Experience the third dimension with House of Wax on Blu-ray

House of Wax 1953

It’s Throwback Thursday, and it’s October. What does that mean? A whole month of Thursdays looking back at classic horror. First up, the film that made Vincent Price a horror icon and brought 3D to the masses, ‘House of Wax.’

House of Wax on Blu-ray is the movie to change your mind about 3D TV.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary, although it’s not billed as such on the packaging, Warner Brothers has produced a beautiful new Blu-ray edition of the film complete with a 2D or 3D option. If you’ve been on the fence about 3D TV and turned off by sloppy conversions, House of Wax is the film to change your mind. Warner Brothers previously released Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder on 3D Blu-ray, and the results were good but not great with some image ghosting here and there. House of Wax goes miles above that presentation with a beautifully color-saturated image and amazing depth. You almost feel as if you could reach deep into your TV screen, and you’ll find yourself ducking when things are thrown at the camera, including that notorious paddle ball. The image is sharp with some fine film grain, and this is probably the best the movie has ever looked. Unfortunately, the four-track stereo tracks have been lost, but the DTS-HD 2.0 audio is just fine.

The Blu-ray includes an informative commentary track and an entertaining new documentary.

The Blu-ray also include the original Mystery of the Wax Museum, which has not been restored in any way. The film is scratchy and the color has faded, but it’s still fun to see and compare the two films (and Fay Wray is the heroine). The disk also includes an audio commentary (available in both the 2D and 3D versions) by filmmaker Constantine Nasr and film historian David Del Valle, which is very informative about the making of the movie and the stars, but Nasr’s comments seem to be read from a script and there is minimal interaction between the men, even though they were both in the room at the same time. It’s still of interest to the hardcore fans. Even better is the new 48-minute documentary, House of Wax: Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before, which covers a lot of the same ground as the commentary track but with input from Martin Scorsese, Wes Craven, Rick Baker, Joe Dante and more fans of the film. There is also a short newsreel covering the film’s round-the-clock New York premiere where you’ll glimpse stars like Shelly Winters and Ronald Reagan waving at the crowd. It appears though that the audio for this has been lost as a piece of music from the film’s score plays along. The bonus material is rounded out with a theatrical trailer.

If you have a 3D TV, I cannot recommend House of Wax enough.

If you have a 3D TV, I cannot recommend House of Wax enough. It really is reference quality for your home theater, but even if you don’t have 3D capability, you can still enjoy the classic in 2D on the same disk, as well as all of the extras. Warner Brothers spent months working on making the 2D Wizard of Oz into 3D, but they were quietly working on making this true 3D film come to life once again on Blu-ray for a new generation. My hat’s off to the team who worked on this transfer, and here’s hoping more of the 15 classic 3D films in the Warner Brothers library will find their way to home video.

Warner Home Video generously provided CliqueClack with a 3D Blu-ray of House of Wax for review.

Photo Credit: Warner Brothers

2 Comments on “Experience the third dimension with House of Wax on Blu-ray

  1. I’ve never been a fan of 3D (as you well know), but I am interested in seeing this particular film in that format.

    This is a beloved horror classic of mine, all the more terrific being it features one of my all time favorite actors Vincent Price in his first starring role.

    Additionally, I have always had a huge crush on Fay Wray, so to hear this disc also includes the original Mystery of the Wax Museum along with the bevy of extras, well … I just might be warming up to plunking down some cold, hard cash for a Blu-ray player.

    • Do it! Come into the 21st century via a 60 (and 80!) year old movie! :-)

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