The director André de Toth had a brilliant eye for composing shots that suggested great spatial depth, and for choreographing magical movement through those shots. That made him an excellent choice to direct House Of Wax, one of the first 3D films made by a major studio — Warner Brothers, in 1953.


He seems to have had a lot of fun making the picture — it’s one of the most entertaining of the 3D movies released in the 1950s.  de Toth generally avoided gimmick 3D effects — objects hurtled towards the camera to create a shock — but when he did use them he used them effectively.  One of his gimmick effect shots made me jump halfway out of my chair as I watched the film on TV in the new Blu-ray edition.


That edition is not ideal.  The original 3D negative elements have been lost, so the Blu-ray is derived from dupe prints of those elements.  The result is overly grainy in many sequences, which tends to undermine the 3D illusion, but not enough to destroy it.

All in all, the 3D Blu-ray is wondrous — well worth watching if you have a TV capable of showing it.  Its images are captivating and often extremely creepy.

2 thoughts on “HOUSE OF WAX

  1. “He directed the 3-D film House of Wax, despite being unable to see in 3-D himself, having lost an eye at an early age.” — from Wikipedia

    • I know, but he was fascinated by the technical side of the optics. He discovered that beyond 30 or 40 feet the human eye no longer perceives objects in three dimensions but relies solely on perspective to determine spatial relationships.

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