House of Wax (1953)

I caught this movie on television by chance and I just have to say, it was well worth it. The film was remarkably filmed to the point where it looks like something from the 1970s or 1980s, not from the 1950s. Additionally, an early version of surround sound was created for this film's theatrical release but this audio has been lost. Three-dimensional elements were also provided in the film's original release. Similar to the high production values, the plot was of a similar high quality.

The plot begins with a wax museum, run by Professor Henry Jarrod, which is loved by many. His business partner, Matthew Burke, is not one of them, and wants to collect on the insurance by burning down the museum. He does so, but Henry Jarrod tries to fight him off and extinguish the flames, but is unsuccessful. Jarrod is shortly afterward murdered by a man in a cloak, who makes this death seem like a suicide. Some days later, his body is taken from the morgue. Just a few weeks later a similar death occurs with Burke's finacee, complete with her corpsebeing removed from the morgue too. A third, friend and roommate to Burke's fiancee, Sue Allen, narrowly escapes the same fate. Later, it has been revealed that Jarrod is still alive and is looking to construct a new house of wax, but this time he wants to, by the means of his partners Leon and Igor Averill, make it a house of horrors. (As a side note, Jarrod's hand were burned by this point). Sue goes to the opening of the new house of wax, but notices something odd in the replica of Joan of Arc. That is Joan of Arc looks much like Sue's deceased roommate. Upon talking to Jarrod, Sue learns that Jarrod used, according to him, newpaper photos of Sue's deceased roommate in order to make Joan of Arc, he then convinces Sue to be used as a model for Marie Antoinette. She reluctanly agrees to this, butnot without sharing her suspicions tothe authorities. Upon reaching the house of wax, and having been welcomed into be the model for Marie Antoinette, Sue is then shown by Jarrod, by the removing of Joan of Arc's hair, that the sculpture is, indeed, a casting over Sue's deceased roommate's body and that HE is the murderer, Jarrod then states that Sue is next to undergo such a process. But as this is occuring, the authorities arrive, having learned information from Leon, who was detained (in events prior to the film's setting he hada criminal record), and they arrive, arresting Igor and Jarrod, who refuses to give up without a fight,taking them on single handedly, he succeeds but falls into a vat of wax. Sue is saved by a hair's breadth, thus concluding the story.

I understand that the plot summary above was very dry, but do not let this fool you about the film, while it is centered around a plot twist, it manages to be successful in coming across not altogether contrived in its execution, giving the plot logic and integrity. This is a solid film and is well worth a watch. Recommended!

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