Monday, January 7, 2013
House of Wax (1953) review
Any movie I've seen with Vincent Price has been pretty good because of his haunting acting and the creepiness the film creates. This one is no exception; there's plenty of creepy imagery to be found along with Price, but does it stand the test of time?
PLOT:Professor Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) was a great artist of wax sculpting and used to own his own wax museum with his beautiful creations bound up inside. However, his museum is burned down after a jealous investor burns it down from not getting Jarrod's money. Later on down the road, Jarrod is never found and the investor is in wealth, yet, he one day is found mysteriously hanging from a noose in an elevator shaft. While the cops are trying to solve this mystery, another one is forming involving corpses vanishing from the morgue. Also, a certain Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) is being followed home by a strange and ugly figure, terrorizing her. Things really pick up when Jarrod is discovered not dead and crippled in a wheelchair with helpers starting his new wax museum. It's a big hit, but the wax dummies have a little too much of a striking resemblance to real people. It's a good plot executed greatly.
ACTING:The performances in here weren't the best, and might be a little dated, but some still are good today. Vincent Price played a creepy and passionate role as Professor Henry Jarrod. Nobody else really stood out like he did in this. The other shiners, however, would be Phyllis Kirk as Sue Allen, Paul Cavanagh as Sidney Wallace, and Paul Picerni as Scott Andrews.
SCORE:The score wasn't the best I've heard, but it was pretty good still. It didn't do anything real special.
EFFECTS:The effects in this movie are pretty good. The make-up effects for the character(s) are very well done and creepy. The best effects would have to be of the wax dummies melting in the fire. The camera is aimed at them at such an angle and timing that it actually does give you the creeps.
OTHER CONTENT:This movie was probably a dead ringer for a good horror film in its time, especially with the introduction of the 3D effects, and probably had a high entertainment value. The movie had great dialogue and was full of suspense, but it's still rather dated. Some of the scares and thrills shot in here aren't as scary as they probably were back then, especially with the 3D. Plus, this movie is easily classified as more a horror for entertainment with a couple laughs and the 3D thrills induced in it. It's still a pretty great horror film today, but the test of time has worn it down a great bit from what it has been.
OVERALL,a great horror film with a good plot, mainly dated acting aside from Price, unimportant score, creepy make-up and wax effects, great dialogue, and lots of supsense, but a lot of the scares and such appear to be dated and for pure entertainment.