In the latest thriller from the director of ANNABELLE, 17-year-old CLARE SHANNON (Joey King) is barely surviving the hell that is high school, along with her friends MEREDITH (Sydney Park) and JUNE (Shannon Purser). So when her dad (Ryan Phillippe) gifts her an old music box with an inscription that promises to grant the owner’s wishes, she thinks there is nothing to lose. Clare makes her first wish and, to her surprise, it comes true. Before long, she finally has it all: money, popularity and her dream boy. Everything seems perfect – until the people closest to her begin dying in gruesome and twisted ways. Now, with blood on her hands, Clare has to get rid of the box, before it costs her and everyone she loves the ultimate price.
What We Thought:
I’m not a fan of today’s mainstream horror movies. Films like Annabelle, Sinister, Insidious and the like don’t do much for me. I don’t find them scary and most of the time I’m laughing at them not with them. Wish Upon is a bit different. It’s more like a Final Destination film than horror. It doesn’t rely on jumpscares or doors opening/closing or items being moved around. There are some kills, but not much gore. It’s more realistic scares than paranormal.
It’s far from a great movie and I honestly don’t know if I can say it’s good, but it’s a lot more watchable than the other films that come with tags like “From a producer of Annabelle, From a producer of The Conjuring” etc. It takes itself a bit too seriously though. I think that’s the biggest issue. It has a lot of comedic relief in it, but it’s too serious for its own good.
We’ve seen movies like this a thousand times before. Whether it’s the Wishmaster series, The Monkey’s Paw or even the Final Destination franchise, you know something good can’t happen without consequences. In this, every wish means something bad happens to someone else and if you try to get rid of the box, all your previous wishes will be reversed. It needed to be more fun and less serious to separate itself from similar movies that came before it.
There are also a lot of clichéd or unnecessary characters. Her friends are pretty stereotypical. I wasn’t familiar with Sydney Park, but she’s your standard teen of today more interested in a mobile game or getting pissy at her friend for becoming popular. Shannon Purser (Stranger Things’ Barb) seems to be the go-to sidekick friend today. There’s a gay Black sidekick on the popular side. I have no idea why Jerry O’Connell cameos in the movie. He’s literally in it for like 2 minutes.
The biggest positive is Joey King. I really like her. She’s a good young actress and she fits this role well. She’s cute and quirky and it makes sense why the “cool” kids might not like her. She has her friends and a crush on the good-looking boy and it’s all very believable. To me she’s a combination of Chloe Moretz and a young Natalie Portman. With a different lead actress the film might have been unwatchable.
Wish Upon is the latest low/mid-budget “horror” film to hit the market. Some disappear and some make a decent box office. I can see this opening around third place and making enough money to get a sequel or prequel. There’s enough story in it to allow them to make a prequel and explain the box’s original and with a box that grants wishes, you can have an endless amounts of sequels. It’s not great, not “so bad, it’s good” either though.
Cast & Crew:
- Joey King
- Ryan Phillippe
- Ki Hong Lee
- Mitchell Slaggert
- Shannon Purser
- Sydney Park
- Alice Lee
- Kevin Hanchard
- Sherilyn Fenn
Recommended If You Like:
- Final Destination
- Joey King