Jared Padalecki’s Gory Horror Film Is Killing It On Streaming

Jared Padalecki starred in House of Wax, which is currently a top ten streaming movie on HBO Max.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

Jared Padalecki in House of Wax

Jared Padalecki may be best known for his role as Sam Winchester in the spooky drama Supernatural, but he also starred in a cult classic horror film the same year the first season of Supernatural was released. That film is 2005’s House of Wax, and it’s currently killing it on HBO Max. According to FlixPatrol, the film is currently sitting at number seven on HBO’s Top Ten.

House of Wax was a remake loosely based on the 1953 film of the same name, which itself was based on the 1933 film Mystery of the Wax Museum, which in turn was based on the story The Wax Works by Charles S. Belden. House of Wax was the directorial debut of Jaume Collet-Serra and was co-written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. Along with Jared Padalecki, the film starred Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt, Damon Herriman, Paris Hilton, Jon Abrahams, and Robert Ri’chard.

House of Wax follows a group of teens who end up in a ghost town with a strange wax museum. They must fight to survive and avoid becoming the next people to be put on display in the frightening exhibit. The movie is definitely a B-movie horror, but the performances from actors like Elisha Cuthbert and Jared Padalecki help to make the film more enjoyable.

The film is also a snapshot of early 2000s Hollywood, especially in the horror genre. You have actors like Chad Michael Murray and Jared Padalecki, a soundtrack with songs from bands like My Chemical Romance and Deftones, and a starring role for none other than Paris Hilton. If you wanted to show someone a time capsule of the early 2000s, you could do worse than showing them House of Wax.

Paris Hilton’s appearance in the movie was a point of contention for horror fans of the moment, which the movie absolutely capitalized on by releasing marketing merch that said “See Paris Die,” which Paris herself wore to promote the film. While Hilton’s performance isn’t going to necessarily impress anyone, it’s still a fun performance that ended up winning the Golden Raspberry for Worst Supporting Actress at the Razzies and Best Scream Scene of the Year at the Teen Choice Awards. Clearly, casting stars like Paris, Chad Michael Murray, Elisha Cuthbert, and Jared Padalecki worked because the movie also made a pretty good amount of money.

House of Wax managed to pull in $32 million at the domestic box office and $36 million at the international box office, bringing in around $70.1 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. It’s a bit surprising that the budget was so high for the film, but presumably, a lot of that budget went to paying stars like Jared Padalecki and Chad Michael Murray. However, since it was the early 2000s, there was still plenty of money to be made in the VHS/DVD market, which House of Wax did by earning $42 million in rentals.

It’s pretty safe to say that House of Wax isn’t a good movie by any means, but it’s certainly a fun movie and a perfectly serviceable B-movie slasher. If you want to see one of Jared Padalecki’s earlier projects and see a slasher that stars Paris Hilton, then House of Wax is your answer. Just don’t expect a masterpiece when you turn it on.

Since House of Wax, Jared Padalecki’s career has gone onward and upwards. As mentioned, House of Wax was released the same year as the first season of Supernatural, a show which became incredibly popular and helped put Padalecki’s name on the map. While House of Wax was critically panned, the same can’t be said for the long-running CW drama series.

Jared Padalecki returned to the horror genre in 2009 when he starred in the Friday the 13th reboot that also starred Danielle Panabaker, Aaron Yoo, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, and Derek Mears. That film also had negative reviews but made a ton of money, so that might explain why Padalecki has stayed clear of horror reboots since then. Of course, he has been plenty busy otherwise.

Jared Padalecki’s Supernatural finally ended its long run in 2020, though there’s now a prequel series that follows Dean and Sam’s parents. Meanwhile, Padalecki has found a new home on the CW in the Walker, Texas Ranger remake series Walker. It seems like Western remakes are a better fit for Padalecki than horror remakes, but you can still check out House of Wax on HBO Max now if you’re interested.