House of Wax

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
House of Wax Movie Poster Image
Bloody slasher film is nothing like the original.
  • R
  • 2005
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Psychotic killers make victims into wax figures for their museum.

Violence

Brutal, bloody assaults on college-age victims.

Sex

Paris Hilton strips to underwear.

Language

Some strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer and smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie contains repeated gross-out horror images, including skin ripping off faces; bodies subjected to stabbing, chopping, and piercing; girls screaming and weeping; shotguns blasting; deer carcasses rotting; bugs crawling; even a finger being cut off with wire cutters. The killers keep fetuses in jars, blame their mother, and target boys and girls equally, though Paris Hilton is the only victim to strip to her red bra and panties and give her boyfriend (off-screen, but plainly indicated) oral sex. The killer superglues one girl's mouth shut, and she cuts it open so it bleeds and she can summon help; characters drink, smoke, and use harsh language.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJk12345 June 14, 2017

Great, slasher flick, gory

I would say mabe younger teens, but tottaly not, younger kids, can get quite disturbing, this movies cool so if you like slashers this is for you.
Adult Written byerica921 November 29, 2014
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

WOW!! I'm shocked...

I Tivo-ed this movie a couple nights ago and just finished watching it. I was shocked at how decent it truly was. I was expecting just another fun throw away... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJustaperson623 April 18, 2017

Good movie but a little bloody

This movie is great. There is a lot of sex, violence, etc. so I would recommend for mature ten and up year olds.

What's the story?

HOUSE OF WAX begins with a camping trip for friends Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) and Paige (Paris Hilton), their boyfriends, gentle Wade (Jared Padalecki) and lusty Blake (Robert Ri'chard), Carly's twin brother Nick (Chad Michael Murray), and Dalton (Jon Abrahams). Around the campfire, they drink, smoke cigarettes, act bored, and make out. The next morning, Carly falls into a pit of bloody, rotted fleshy muck, where a character named only "Roadkill" (Damon Herriman) tosses decayed carcasses. When Wade's Mustang mysteriously breaks down, Wade and Carly accept a ride in Roadkill's smelly pickup truck. They wind up in the small, forgotten town of Ambrose and a literal "House of Wax" (inside are wax figures, wax walls, wax furniture, wax floors), where the victims and eventual survivors are repeatedly frightened, caught in the dark, tied up, cut, and tortured.

Is it any good?

This is a remake of the Vincent price film in name and gimmick only; in all other respects it's a brutal slasher film, in which pretty young people are horribly killed one by one. By the time they finally reach Ambrose, the film has already taken too long -- the first half's pacing is deliberate, as if the premise needs careful exposition, which it does not.

The climax is predictably bloody, as well as fiery (to underline the film's inconsistent religious iconography). Good twins Nick and Carly triumph over bad twins Bo and Vincent (both played by Van Holt, one with scarred, waxed over face, indication of his general sickness). Most alarming, the movie leaves open the possibility of a sequel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters' extreme dimwittedness; and how, even for generic plotting, their willingness to explore sinister places and walk headlong into obvious trouble is remarkable. Initially at odds, Carly and her twin brother Nick learn to get along as their friends are killed off; families might discuss their display of sibling bonding, except that they are paralleled by the killer twins, once conjoined, now just thoughtlessly murderous. Families can also talk about the stereotypical representation of the villains as underclass and vaguely rural.

Movie details

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