Thursday, May 05, 2005

House of Wax

House of Wax (Director: Jaume Collet-Serra)

Serra is a music video director and this is his first film. This is a remake of the 1953 Vincent Price film I've not seen but apparently it's really different. Written by twin brothers Chad and Carey Hayes, this is also their first really big movie although they did a lot of TV, including "Baywatch."

This is horror movie number 10 of the year (it's at least number 7, since a couple of those movies may not qualify as bonafide horror films), and the trend of absolute shit continues. This is a 6-reel movie, which is too long for a horror film in the first place, but when it takes 2 entire reels (approximately 34 minutes) to even get to your titular subject, the movie can appear to be even longer.

First off, the twin brothers Hayes write in two different sets of twins. One set of twins is Carly and Nick Jones (goddess Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray) and the other set of twins is Bo and Vincent (both played by Brian Van Holt--Vincent is covered in a mask that looks like Crispin Glover crossed with Mike Myers from Halloween). Does anything really come from this duality, this irony? What do you expect from "Baywatch" writers, anyway? This is one of those films I have to blame on screenplay more than anything--director Serra does, I think, what he can with the source material.

And further, we have almost an entirely new genre that you could make into a wing at Blockbuster video--redneck horror. You could start with Deliverance even though that's more of an adventure tale, then you could put The Texas Chainsaw Massacres side-by-side, Wrong Turn, and then Cabin Fever, and this one. It's always a group of friends going somewhere, they take a shortcut, they end up running into foul hicks. There's nothing scarier than being in the woods and some hayseed, or a group of hayseeds, playing out their sick, unreasonable homicide games. This place is so backwoods, it doesn't even appear on the GPS!

Oh, did I forget to mention Paris Hilton, Jon Abrahams, and Robert Ri'chard, who are along with the gang, just minding their own business, trying to get to a Florida football game? They are completely non-essential characters. There's even a half-assed attempt to make Hilton's character Paige worth caring about before she dies. She's dating Ri'chard's Blake character, and she might be pregnant. One of the dumbest scenes in the movie shows her do a little strip tease for her horny boyfriend, all looking like she wants to get down and dirty, and then cuddling up with him and saying, "I need to talk to you." I'm kind of surprised Hilton allowed scenes involving a video camera and supposed sexual acts, too. Then again, maybe I'm not.

Perhaps the only real horror comes with Jared Padalecki's character Wade, Carly's boyfriend. The movie could have used more scenes like this, because shit, we're in the House of Wax people! This is what's supposed to be scary, right? The wax people are real! But really, the movie's focus is more on the brothers--and what a bunch of bullshit that is, an obvious leaning from the screenwriters.

This is like buying a ticket to a real house of wax and only seeing a bunch of candles on display. The movie really has no focus at all, and where it focuses is really unsatisfying.


At 5/05/2005 03:10:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Mmmmm...sounds waxy.

Remember those crappy candies when we were kids, wax shaped like bottles with half an ounce of juice in there....and you had to bite off the tip of the wax bottle to get the juice to come out?

What the hell was up with that candy, eh?

Actually, I originally thought the title of this movie was House of Whacks, meaning a house where several people get murdered.

Either way, it doesn't sound all that interesting to me...unless Elisha Cuthbert is going to be biting those wax pop bottle candies in the movie. I'd pay to see that....


At 5/05/2005 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I do remember that candy. It ranks right up there with circus marshmallows and that crap that came in either a black or orange wrapper. Although, if Cuthbert would bite into a few of the wax things they would rank a bit higher on my list.


Post a Comment

<< Home