‘House of Wax’ not all it’s ‘cracked’ out to be

Erika Kreider

Wax on, wax off! Chad Michael Murray and Elisha Cuthbert get scared in House of Wax.

Credit: Erika Kreider

“That’s hot.”

The phrase Paris Hilton tried to trademark does not fail to slide its way into the horror film, House of Wax. It’s there for all you Hilton lovers who will go to see the movie just to see her.

This remake of the 1953 film is now known as “the movie Paris Hilton is in,” except she only plays a minor role.

The movie starts out by learning how the killer of the movie was raised and what made him who he is today. I give the director, Jaume Serra, a lot of credit for this since most horror movies never show why the killer is actually a killer.

The movie cuts to present day when six college-aged friends decide to take a road trip to see a football game. On the way there, they all get tired so they camp out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Dumb move number one.

In the middle of the night, a man in a truck comes and shines his lights on the camp site, but the group of friends stays there anyway. Dumb move number two.

Surprisingly, one of their cars breaks down, and the group has to find a fan belt to fix it. The six friends split up and two of them go with a crazy deer–carcass-collecting man to a nearby town. Dumb move number three. This is when the killing spree starts and never stops.

The mechanic conveniently can’t help them right away, so the two friends wander into The House of Wax, a wax museum.

All of the wax models are real people who’ve been murdered by the town killer, yet somehow no one outside the town knows how all the people came to be made out of wax.

At this point, the plot dies along with first victims, and the main idea of the movie shifts to who gets killed next.

Through the lame lines and acting, the movie surprisingly kept my interest. Honestly, I think everyone in the movie theater was on edge because there were waiting for Hilton’s character, Paige, to get killed. SPOILER ALERT! When she did get killed, everyone clapped and cheered. Everyone except my silly roommate, who yelled, “I like Paris!”

The movie climaxes when only two friends are left in the house made out of wax. There are fires blazing all over, people are sinking in wax, weapons being flung … basically it was kind of exciting. No action-filled stunts, though, but the most action this movie has to offer.

The movie sets were impressive, since the whole house was made of wax and all. Even though I cheated and saw “The Making of House of Wax” on MTV and knew they weren’t really running through flaming hallways, it was still cool to see.

The ways the murderer kills people is also pretty gruesome. Not to give it away, but one killing is done by slitting the back of someone’s ankles. Ew.

I love that Hilton is moving into movies, trying to brush up her reputation, but the character she plays does not help her improve it.

Her character is filmed making out with her boyfriend and stripping for him. Not like we haven’t seen Hilton doing that in a movie before.

Enough teasing Hilton — at some parts she impressed me with her acting.

The more experienced actress, Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door, “24”) boosts herself into a wider genre of movies with this role. The dialogue between her and the other actors makes it evident she has more experience.

Chad Michael Murray plays the badass in the movie. At first you want to hate him because of his attitude, but then love him because he is so cute. He adds to the horror movie stereotype of rooting for the good guy based on his cuteness.

I think I liked House of Wax, somewhat, because I’m not a movie buff, and I only take movies for the surface level. If this doesn’t describe you, don’t go see this.

It has a few laughs, gross parts and brutal murders, but it also has bad acting and a lame plot.

Maybe it’ll make you walk out saying, “That’s hot;” maybe it’ll make you walk out saying, “That’s not.”

Contact Pop Arts reporter Erika Kreider at [email protected].