“Wish Upon” Movie Review

This film is brought to us by John R. Leonetti, the director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, The Butterfly Effect 2, and most recently Annabelle. That’s all of the information you need to know right there. This teen horror flick was released on July 14th, 2017, earning back $20.7 million against a $12 million budget. According to some sources, the script by Barbara Marshall was voted to the 2015 Black List. That means it was selected as one of the best-unproduced scripts in all of Hollywood. It also means that there is the foundation for a good movie somewhere in the plot. A young unpopular girl named Clare in high school is haunted years after her mother committed suicide. One day, she receives a Chinese wishing box from her father’s dumpster diving affairs. After using it on a girl bullying her who gets necrotizing fasciitis, she has 6 wishes left in the box. But each one must come with a new victim. So how does this movie fare against other schlock of its kind? Well, let me go ahead and get the positives right out of the way: Wish Upon is a marginally more enjoyable horror movie than this year’s The Bye Bye Man. But that’s like saying watching a Shakespearean actor fail hilariously onstage is more tolerable than a standup comic giving a painfully unfunny routine. Aside from that… yeah, this movie’s really terrible. Just its own concept feels an idea that’s been used countless times before. But in this particular case, it feels rehashed by emerging film students with the budget of an entire grocery aisle worth of Ramen Noodles. I really thought we were past the time where we got truly atrocious teen horror movies. That films like It Follows and The VVitch had taught genre enthusiasts to get back on track. That the era of 2000’s splatter garbage was officially over. Make no mistake; while this one doesn’t star Paris Hilton, it’s still just as bad. How about that acting? Hoo boy. I’m sure that Joey King is a nice young woman in real life, but she is so lifeless as the main protagonist. In fact, she actually comes off as unlikable because even though bodies consistently pile up, she still wishes for more. Not far behind her is Josephine Langford as the popular girl who constantly teases Clare. Everything that comes out of her mouth sounds like it was written for ABC Family back in 2000. (Okay, if I’m being generous it was 2005) Ki Hong Lee and Ryan Philippe are by far the best performers here as her crush and father, respectively. But sadly, neither of them can save this mess. Similar to The Bye Bye Man, this movie is incompetent from a technical standpoint alone. The editing for every death scene is so horrendous and chopped up. It felt like Peck Prior was forced to cut many corners in order to stick to a PG-13 rating. Other times, it elongates a scene to draw out the tension, Final Destination style. But it ended up being hilarious in every possible way. There is an overhead shot of the city our characters inhabit. It was so fuzzy, like 480p-level bad, that it looked like a video game level from a pre-alpha Resident Evil 6. And just like some the worst horror films out there today, there virtually is no real score here. Almost all of the tracks are stock songs. They’re all composed of simple violins and other strings meant to make the audience jolt when a jump scare happens. Nearly everything else that plays in the background is some sort of 2010’s pop song meant to advance the teenage girl drama that we all SURELY relate to. Who doesn’t think of bubblegum pop at a friend’s party? All that being said… Wish Upon entertained me. But not at all in the way the filmmakers had intended. Whether it was from one of the awfully stupid deaths or from a horrendous line of dialogue, I had a hard time resisting the urge to laugh my ass off. I firmly believe that this is one of the funniest movies to come out all year. If you get some friends to all come over to your house at night with the drinks and snacks, you’re going to have an awesome time. That’s what I should have done. But taken as a whole, there are so many absurdities and leaps in logic for a movie that takes itself way too seriously that it can be seen as anything but a roast session. When you have Barb from Stranger Things and she can’t save your movie, that’s when you know you’re in trouble. Wish Upon is a pittance of ironic enjoyment mired in utter shit. While it was unintentionally fun for me, I cannot in good conscience encourage you to watch this as a film critic. One of the funniest movies of the year and simultaneously one of the worst.

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One thought on ““Wish Upon” Movie Review

  1. Pingback: “Wish Upon” Movie Review — Geek’s Landing | Fantasy Sources: Art, Gifts, Ideas, Article Resources, News

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