We have officially entered spooky season, with an onslaught of horror titles already beginning to climb their way up the viewership rankings on every major streaming service. Fans will check out anything with even the merest hint of blood and guts in the buildup to Halloween regardless of quality, so we can expect some stinkers to find a new lease of life over the coming weeks.
One of them already has, with the dire House of Wax retread steadily encroaching on Netflix’s Top 20 most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol. The 2005 remake of the 1953 original that was itself inspired by a 1933 film was creatively bankrupt from the second it was given the green light, and it’s about as uninspired as you’d expect given those origins.
You can tell from almost the first second that this is a studio horror film from the mid-2000s; not only does the soundtrack feature My Chemical Romance, Disturbed, Deftones and Har Mar Superstar, but Paris Hilton gets a plum supporting role because she was hugely popular at the time, and certainly not as a byproduct of her acting abilities.
First-time director Jaume Collet-Serra has gone on to much bigger and better things, but at least House of Wax got his foot in the door. Despite being equally dismissed by fans and critics sixteen years ago, the formulaic teen slasher has enjoyed a spooky season boost by experiencing an unexpected resurgence on the world’s most popular streamer.