Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 8. May 27, 1953
The House of Wax
The House of Wax
This is the best effort yet seen of 3-D. but it is also in no respects a first-class film However, it is definitely an Improvement on the Tudor's shows. The brilliant "Warner Colour" is shown at its best, and for thrills, there are one or two good ones.
The plot of the story is old, and has been filmed before. There are some very good scenes in this film, especially wax models of Marie Antoinette and St. Joan of are which, were beautiful (my sense of the aesthetic has not been altogether blunted by Extrav rehearsals). The scene in the morgue was reminiscent of Capping Day.
The depth effect is well used in a see no in the chamber of horrors, where the girl (beautiful Phyllis Kirk) is trying to escape from the unseen terror which all know must inevitably confront her. Amid the murderers, assassins, executioners and death masks, every shadow in the dim half-light comes to life and the audience feels somewhat chilly in spite of their companions sitting adjacent to them.
Atmosphere? Yes there is atmosphere. The 3-D effect is best demonstrated at the beginning of the film when an Iron bar is thrown at one of the actors who ducks to let it come right on to the audience. There is no blurring with the glasses (not cardboard ones), no eyestrain. But there is still the annoying five-minute break between reels—time to let off steam and emotion (if any). The acting is competent, and full marks go to Warnercolour. This is truly a taste of belter things to come. Let us hope mediocre thrillers are not the only type to be seen here. It is not great but can be classed as good entertainment if you like goose-pimples.
Rating: * * * (*).
—Brian C. Shaw.