REVIEW: Wish Upon (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Broad Green Pictures and Orion Pictures

The following is a review of Wish Upon – Directed by John R. Leonetti.

Wish Upon follows Clare (played by Joey King), a young teenage girl, who is given a magic Chinese music box by her dumpster-diving father (played by Ryan Phillippe) that grants you seven wishes. However, once she gets halfway through the wishes, it becomes clear that whenever a wish is granted a life is taken, and that when she runs out of wishes her own life will be taken as well.

There is nothing unique or original about Wish Upon whatsoever. It is basically just Robert Kurtzman’s Wishmaster featuring a music box similar to the one in James Wan’s The Conjuring, starring characters better suited to be in any run-of-the-mill high school movie. It’s basically Wishmaster meets Mean Girls, only not as interesting or good as either of them.

I know, I know. It’s just a horror movie, maybe I shouldn’t treat it as harshly, but we should expect so much more from horror movies, especially considering how great some of the horror films from 2016 were, like James Wan’s The Conjuring 2, David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out, or Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow.

Heck, I don’t even think it’s scary. It’s such a tame film that even some of the film’s death scenes almost would’ve worked better with a laugh track. I’m serious. One of the death scenes is just so oddly shot that I could feel almost every member of the audience that I saw it with try to stop themselves from laughing.

There’s another scene that was incredibly odd. Clare uses one of her wishes to make her dad ‘less embarrassing,’ which itself is both a dumb and odd wish, and what does the magic box do? Well, in the next scene Ryan Phillippe is playing the saxophone in front of his daughter and her friends. And then you get to the very end of the film, which basically feels ripped out of one of the Scary Movie horror spoof films.

The worst thing about this movie, however, may in fact be the extremely annoying characters. The film sets up the main character and her friends to be the underdogs getting even with the popular kids that bully them. However, the main characters are absolutely awful.

They don’t deserve to be cheered on by the audience. Clare and her friends celebrate when one of the bullies develops necrotizing fasciitiss, the day after Clare specifically wished for the bully to ‘rot.’ The characters are annoying and completely unlikable, and then one of the characters dies because, at one point, she has to run off and chase after a ghost with an app on her phone. That’s right, they rip off Pokemon Go in Wish Upon.

Wish Upon is, at the time of writing, the worst film of 2017. It isn’t scary at all, and it contains some of the worst horror movie characters. I was shocked by how much I ended up disliking the film.

1 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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