In early spring, when I heard of the premise of the movie Wish Upon and that it had Ryan Phillippe in the cast, I was automatically sold. So sold that I didn’t even need to see the trailer. Then the trailer came about and I had wished that I could go watch it in that moment. It looked like it was going to be a bloody good time! It was originally scheduled to release in June and got pushed back to July… which is usually never a good sign. Well, I finally got to see the film this past weekend. Was Wish Upon everything I hoped it would be? Or did it have me wishing I had seen something else?
Wish Upon dropped into theaters world wide on July 14, 2017. The film was directed by John R. Leonetti (Annabelle) and written by Barbara Marshall (Viral). With $12 million budget, the film’s opening weekend brought in $5.6 million. It currently holds a 20% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes and only a 4.7/10 rating on IMDb.com. Let’s break down the pros and the cons for Wish Upon.
Official synopsis of Wish Upon:
A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.
I’ve always been a huge sucker for teenage horror movies. I have Scream to thank for that. Some of the deaths in this film are somewhat reminiscent of The Final Destination franchise. It was really interesting to see who was going to bite the dust next and how they were going to die. The two standout performances of the film were not even the leads: Sydney Park (The Walking Dead) as Meredith, who is Clare’s (Joey King: The Conjuring) gamer best friend. Park really embodied the attitude of a real teenager, where I felt the rest of the actors fell short. The second performance goes to the ever so lovely Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) as Ms. Deluca, Clare’s neighbor. Those two were really the only believable ones in their given roles. I also really dug the soundtrack. The ending is something that I actually applaud as well. Unfortunately, those are really the only redeeming qualities in Wish Upon.
What Doesn’t Work
At times where the movie could have been really original, I felt like Wish Upon just took ideas from other movies such as The Craft and, as I said before, Final Destination. They were nowhere near as effective as those movies. I’m not really much of a gore hound, but the kills were way too PG-13 for me. I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but this film needed more blood! If they should had gone all out and gotten that R rating, I feel that the film would have been better. This has to be one of the dumbest teenage casts in the history of horror movies. Not only were they above and beyond stupid, but the acting was just embarrassing. Ryan Phillippe is still a fox, but him as the dumpster-diving, loving father just was not believable to me. I literally wanted to throw my shoe at the movie screen every time I heard him call Clare “buddy.” I may have liked the soundtrack; I did not, however, care for the weird background music that made Wish Upon feel like a made for TV movie and made the dialogue sound off.
Wish Upon lacked a strong lead with Joey King and the film just couldn’t recover. This is probably why I found the end so gratifying. If you were wishing to see this… my advice is to wait for rental or Netflix. Or perhaps go old school and watch a movie ahead of its time, like Wishmaster!