Against the odds – and by “odds,” I mean the fact that it’s a remake and it employs Paris Hilton – “House of Wax” is entertaining.

“Wax” borrows the main idea – a crazed artist who makes figures by dipping people in wax – from the 1953 “House of Wax” with Vincent Price. But the new “Wax” is closer to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in that it’s about a bunch of horny road trippers who stumble into an abandoned house where most of them will be butchered.

The new movie takes a half-hour to get going, but its grip is solid once the hotties fall under the spell of the bad guys (one of whom resembles midperiod Ozzy Osbourne). “Wax’s” unsettling appeal is similar to last year’s “Saw,” with the torture chambers, the experimentation on live humans and the eerily lifeless figures of the wax people.

It’s a grisly movie, but it doesn’t rely on the Ick Factor to affect us. “House of Wax” is suspenseful, well-paced and, other than Hilton, capably acted. The actors make the characters compelling because, unlike the dolts in many slasher movies, they are resourceful people – right up until the moment they become resourceful candles.


RATING: 3 stars

STARRING: Chad Michael Murray

DIRECTED BY: Jaume Collet-Serra

RATED: R, for gruesome violence and strong language

SHOULD YOU GO? It’s much better than you’d expect a movie that hires Paris Hilton to be.

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