film of the same name, itself a remake of the 1933 film Mystery of the Wax Museum,[4] based on the story "The Wax Works" by Charles S. Belden.

House of Wax premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released in United States theaters on May 6, 2005, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film grossed over $70 million worldwide and received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized its lack of originality, screenplay and characters, but praised the performances and atmosphere.


Siblings Carly and Nick Jones, along with their friends Wade, Paige, Blake, and Dalton are on their way to a football game. The evening before the game, the tired teens decide to camp overnight in a secluded wooded area, finding it too late to travel any further. That night, a stranger in a truck arrives unexpectedly, and watches them intently. Blake and Dalton ask the driver to leave, and when their request is ignored, Nick throws a bottle at the car's headlight, smashing it. The truck subsequently leaves, but as the teens sleep, they are filmed without their knowledge by a mysterious figure. Carly is awakened after hearing a noise, but finds nothing upon investigation. The next morning, Wade discovers his car's fan belt is broken and Carly trips and falls into a large pit of roadkill. The group comes to her aid and afterwards meet a man by the pit named Lester, who offers to drive Carly and Wade to the nearby town of Ambrose for a new fan belt, while the rest head to the game.

Carly and Wade arrive outside of Ambrose, which appears initially as a ghost town. They meet the gas station owner Bo Sinclair, who offers to sell them a fan belt later in the day. In the meantime, the duo visit the local House of Wax, a wax museum which is itself made of wax and is the central feature of the town. Later that night, the pair follow Bo to his house to get the fan belt and Bo offers the house's restroom to Wade. While exploring, Wade is ambushed by Bo's disfigured brother Vincent, who brings him to his workshop in the basement of the House of Wax and covers his body in molten wax. Carly notices that Bo's truck has a broken headlight and comes to the realization that he was the one who visited the campsite the night before. She attempts to escape from Bo but he abducts her, restraining her in the gas station's cellar and gluing her mouth shut.

Stuck in traffic on their way to the football game, Paige and Nick convince Blake to turn the car around and return to the campsite. Dalton and Nick head to Ambrose to find Carly and Wade, while Blake and Paige stay behind to have sex. Arriving at the gas station, Nick talks with Bo, who plies off the tip of Carly's finger when she escapes her restraints and attempts to get Nick's attention from the cellar. After tearing her mouth back open, Carly's cries for help are successful, and Nick fends off Bo before freeing Carly. Meanwhile, Dalton explores the wax museum, discovering Wade, who is unable to move in his wax coating. Dalton attempts to free him, but is ambushed and murdered by Vincent.

Carly and Nick realize the wax figures are actually the wax-coated corpses of visitors lured into Ambrose. As they take refuge from the Sinclairs in the house, Carly finds newspaper clippings revealing that Bo and Vincent were born conjoined twins and their father had surgically separated them, leaving Vincent’s face heavily disfigured. The House of Wax was the brainchild of the Sinclairs' mother Trudy, who died before its completion. Bo and Vincent now attempt to fulfill their mother's vision, but Bo has begun to manipulate his brother into murdering people to make the wax figures look more realistic.

After killing Blake near the campsite, Vincent chases down Paige and impales her. Carly and Nick hide in the House of Wax and discover Dalton's wax-coated body in Vincent's workshop before being attacked by the Sinclairs. Nick sets the room on fire, leading to a building-wide inferno, while Carly beats Bo to death. After Vincent chases Carly upstairs, she attempts to reason with him about his brother's manipulation but she and Nick manage to stab and kill him. The siblings then escape from the building as it melts to the ground.

The next day, the police arrive and report about how Ambrose had been abandoned for years. As Nick and Carly are taken to the hospital, they pass Lester, who is suspected to be the Sinclairs' third son. Lester smiles and waves them goodbye as they are driven out of town.



House of Wax was filmed at Warner Bros. Movie World, Australia. The Town set was constructed a few miles down the road, off Hollindale Road, in the Guanaba area.[5]


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.[6]


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.[7] On July 13, 2021 a collector's edition Blu-Ray of House of Wax was released by Scream Factory[8] in the US & Canada.


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 27% based on 160 reviews and the average rating is 4.29/10. 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."[9] 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".[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[11]

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."[12] Film critic Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post, gave the film four out of five stars, calling it a "guilty pleasure" and wrote that it gives horror fans exactly what they want.[13] 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."[14] Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle called it boring and poorly-acted, though he complimented Cuthbert and Murray.[15] 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".[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Subject Result Ref
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Paris Hilton Won [17]
Worst Picture Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis & Susan Levin Nominated [18]
Worst Remake or Sequel Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis & Susan Levin Nominated [18]
Teen Choice Awards Best Actress: Action/Adventure/Thriller Elisha Cuthbert Nominated [19]
Best Actor: Action/Adventure/Thriller Chad Michael Murray Won [20]
Best Horror Film House of Wax Won [20]
Best Scream Scene Of The Year Paris Hilton Won [20]
MTV Movie Awards Best Scared-As-Shit Performance Paris Hilton Nominated [21]
International Film Music Critics Association Best Original Score for a Horror/Thriller Film John Ottman Nominated [22]


House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various, John Ottman
ReleasedMay 3, 2005 (commercial)
May 10, 2005 (score)
Film scores
Alternative metal
Gothic rock
Length50:41 (commercial)
41:46 (score)
LabelVarese Sarabande

House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture is the soundtrack for House of Wax, consisting of commercially recorded songs.[23] A second album was released containing the film score composed by John Ottman, and was simply titled House of Wax.[24]

House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture
1."Spitfire"The Prodigy featuring Juliette Lewis5:08
2."Helena"My Chemical Romance3:22
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

One song from the film does not appear on the soundtrack: "Roland" by Interpol appears in the scene at the beginning of the film when the group decides to camp overnight. 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 (2005) Film Locations - Global Film Locations". 25 April 2016.
  6. ^ "House of Wax burns down Warner Bros sound stages". Joblo. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  7. ^ "House of Wax Box Office & Rental Numbers". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  8. ^ "Scream Factory Sets July 13 Date for Collector's Blu-ray for 2005's 'House of Wax,' With Paris Hilton – Media Play News". Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  9. ^ "House of Wax (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  10. ^ House of Wax reviews, retrieved June 11, 2019
  11. ^ "House of Wax – CinemaScore".
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (2005-05-05). "House of Wax". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  13. ^ Hunter, Stephen (2005-05-06). "'House of Wax': Come On In, The Horror's Fine". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  14. ^ LaSalle, Mick (2005-05-06). "From waxy buildup to final meltdown, a scary but fun ride". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  15. ^ Westbrook, Bruce (August 5, 2005). "House of Wax". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Finlay, Janie (2006-03-05). "Razzies pluck 2005 movie turkeys". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  18. ^ a b "Sequels and remakes get Razzie nods". United Press International. 2006-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  19. ^ "FOX Announces Nominees for "The 2005 Teen Choice Awards"". The Futon Critic. 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  20. ^ a b c "'Notebook' wins eight Teen Choice awards". USA Today. Associated Press. 2005-08-15. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  21. ^ "Virgin on Top for MTV Movie Awards". Spin. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  22. ^ "2005 IFMCA Awards". International Film Music Critics Association. 3 January 2009. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  23. ^ "House of Wax commercial soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  24. ^ "House of Wax orchestral score soundtrack". Soundtrackinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-29.

External links[edit]