What if we mashed up a teen drama chick flick and a demonic horror movie? That sounds like a great idea!
Actually, it does sound like it has potential to be something interesting. Wish Upon is not that something.
The premise is an age old one. From the sub-genre of wish fullfillment stories that concern consequences of said wishes, comes a story about a magical box that will give you whatever you ask. For a price. The better-than-this-movie Joey King stars.
Clare (King) is a social nobody in high school. Her mother is dead and her father is a bit of a weirdo that the other kids like to make fun of. So she does the logical thing when a magical wish granting artifact falls in her lap – she makes herself popular. And then people die.
From the lapses in logic, to the dizzying tonal shifts, to the lack of any real plot, Wish Upon will have you considering making your own wish – your money back. Ok, so it’s not so much a “bad” movie as it is a bit ridiculous. It would have been better if had been bad. It exists to get from point A to point B while trying to make you jump or creeped out somewhere in between.
The idea behind the movie is exceedingly familiar so it was going to need to be something pretty solidly original to justify its existence. Instead, I could think of dozens of movies it reminded me of, and heard even more offered up by fellow critics in the audience. It is amazing, in fact, just how many vastly different other films and movie moments it had jumping to mind – all better than this one. Before I fall, Jumanji, The Lord of the Rings, Final Destination – the eclectic list goes on for as long as this actually rather short movie feels.
The cast is pretty solid, actually, but is given very little to do that feels worth their, or our, time. All in roles they could play in their sleep, they do try, and sometimes succeed, but it’s no use. Most of what happens is either too laughable for horror fans, or far too squeeze inducing for he teen girl audience this explicable seems to be trying to cater to.We can see exactly where things are going far before the characters do, and even before the film makers seem to intend. This, despite things being incredibly obvious from the start.
The biggest surprise here – spoiler alert – is that yes, that is Barb from Stranger Things, and no, nothing bad happens to her. I know, right?
Use your wishes on something else this weekend.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film
Brother Hamster did not screen this film
My rating: Two out of five hats
Wish Upon 2,250 theaters, July 14