How Paris Hilton’s morbid marketing was a win for ‘House of Wax’
(Credit: Netflix)

Film News

How Paris Hilton's morbid marketing was a win for 'House of Wax'

The chilly season is good for watching two kinds of films: romance and horror. Both these genres benefit from the nip in the air; one helps satiate the need for intimacy, and the other heightens the spookiness of it all. One such film haunting the Netflix library happens to be a campy horror flick featuring the unexpected talents of socialite and businesswoman Paris Hilton, who has been the talk of the town for announcing her second pregnancy recently.

The campy classic House of Wax was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, known for his work on thrillers like The Shallows and Non-Stop. The film’s screenplay, written by Charles Belden and Chad Hayes, takes inspiration from the 1953 film of the same name but adds a modern twist, making it a standout in the horror-comedy subgenre.

Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray led the cast. Hilton’s character, Paige, navigates the eerie atmosphere of a small, seemingly abandoned town with her friends, only to discover that the wax museum they stumble upon harbours horrifying secrets.

What set House of Wax apart was its deliberate embrace of campiness. The film revelled in over-the-top scares, suspenseful sequences, and unexpected twists, creating an atmosphere that balanced horror with a self-aware sense of humour. Paris Hilton’s presence, initially met with scepticism, surprised audiences with its effectiveness, contributing to the film’s cult status.

Indeed, it was the marketing campaign surrounding her death in the film that grabbed eyeballs. Supporting Warner Brothers’ promotional initiatives for the film, one of the posters featured an image of Hilton accompanied by the slogan “Witness Paris’s Demise!” 

Hilton not only embraced the slogan but even created T-shirts bearing the morbid catchphrase. Audiences were indeed drawn in to witness the demise of the renowned socialite.

E! News elucidated that the campaign cleverly played on the mixed emotions people had toward the socialite-turned-sex-tape-scandal sensation and reality TV star. Described as a “tongue-in-cheek capitalisation on the love-to-hate-her feelings,” the campaign acknowledged the polarising nature of Hilton’s public persona.

So, if you’re in the mood for a blend of screams and laughs, House of Wax is streaming on Netflix in select countries.