So... were you planning to skip this one because Paris Hilton is prominently featured in it? 

Or maybe because it has nothing to do with another little picture called HOUSE OF WAX that's earned something of a reputation in our world? (Hey, there IS a character named Vincent, at least... but calling this TOURIST TRAP would have been more accurate for something that wants to SOUND like a remake!) 

Were you going to give this one a miss because you figured (correctly) that the characters would be a bunch of superficial stick figures? Yeah, you've got the "normal" couple anchoring things at the beginning, you've got the blonde arm candy, you've got the black friend who just HAS to be introduced via pounding rap music, you've got the doofus with the camcorder and you've got the belligerent "criminal type" that you just know is gonna turn out to have his heart in the right place after all. Hoo boy. 

So you can safely write off the new HOUSE OF WAX from Dark Castle? 

Your loss. 

Without the slightest bit of irony or sarcasm I have to inform you that the film just plain WORKS in spite of itself. The characters ARE disposable. The believability is out the window (let's just START with the concept of the literal "house of wax" itself and THEN go to town). But this is still the best Dark Castle film since their impressive start with the HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL remake. The look of the film is fantastic. The pacing is surprisingly slick, given the unusual length of the project (almost two solid hours). The gore sequences are sharp, nasty and cringe-inducing ("take it easy, man--I'll get you out of this")... and even the characters (hollow as they may be) are watchable (you will DEFINITELY want to pay attention to Ms. Hilton, as she gives you what you want... and I'm not even referring to her striptease number!!!). 

No, it's simply the grand scale of the film that makes it work. We are NOT in Kevin Williamson's Smartass Land, where everyone pretends that they're above the material. No--we're in a realm where people remember why the material has endured as long as it has... so they just get in there and PLAY it. And they make it LOOK new even when it isn't. 

You sit through the last twenty minutes of this film, no matter how preposterous you might find it in "reality" and tell me it wasn't worth seeing on the big screen. Knowing it's coming is NOT the same thing as watching HOW it happens and HOW they pull it off. This is "old school" done for today's fans... but done RIGHT.

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