"Disgusting, Unwatchable Images"
What You Need To Know:
Learning the murderer’s motivations is interesting in a campy horror movie way, but watching him work over his victims is horrifying and disgusting. The gore in this movie is repugnant, making HOUSE OF WAX boil over with unwatchable images. The characters are flat, two-dimensional, and not cunning enough to find their way out of a corn maze. Truly, the only content in HOUSE OF WAX is the slayings. With so many forms of escapist entertainment available, it’s very disheartening that people choose to see sociopathic movies like this.
(HH, LLL, VVV, SS, N, AA, D, M) Strong humanist worldview with no hope for people subjected to cruel torture, and no discernible moral code even for the heroes; 28 obscenities, including ‘f’ words, and nine profanities; gory violence includes people cut and stabbed, man tortured and covered in hot wax, woman’s lips glued shut, woman’s finger cut off, woman impaled, man decapitated, skin cut and peeled, a pit of decaying animals, intense chases, and other gruesome acts; oral sex occurs off-screen, sexual discussion, fornication implied, and cohabitation; woman scantily dressed, woman shown from back in bra, plus upper male nudity; frequent alcohol use; smoking; and, insane character terrorizes people, vandalism and trespassing.
HOUSE OF WAX begins as a creepy thriller but devolves into a revolting parade of sadistic torture and murder. A group of college students sideline their road trip to camp in the Florida woods. They make a gruesome discovery in the morning and wander into a small town.
After exploring the deserted House of Wax, which was once a tourist attraction, Carly and her boyfriend, Wade, find a friendly gas station attendant who can help fix their car. It does not take long, however, before the attendant is revealed to be a madman who murders Wade and traps Carly. Their friends come looking for them, and the cast is thinned out quickly.
With their special country charm and Oedipal obsessions, the killers equally suggest Anthony Perkins’s hotel clerk in PSYCHO and the mountain people from DELIVERANCE. Learning Vincent the murderer’s motivations is interesting in a campy horror movie sense, but watching him work over his victims is horrifying and disgusting. The gore in this movie is way over the top, and the camera rarely cuts away.
It seems that there is currently a rash of horror filmmakers locked in a race to dream up the most vile, in-your-face murders imaginable. The results of their unofficial contest, splayed on your local theater’s screens, are highly disturbing. Movies like KILL BILL 2, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and SIN CITY turned up the heat, but HOUSE OF WAX boils over with disgusting, unwatchable images.
The characters are flat, two-dimensional, and not cunning enough to find their way out of a corn maze. The script is lifeless and seems to have been written by a middle-aged man imitating teenagers (the truest tip-off comes when these coeds repeatedly ask, “What’s his beef?”). Truly, the only content in HOUSE OF WAX is the slayings.
With so many forms of escapist entertainment available, it’s puzzling – and very disheartening – that people choose to see sociopathic movies like this one. Fans of the 1950s version of HOUSE OF WAX with Vincent Price will be outraged by Modern Hollywood’s mindless theft of a great title.