Wish Upon

Review by Josh Howey @hoshjowey

Directed by

John R Leonetti

Starring

Joey King Ki Hong Lee Ryan Phillippe

Anticipation.

John R Leonetti’s follow-up to Annabelle – should be entertaining at the very least.

Enjoyment.

An absolute mess that does no justice to any of the genres it stumbles between.

In Retrospect.

Wishing this film out of existence right now.

Vapid teen horror in which a young girl’s wishes come with predictably deadly consequences.

What would you do if you came across a wish-granting music box? Feed the hungry? Bring about world peace? “I wish my dad wouldn’t be so embarrassing.” This is what 17-year-old Clare (Joey King) decides to wish for when she is gifted with this film’s elaborate stand-in for the infamous Monkey’s Paw.

With each wish made, a friend is killed in perpetuity. Even the greater good would require a painful amount of consideration at the cost of a loved one. Yet this story follows the dumb, self-absorbed teen as she knowingly opts for the school hunk to fall madly in love with her at the expense of human life. And yes, this heads exactly where you expect it to.

Wish Upon offers a rinse and repeat formula as Clare makes a terribly egocentric wish, an acquaintance dies in a lacklustre manner, she feels sort-of-bad, then does it all again anyway. In an attempt to make up for the lack of creativity, the film offers superficial distractions by faking out sub-par Final Destination styled death sequences. On top of this, it consistently breaks its own rules and jumps from supernatural horror to teen drama seemingly at random.

At least the film has a crack at being frightening, bounding into double figures when it comes to jump scares. Yet as the story rolls on, the excitement levels diminish as the sound mixer slips on the volume button.

Although the message may be a valid one – how vanity and selfishness can be detrimental to your life – the offensive laziness of the whole enterprise spits on those it imitates. It provides no intrigue or gratification, even when the wishes become moderately interesting later on.

Cinematographer and occasional director John R Leonetti, responsible for The Butterfly Effect 2 and Annabelle, had an opportunity to make a fun, throw-away horror flick. But his film hits rock bottom very early.

Published 28 Jul 2017

Tags: Joey King John R Leonetti

Anticipation.

John R Leonetti’s follow-up to Annabelle – should be entertaining at the very least.

Enjoyment.

An absolute mess that does no justice to any of the genres it stumbles between.

In Retrospect.

Wishing this film out of existence right now.

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