House of Wax – inspired by the 1953 film of the same moniker and opening in theaters May 6 – stars Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki and Brian Van Holt.
"The first one is very creepy," says Hilton of the 1953 original. "This one is definitely scarier and sexier [because] of the really hot cast."
Cuthbert agrees with Hilton about the film, which was written by Chad and Carey Hayes, directed by Juame Serra and produced by Dark Castle Entertainment.
"As much as it feels like a Scream, we’ve definitely upped the gore dramatically," Cuthbert says. "It’s punchier than any other teen horror [film]. It’s a lot of fun, but there’s so much where you’re like, ‘Oh, my God.’"
The film follows Carly (Cuthbert), her brother Nick (Murray), her boyfriend Wade (Padalecki), her best friend Paige (Hilton) and two other friends on a road trip to a college football game. When they take what should be a shortcut, the group gets lost in the back-roads of Louisiana. They decide to set up a makeshift camp in the woods and rest before the next day of travel.
Carly tries to keep the peace between Nick and Wade until a strange trucker interrupts their tussle. Nick, in keeping with his bad-boy image, throws a bottle at the truck as it drives away.
The next morning, the fan belt of Wade’s car has been cut. Carly and her beau then venture into the woods to find a small, out-of-the-way town they’ve heard about. What they find, however, is a deserted town with a house of wax as its centerpiece.
Cuthbert says she enjoyed playing Carly as a person with problems rather than a distressed girl that needed the aid of others to keep her alive.
"I liked the idea [of the film], but above all, I liked the character and what her journey is in the film. She goes through a lot of things with her brother, with the struggle and the physicality," she says. "Carly is proactive in solving the situation by going in and taking care of what she needs to do. She fights back and that’s what I love about [her]."
Predictably, once they arrive in town, all hell breaks loose. Padalecki, who plays the typical oblivious boyfriend type, says he understood what he had to do with his character.
"When I took this role, I knew what I was doing," he says. "I needed to be the guy that people wanted to beat up. I never got to play a role before where curiosity killed the cat and I’m the cat."
Murray ventures to the town in hopes of finding Cuthbert and Padalecki, and they become trapped in trying to escape a place ruled by two psychotic brothers, both of whom are played by Van Holt.
Hilton is put to the test toward the middle of the film when her character meets her end at the hands of the film’s villain.
"It was pretty brutal. It took like two days to shoot [and] we would shoot from like midnight until 9 a.m.," says Hilton of her final sequence. "[But] I thought it was the coolest death scene in the whole movie."
The rest of the plot plays out pretty much like every other teen horror, but House of Wax does throw a few curveballs along the way. The film’s creepiness factor, extreme gore and complete disregard for its main heroine manage to separate Wax from its predecessors.
With a cast full of good-looking, young celebrities, entertaining plot twists and a visually stunning finale, it’s safe to say that House of Wax is everything you’d expect it to be and a little more.
House of Wax releases in theaters May 6.