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House of Wax: Collector's Edition (2005) - Blu-ray Review

House of Wax: Collector's Edition

He’s really being the monster today!  Why can’t he be more like his brother?

With those two sentences, audiences are immediately thrust into the chaos that is 2005’s House of Wax.  That opening, in which two bent out of shape parents struggle with their wild twin sons, is probably the most disturbing this horror film gets, BUT at least we have a few tips of the hat to keep our interest in the proceedings along the way to the closing credits.

 

"Even if some of the performances are a bit of a let-down, there is a nice atmosphere kicking about in its engine,"


Cue the Marilyn Manson and the Disturbed songs!  Now on blu-ray in a Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory, House of Wax gets a second chance at being appreciated thanks to its slightly growing fanbase and, well, maybe the Paris Hilton road head scene.  I mean, this horror film is pretty basic but it does deliver a couple of solid scares thanks to Trudy’s House of Wax, the center point of Ambrose, Louisiana and its beyond creepy atmosphere once things get started in this slasher.  

 

Yes, it is in fact a ghost town where Carly Jones, her brother Nick, and friends Wade Felton, Paige Edwards, Blake Johnson, and Dalton Chapman decide to camp on their way to a football game.  Their mistake.  The horror begins when a shifting wind brings an absolutely horrible smell their way.  Something is dead out there, but the gang can’t be bothered to investigate and so they keep on partying it up in this open field.

Starring Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams, Robert Ri'chard, and Brian Van Holt in a dual role, House of Wax deals with the fate and the fury of twins Bo and Vincent, who were once conjoined.  They are the kids at the opening of the movie and they have grown into adults when things get started.  Vincent wears a max to hide his scars from the surgery, but Bo hides nothing . . . even is thirst for blood.  The targets?  That’s right, the whole crew of young adults who discover that they are soon to be the ghosts in this ghost town.House of Wax: Collector's Edition

With some solid kill sequences involving wax and the ripping of flesh from the bone, House of Wax knows the average age and the expectations of its audience.  And it delivers on that note, no matter how routine it is.  The House of Wax, which is completely made out of wax, is interesting enough and delivers some great atmosphere - even when the cast fails to deliver the correct tone. 

Expect nothing more from this story, with a screenplay written by Chad and Carey Hayes, and you will probably be okay.  I mean, this remake doesn’t really feel like the original and, except for borrowing only a couple of elements from the ‘53 flick, tries to do something different, complete with weird smells, an engaging backstory, and lots and lots of backwoods hillbilly antics involving throwing roadkill in a pit.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, Unknown, The Commuter), House of Wax is competently made and keeps its energy up throughout its running time.  Even if some of the performances are a bit of a let-down, there is a nice atmosphere kicking about in its engine, which is probably why Scream Factory selected it for a Collector’s Edition, which features new interviews with Paris Hilton, special effects coordinator Jason Baird, and composer John Ottman.

It’s probably just a wax thing.  House of Wax: Collector’s Edition is now on blu-ray from Scream Factory.

3/5 beers

House of Wax: Collector's Edition

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- July 13, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Thrills and chills ooze all over you in House Of Wax, from Dark Castle Entertainment and legendary horror producers Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis (Ghost Ship, House On Haunted Hill).  When their car breaks down on a road trip, six college friends are sidetracked into an eerie backwoods town. Curiosity gets the better of them when they are intrigued by its macabre House of Wax. They soon find out that the town is not what it seems, and that they must find their way out before they fall victim to its ghoulishly inventive killers.

Video:

House of Wax is presented in this crackling Collector’s Edition courtesy of Scream Factory.  It is a new scan of the 2K interpositive.  The kills look fresh and appropriately bloodied.  The ghost town at the center of the tale is loaded with details unseen before.  Overall, the film looks gloriously fresh in 1080p and buzzes with a new sense of urgency as the crisp visuals are punctuated in a way I previously had not noticed.  The buildings within the town are rich with details and bold black levels, as is the Wax Museum.  Interiors, especially in the museum itself, are solid and expressive.  Black levels are strong throughout, revealing layers in the shadows as the building from top to bottom is presented with warmth and clarity.

Audio:

With an English DTS-HD Master Audio Surround 5.1 as its source for sonics, this new release simply doesn’t disappoint.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None.  But, honestly, do we need it?

Special Features:

Complete with a NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive, this Collector’s Edition is a nice addition to any Hound of Horrors blu-ray library.  Of course, with a film like this, the supplemental items are probably more interesting than the movie itself.

  • NEW Die, My Darling – An Interview With Actress Paris Hilton
  • NEW The Tale Of Blake And Paige – An Interview With Actor Robert Ri’chard
  • NEW Organ Grinder – An Interview With Composer John Ottman
  • NEW To Me, They Live And Breathe – An Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Jason Baird
  • B-Roll And Bloopers Video Cast Commentary
  • From Location: Joel Silver Reveals The House Of Wax
  • Wax On: The Design Of House Of Wax
  • The House Built On Wax: The Visual Effects Of House Of Wax
  • Alternate Opening: Jennifer Killed
  • Gag Reel
  • Vintage Interviews With Cast And Crew From The Electronic Press Kit
  • Vintage Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

House of Wax: Collector's Edition

MPAA Rating: R for horror violence, some sexual content and language.
Runtime:
113 mins
Director
: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer:
Chad Hayes; Carey W. Hayes
Cast:
Chad Michael Murray; Paris Hilton; Elisha Cuthbert
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Gejagt. Ermordet. Zur Schau gestellt. (Hunted.Murdered.Displayed.).
Memorable Movie Quote: "You're just gonna let 'em leave like that? That guy's a freak, he throws dead animals in a pit for a living."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 6, 2005
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 13, 2021.
Synopsis: When their car breaks down on a road trip, six college friends are sidetracked into an eerie backwoods town. Curiosity gets the better of them when they are intrigued by its macabre House of Wax. They soon find out that the town is not what it seems, and that they must find their way out before they fall victim to its ghoulishly inventive killers.

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House of Wax: Collector's Edition

 

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