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
Produced by
Written by
Based on
The Wax Works
Music byJohn Ottman
CinematographyStephen F. Windon
Edited byJoel Negron
Distributed byWarner 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
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 Charles Belden, Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes, based on a story by Belden. 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]

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.


Carly Jones, her brother Nick, and their friends Wade Felton, Paige Edwards, Blake Johnson, and Dalton Chapman are on their way to a football game in Louisiana. The night before the game, they camp in a field. A stranger in a pickup truck arrives, then leaves when Nick smashes one of his headlights. The next morning, Wade discovers that his car's fan belt is broken and Carly falls into a pit of rotting animal carcasses. After rescuing her, the group meet Lester, who drives Carly and Wade to the nearby town of Ambrose for a new fan belt while the rest head to the football game.

Carly and Wade arrive in Ambrose, which is virtually a ghost town. At the local church, they find a funeral in progress and meet Bo, who offers to sell them a fan belt after the funeral. While waiting, they visit "Trudy's House of Wax", a wax museum which is itself made of wax and the central feature of the town. They follow Bo to his house to get the fan belt, where Bo's twin brother Vincent, who wears a wax mask to cover his facial disfigurement from when the twins were once conjoined, cripples Wade and knocks him unconscious. Carly notices Bo's truck has a broken headlight and realizes that he was the one who visited the campsite. Bo abducts Carly, restraining her in the gas station cellar and gluing her lips shut. Meanwhile, Vincent covers Wade's body in molten wax.

Realizing they will not arrive at the game in time, Paige and Blake return to the campsite while Nick and Dalton look for Carly and Wade in the town. When Carly tries to alert Nick, Bo cuts off her finger tip but she tears her lips apart and screams for help. Nick fends off Bo and frees Carly while Dalton finds Wade, who is unable to move in his wax coating. Dalton tries to free Wade by peeling off the wax from his face, inadvertently removing his skin in the process. Vincent then ambushes Dalton by slashing Wade's face, killing Wade instantly from shock, before chasing, cornering and finally decapitating Dalton. Carly and Nick realize the wax figures are actually the wax-coated corpses of visitors lured into town, Bo had been manipulating Vincent into murdering people to make more realistic wax figures.

Vincent kills Blake at the campsite and chases Paige to an abandoned sugar mill, where he throws a metal pipe through her forehead, killing her. Bo and Vincent return to chase Carly and Nick into the House of Wax. Nick unintentionally starts a massive fire, causing the figures, as well as the entire museum, to start melting. Bo stabs Nick in the leg and Carly beats Bo to death with a baseball bat. Upon seeing him dead, Vincent chases Carly to the top floor where she tries to reason with him about his brother's treachery but, with Nick's help, is able to stab him in the back. Falling through the floor, Vincent's body lands on top of Bo's corpse. Carly and Nick escape as the building melts to the ground.

The next morning, the police arrive and report that Ambrose has been abandoned for ten years since the sugar mill shut down. As Nick and Carly are taken to hospital, the police learn the Sinclairs had a third son, revealed to be Lester. From inside the ambulance, Carly spots Lester with the Sinclairs' family dog, waving 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 Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 26% based on 157 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."[8] 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".[9] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[10]

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."[11] 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.[12] 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."[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
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 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 Romance3:22
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

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. ^
  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. ^ "House of Wax (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  9. ^ House of Wax reviews, retrieved June 11, 2019
  10. ^ "House of Wax – CinemaScore".
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (2005-05-05). "House of Wax". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  12. ^ Hunter, Stephen (2005-05-06). "'House of Wax': Come On In, The Horror's Fine". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  13. ^ LaSalle, Mick (2005-05-06). "From waxy buildup to final meltdown, a scary but fun ride". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  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]