Carly Jones, her brother Nick, and their friends Wade Felton, Paige Edwards, Blake Johnson, and Dalton Chapman are on their way to a football game in Louisiana. The night before the game, they camp in a field. A stranger in a pickup truck arrives, then leaves when Nick smashes one of his headlights. The next morning, Wade discovers that his car's fan belt is broken and Carly falls into a pit of rotting animal carcasses. After rescuing her, the group meet Lester, who drives Carly and Wade to the nearby town of Ambrose for a new fan belt while the rest head to the football game.
Carly and Wade arrive in Ambrose, which is virtually a ghost town. At the local church, they find a funeral in progress and meet Bo Sinclair, who offers to sell them a fan belt after the funeral. While waiting, they visit "Trudy's House of Wax", a wax museum which is itself made of wax and the central feature of the town. They follow Bo to his house to get the fan belt, where Bo's twin brother Vincent, who wears a wax mask to cover his facial disfigurement from when the twins were once conjoined, cripples Wade and knocks him unconscious. Carly notices Bo's truck has a broken headlight and realizes that he was the one who visited the campsite. Bo abducts Carly, restraining her in the gas station cellar and gluing her lips shut. Meanwhile, Vincent covers Wade's body in molten wax.
Realizing they will not arrive at the game in time, Paige and Blake return to the campsite while Nick and Dalton look for Carly and Wade in the town. When Carly tries to alert Nick, Bo cuts off her finger tip but she tears her lips apart and screams for help. Nick fends off Bo and frees Carly while Dalton finds Wade, who is unable to move in his wax coating. Dalton tries to free Wade by peeling off the wax from his face, inadvertently removing his skin in the process. Vincent then ambushes Dalton as he slashes off a section of Wade's face, making him die instantly from shock, before chasing, cornering and finally decapitating Dalton. Carly and Nick realize the wax figures are actually the wax-coated corpses of visitors lured into town. Bo had been manipulating Vincent into murdering people to make more realistic wax figures.
Vincent kills Blake at the campsite and chases Paige into an abandoned sugar mill, where he throws a metal pipe through her forehead, killing her. Bo and Vincent return to chase Carly and Nick into the House of Wax. Nick unintentionally starts a massive fire in the museum's workshop, causing it and its figures to start melting. Re-encountering Bo, he and Nick battle, culminating in the latter being stabbed in the leg before Carly beats Bo to death with a baseball bat. Upon seeing him dead, Vincent furiously chases Carly to the top floor where she tries to reason with him about his brother's treachery but, with Nick's help, is able to defeat him by stabbing him in the back. The deceased Vincent falls through the floor and lands on top of Bo's corpse, while Carly and Nick escape from the building as it melts to the ground.
The next morning, the police arrive and report that Ambrose had been abandoned for ten years since the sugar mill shut down. As Nick and Carly are taken to the hospital, it is soon discovered that the Sinclairs had a third son, revealed to be Lester. From inside the ambulance, Carly spots Lester with the Sinclairs' family dog, waving them goodbye as they are driven out of town.
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