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PCR # 267  (Vol. 6, No. 18)  This edition is for the week of May 2--8, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"House of Wax"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
One star

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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 by William Moriaty
"House of Wax"
 by Mike Smith
Special Preview:
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Hold The Pickle, Hold The Lettuce....Straight Up....Jaws: The Story, Part 17
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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt and Paris Hilton
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 54 mins

In the past few years, Paris Hilton has made quite a name for herself. There's her very popular television show, "The Simple Life," which shows her as a rich fish out of water. Then of course there was her "home movie" that found it's way to the Internet. Now, in "House of Wax," she finds herself with her first major film role. Good thing she's got that TV show.

Based on the classic 3D film of the '50s starring Vincent Price, "House of Wax" is an almost 2-hour long exercise in bad film making. The very scant story line: a group of teenagers (Cuthbert, Murray and Hilton among them) decide to take a road trip to see a big college football game in Florida. Rather then drive all the way there in one trip, they decide to camp out in a large field. During the night they are visited by a mysterious pick up truck with bright lights shining. After a few moments, the truck drives off and the kids hit the sack. The next day they discover one of their cars now needs a new fan belt. So they split up. One group decides to go to the game while two of them (Cuthbert and Jared Padalecki) decide to hitch a ride with a local who has stopped to help and told them that the closest town is 15 miles away. Once they get to town, they come across the HOUSE OF WAX. I use bold type because every time they walk past, towards or near the HOUSE OF WAX the camera slowly pans up to the large words reading HOUSE OF WAX while eerie music plays. Curious to check it out, they discover that the HOUSE OF WAX really is a house of wax. The walls, floors, even the furniture are made of wax. Once inside they discover a world where time has stopped but evil still goes on.

How do you describe a film where Paris Hilton is actually one of the best parts? The woman obviously has a sense of humor as we first meet her being videotaped making out with her boyfriend. Actually, along with Cuthbert and Murray, Hilton turns in a pretty good performance. What brings this film down is the terrible dialogue and ludicrous plot twists that make this movie seem twice as long as it is. I grew up in Florida and I find it hard to believe that a building made entirely of WAX would survive a week in the sun, let alone years. Not to mention all of the classic horror movie cliches. Teens on a road trip. They take a short cut. Now they're lost. Mysterious truck. Mysterious local guy who looks like he just stepped off the set of "Deliverance." They split up. Isn't that a spooky looking building? Let's look inside. All of these went through my mind as I watched the film, usually a minute before they happened on screen. The violence is over the top and the shocks are so telegraphed that people around me were whispering to themselves what was going to happen next. I will say that the make up effects were well done and the whole idea of a building made entirely out of wax was pretty interesting. Of course, it would have made more sense if it had been set in Alaska. To sum it up, this is the 2nd best Paris Hilton film I've seen this year.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "House of Wax"  One star

This week's movie review of "House of Wax" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.