How cult series Supernatural reunited House of Wax co-stars Paris Hilton and Jared Padalecki for an in-joke at the expense of the 2005 remake.
Paris Hilton was an unlikely Supernatural guest star, but her brief appearance offered the perfect opportunity for the show to make an in-joke familiar to fans of horror remake House of Wax. Debuting in 2005, horror show Supernatural was a unique cult phenomenon that earned a massive fanbase over its fifteen seasons and 327 episodes. Supernatural starred Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as the Winchester brothers, a pair of demon-hunting siblings who faced down different monsters every week while traveling across the US.
Essentially a familial, horror/fantasy remix of The X-Files, the appeal of Supernatural relied on the charming banter of its leads, the memorable “monster of the week” foes they faced, and a mysterious, overarching series-long narrative much like Chris Carter’s seminal 90s hit. Like The X-Files, Supernatural was also not above the practice of occasionally throwing in a shameless cameo here and there to attract attention to the show.
One of the more unlikely guest stars was heiress/The Simple Life star Paris Hilton, who appeared as a version of herself in Supernatural’s season 5 episode “Fallen Idols,” as part of a goofy plot that involved a demon called a Leshi. An Eastern European forest god, the Leshi could take other forms including, during the action of the episode in question, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Paris Hilton. The latter guise provided a fun cameo which offered star Jared Padalecki a chance to poke fun at an earlier role of his, as the actor co-starred with Hilton in the 2005 remake of 1953’s cult horror curio House of Wax.
House of Wax may not have been very well-received, but the episode made it clear Paladecki did not mind acknowledging the movie a few years after its release. The episode’s fun in-joke occurs when Leshi – taking the form of Hilton – is preparing to kill Dean and Sam. Dean quips that he’d never seen the 2005 remake of House Of Wax Hilton starred in, and in response Sam gives his brother a funny look, saying nothing. It’s a clever throwaway meta-joke that proves both Padalecki and Hilton aren’t afraid to poke a little fun at their past work.
Interestingly, with 2009’s My Bloody Valentine 3D, Padalecki’s co-star Jensen Ackles also starred in a critically dismissed slasher remake, which was another horror outing the series had a hidden nod to. A year after My Bloody Valentine 3D was released, Supernatural’s 2010 Valentines’s episode was entitled “My Bloody Valentine,” ensuring Padalecki wasn’t the only one whose slasher efforts were acknowledged by the hit series. Fortunately, as proven by both the oblique references, Supernatural never struggled to have a sense of humor about its stars, its monsters, or its spooky premise.