Wish Upon

Wish Upon

In Theatres: 
Jul 14, 2017
Running Time: 
90 minutes

There has been a resurgence of great horror and psychological thrillers in recent years, but for every great film in the genre there are probably at least half a dozen terrible ones. Case in point; Wish Upon. As far as dime a dozen horror films goes, Wish Upon is worth even less. It’s a cliched story played out by a lackluster cast that’ll having you wishing you never walked into the theater in the first place.


Clare (Joey King) has struggled to fit in at high school. The more popular classmates constantly tease her, and her dumpster-diving father (Ryan Phillippe) isn’t making things better by digging through the trash just outside of school as he looks for tossed out treasures. That all starts to change when he finds a mysterious wooden box with Chinese characters written all over and gives it to Clare as a gift. She learns that it’s an ancient wishing box that is said to be able to grant seven wishes. When Clare’s wishes start to come true, however, she discovers that they all come at a deadly cost.


Wish Upon is your stereotypical horror film where someone finds a mysterious artifact, in this case it’s the wishing box, and then everyone around them starts getting killed off in gruesome fashion. There’s nothing inventive about the film or its cast. At the beginning, Joey King is just this regular teenage girl who dreams of being popular. Everything she does in the film is for her own benefit, regardless of the consequences. She’s completely selfish as she continues to make wishes despite knowing the consequences of her actions, thinking she can “outsmart” the magical box. It’s a frustrating film to watch, especially when you don’t care about any of the characters at all.


In addition, the script is just downright terrible. The film is packed with awful one-liners and cliché phrases like, “haters gonna hate,” and “I was just trying to think of something dope to say before I kiss you,” that will have you rolling your eyes into the back of your head.


That being said, the deaths presented in the film are rather well done. They’re creative and do a good job at building the tension before the final payoff. Sometimes they also go in a different direction with a twist you don’t see coming. They’re the only shining light in a sea of disappointment.


There’s no demon-trapped-in-a-wishing-box powerful enough to turn Wish Upon into a good movie. It’s an unoriginal story that is neither scary nor entertaining. All it’s good for is making you wish you were doing anything else.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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