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House of Wax Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    When the cast starts wondering where the roadkill is, someone says, "Follow the smell." Good tip: That's how you'll know where Wax is playing.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    This is slash and burn strictly by the numbers. There's never an ounce of doubt where the movie's going; the only suspense is how long it's going to take to get there and how high the body count is going to get.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Except for when Paris is on screen giving us the winking sex eye, Wax is just a museum of gory, joyless, easy shocks.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Acting is similarly routine with the glorious exception of Hilton, who is so bad she steals the show.

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  • See all House of Wax reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Bloody slasher film is nothing like the original.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie contains repeated gross-out horror images, including skin ripping off faces; bodies subjected to stabbing, chopping, and piercing; girls screaming and weeping; shotguns blasting; deer carcasses rotting; bugs crawling; even a finger being cut off with wire cutters. The killers keep fetuses in jars, blame their mother, and target boys and girls equally, though Paris Hilton is the only victim to strip to her red bra and panties and give her boyfriend (off-screen, but plainly indicated) oral sex. The killer superglues one girl's mouth shut, and she cuts it open so it bleeds and she can summon help; characters drink, smoke, and use harsh language.

  • Families can talk about the characters' extreme dimwittedness; and how, even for generic plotting, their willingness to explore sinister places and walk headlong into obvious trouble is remarkable. Initially at odds, Carly and her twin brother Nick learn to get along as their friends are killed off; families might discuss their display of sibling bonding, except that they are paralleled by the killer twins, once conjoined, now just thoughtlessly murderous. Families can also talk about the stereotypical representation of the villains as underclass and vaguely rural.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Psychotic killers make victims into wax figures for their museum.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Brutal, bloody assaults on college-age victims.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Paris Hilton strips to underwear.

  • language false3

    Language: Some strong language.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink beer and smoke cigarettes.