House of Wax has got to be the loopiest Doublemint commercial ever made. Starring not one but three sets of errant twins — fraternal teens, fraternal serial killers, and Paris Hilton’s (fraternal) tweens — it takes more cues from ’70s slash-and-gash than the J horror inspiring the recent spate of psychological terrors (the Ring franchise, vanilla bean Boogeyman). And, lo, it’s got little in common with the 1953 Vincent Price vehicle of the same name. Except for, well, wax.
This House poises a gaggle of road-tripping teens at the wrong campsite. Enter a bone-squelching, squirting set of murders, dumber-than-dirt dialogue (like, my cell reception totally sucks, you guys!) and a lot of innuendo between future has-been Chad Michael Murray as Goofus to his scrappy-sexy twin Elisha Cuthbert’s Gallant. A tortured artist who wears an ominous mask and is ace with a blade. A goofball sidekick with the now-standard video camera. A black stud making it with a flaxen nymphette, as interpreted by Paris-Barbie Hilton. Box-office gold, in other words, for who’d resist watching that corporation-unto-herself put into, uh, bankruptcy once and for all? With no less than a pole rammed through her least vital organ, as my colleague delicately pointed out.
Which brings me to my three cents:
1. Never has a movie invited more Mystery Science 3000 narration. Best for DVD, albeit with the parental warning: To be watched in the comfort of your own snark.
2. Any Moral Majority that would have me as a member (or is that any member that would have me as its Moral Majority?) would be protesting the movie’s violence-as-porn already.
3. I am convinced that the under-25 airess has submitted to botox already. Insert Paris Hilton wax joke here, dollbabies. I’m just too underwhelmed.