House of Wax

Rated NR

This by-name-only remake of the 3-D classic starring Vincent Price almost qualifies as a decent slasher flick, but it falls short in the end. Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray star as siblings who join their friends for a camping trip and wind up being pursued by psychotic twins who have turned a whole town, and its inhabitants, into wax. Brian Van Holt manages some creepy moments as the twins, and director Jaume Collet-Serra manages some nice, atmospheric chills early on. Unfortunately, the movie goes haywire in its final act. The twins have actually constructed a large museum structure made entirely of wax (floors, furniture, roof, etc.) and it’s too ridiculous to accept, even in a horror movie. Too bad, because this one had the makings of a passable genre picture before it went totally berserk. Paris Hilton takes a javelin through the head, a moment that brought rousing applause in the screening I attended.

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