Wednesday, June 27, 2012
House of Wax (2005)
What the hell? A mainstream slasher starring Paris Hilton? Yep, that's what you can await when you're entering The House of Ninja Dixon! The thing is that I've always really enjoyed House of Wax, since I first saw it in cinema and nowadays on DVD (haven't upgraded it to BD yet - if it's even out on that format?). This is the first time in years I've seen it again thanks to Kit Gavin, of all people on this earth. He did some joke about Paris Hilton's brain and that triggered me to give it a new spin to see if it was as good as I remember it to be.
This House of Wax differs quite drastically from all the other versions out there and reminds me more about Tourist Trap than anything else. Not a bad thing if I can be honest, because this gives nice teen-slasher spin on the classic tale. This time a bunch of youths comes to small town after having engine trouble and gets killed one by one by a wax-masked killer. Everyone except Paris Hilton and the dude playing her boyfriend, she gets killed somewhere else. Sorry for that spoiler. But before they die they also realizes that the whole town is fake with wax figures as the only inhabitants... except the killer of course!
Damn, I'm getting lazy. But it's just so friggin' boring to write down a synopsis of such a generic storyline, and I guess most of you here knows exactly what's gonna happen anyway without having seen the movie. But what I want to say is that House of Wax still is a very good horror movie with very good directing by Jaume Collet-Serra. This was the first time I saw a more "realistic" style in a modern slasher movie, and with that I mean more handheld camera, naturalistic (yes, I think so) acting and a grittiness that haven't been seen for a while in big budget American horror movies.
Sure, the clichés is there: horny kids, stupid kids, retarded killer - but its till feels fresh and most of all, very brutal and nasty. I've seen more graphic movies with more gore and splatter, but Collet-Serra's steady hand makes everything so much more violent. The ideas is sadistic and the execution of them is even more sadistic. It takes us down an unpleasant mainstream-road where few of us have been before. Compared to some low budget movies, Italian shockers and Asian weird cinema this movie is a kids movie, frakkin' Teletubbies in comparison! But still.
One of the strongest assets of House of Wax is the actors, who's given much more time than usual to work with their characters and delivers a script with a lot more character development than usual. Hell, even Paris Hilton is quite good here and has one of the best deaths in the movie. I love how her character wants to confess something to her boyfriend, but never gets a chance to say it - and I guess she's pregnant, which makes her death even more powerful. But the best of the bunch is Brian Van Holt in a dual role, the redneck-charming Bo and the fucked-up Vincent. Bo is one of those characters I hate the most. Totally unreliable, but still damn charming and sympathetic - but you KNOW you shouldn't trust him and still you do!
The murders are all graphic and bloody, including a baseball bat toe the face that some people compared with Irreversible. When I watched it today I can't see the similarity - except the basic idea of someone bashing a baseball bat in the face of something - but it still packs a good punch, but is very far from the gruesome scene in Gaspar Noé's classic.