House of Wax ★★★½

In the pantheon of "Dark Castle" production films, "House of Wax" is one of those that has aged pretty well, much like "The House on Haunted Hill." It seemed like a lot of these film, which were mostly remakes of beloved horror classics, had a pretty bad backlash against them when first released, but if you look at them now, the gore holds up, the acting is hokey, but fun, and if you look at the cast, it was normally always a who's who of The WB and The CW stars. It was the proving ground for the stars of tomorrow!

"Wax" is pretty standard slasher fare as teens slowly meet their fate at the hands, and knifes, of the killer. There's a fun little twist at the end when it comes to the killer and there's even a little ode to "Friday the 13th Part 2" with Elisha Cuthbert, who I just kind of like in general.

One of the biggest complaints in this film is probably the inclusion of Paris Hilton as a star and many people probably thought her involvement was a blatant cash-in on just her name and infamous Night Vision Blowjob video. And sure, point taken, but wasn't any type of slasher-type film in the mid-2000s trying to cash-in on celebrities and the zeitgeist?

Regardless, match this with a great MTV-inspired soundtrack, and you have all the makings of a schlock-fest that still entertains, at least me, today.

-Matt

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