House of Wax (2005)★★★☆☆
This is another one of those teen slasher films that doesn’t have anything going for it except a relatively familiar cast. “Wait,” you might be thinking, “doesn’t Paris Hilton give this one something special?"*
No. No, she doesn’t. In fact, I probably would have rated this one higher if Paris Hilton hadn’t been involved. She’s the only one of the group who can’t act (seriously, even her screams aren’t believable), and I found myself distracted by hoping she’d just die already.
(Warning: some spoilers ahead) Sadly, it’s more than 45 minutes into the movie before anyone dies, and it’s not Paris Hilton. That means it’s not until halfway through that the scary stuff really begins, which would be okay if the first half did a better job of building a suspenseful mood or sympathetic characters. Instead it uses a booming, over-the-top background score to evoke a (questionably) creepy mood as the main characters make one stupid decision after another.
However, once the action got started, it was basically non-stop until the end. Also, I do like the songs chosen for the soundtrack, and the cast includes a few of my favorites from the early 2000s (most notably Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray), so it wasn’t all bad.
If you’re not looking for something that will make you think, and you’ve got the stomach for some significant blood and gore, you might enjoy (at least the second half of) this movie.
* No one has ever really asked me this question, thankfully.