Director: John R. Leonetti | 90 minutes | fantasy, horror | Actors: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Mitchell Slaggert, Shannon Purser, Sydney Park, Elisabeth Röhm, Josephine Langford, Alexander Nunez, Daniela Barbosa, Kevin Hanchard, Sherilyn Fenn, Raegan Revord, Alice Lee
Practice makes perfect. A cliché, but like so many clichés it is true. Director John R. Leonetti has become better at his profession through years of training. Fortunately, because if he made even worse films than “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” it would be alarming. His perseverance resulted in 2014 in the financially successful “The Conjuring” spinoff “Annabelle”. After that well-liked foray into the horror genre, the director got the hang of it and canned “Wish Upon”. To lift a corner of the veil, the film is better than “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” …
“Wish Upon” is all about Clare Shannon (Joey King). It is not easy for this adolescent. Her mother took her own life years ago, her father (Ryan Phillippe) is a garbage man and she is bullied at school. The situation changes when Clare’s dad gives her a wooden music box. Found in the dirt. The jewel has a Chinese saying. The student discovers that she can make seven wishes and that the spirit in the box makes them come true. However, there is a small “but” to it. With every wish, someone in Clare’s environment dies. What now?
Lovers of brutal horror films in which limbs fly around, hardware store tools are misused and blood is only served in liter packs can now stop reading. “Wish Upon” is a adolescent-friendly slasher in which few vehement images can be seen. The violence is limited and the performance of this horror film is very good. There is flirtation with “Final Destination”, but Leonetti’s story never becomes as extreme and over-the-top as that franchise. A pity, because now the film remains a fairly flat and salt-free affair. A little “gore” would have helped this slasher light. In the current version, this is quite a hateful horror for newbies.
Clare is one of the most boring main characters ever. This gray mouse is not habitable for a moment and is put down very frumpy by King. She is rather unimaginative in her wishes and soon every imaginable cliché becomes reality (Clare successively becomes rich, loved and the girlfriend of the high school hunk). When people die around her, it is rather bloodlessly put out of the picture. “Wish Upon” is boring. Even the always solid Phillippe does not feel like it and looks extinct. This film is only recommended for people who have never seen a horror film, want it but actually find it too scary. Not a desirable situation for a horror movie, right?