Wax Mask has a lot to live up to. Not only is it a retelling of an already classic horror story and film (House of Wax 1953), but it has the cold, mechanical, blood drenched hands of two masters of Italian horror, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, dipped in to it. Sergio Stivaletti, special effects man on such films as Argento's Phenonena, Opera, Stendhal Syndrome, and Demons (by Lamberto Bava), and Dellamorte/Dellamore (by Michele Soavi) makes his feature debut as a director. Stivaletti doesn't showcase any revelatory talent, just competent skill learned from his years of working with great Italian horror directors. He has absorbed the style, but doesn't add anything new to it.
As far as the typical stumble in plot, occasional flat acting (two things one accepts in Italian horror), a miscast lead actor, and a horrible, but mercifully brief, finale, the film is average, well paced, and thoroughly entertaining. It has modern touches in gore, CGI effects, and some titllation, while maintaining classic horror elements like looming shadows, mad doctor laboratories, and so on, making an intriguing mix of old and new.
The DVD looks quite good, a fine transfer with sharp image and great color hues (Stivaletti saturates colors very vividly throughout the film). The only extra is a short slide show of behind the scenes photos. Fans of Italian horror should be well entertained with this modestly priced disc. A C+. As far as this genre goes, you can certainly find better, but most of all, you can find a whole lot worse.