Wish Upon – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

In the latest horror 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. Be careful what you wish for. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 19% (Critics) / 36% (Audience)
Directed By: John R. Leonetti
Written By: Barbara Marshall
Starring: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee and Sherilyn Fenn
Studio: Broad Green Pictures

The Good:
I enjoyed the younger cast and how the day-to-day life of the main character Clare was set up like a teen comedy with the mean girls, the outcasts and the unpopular girl crushing on the big man on campus. WISH UPON did more than most modern horror films to give these characters personality as a way to make the audience have a reaction to them.

The Bad:
The main story behind WISH UPON is that it’s a take on the well worn tale of the wish granting Monkey Paw and the film really doesn’t do much new with the concept aside from turning it into a mash-up of FINAL DESTINATION (without any of that film’s panache when it comes to the death scenes) and TEEN WITCH (without any of the glorious camp that made that film such a camp cult favorite). The movie moves very methodically from wish to corresponding death with most of the early teen movie feel getting tossed aside from lukewarm paint by numbers mystical horror.

The Ugly:
It is so obvious in how the death scenes were all so sloppily edited that director John R. Leonetti shot legit gruesome horror deaths that were then cut down to make them fit the PG-13 rating this movie was striving for and eventually got. So as a result the thing that could have been the saving grace of this movie got butchered in ways that would have gotten this movie an R-rating if the director were half as aggressive with what we got onscreen.
Ryan Phillipe playing the dad in a movie like this bums me out because Phillipe and I are the same age.

Final Verdict: A pretty blah horror movie that wastes a really good teen cast in a sanitized and unoriginal story. Someone is really going to have to explain to horror directors that good PG-13 horror is a fluke and not everyone is as good as James Wan when it comes to doing them right.

Grade: C-

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