Wish Upon (2017) Movie Review
Written By: FR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: John R. Leonetti
Writer: Barbara Marshall
Producer: Sherryl Clark
Date Released: July 14, 2017
Joey King as Clare Shannon
Raegan Revord as young Clare
Josephine Langford as Darcie Chapman
Ryan Phillippe as Jonathan Shannon
Ki Hong Lee as Ryan Hui
Sydney Park as Meredith McNeil
Shannon Purser as June Acosta
Sherilyn Fenn as Mrs. Deluca
Elisabeth Röhm as Johanna Shannon
Mitchell Slaggert as Paul Middlebrook
Alice Lee as Gina Hsu
Victor Sutton as August Shannon
Kevin Hanchard as Carl Morris
Jerry O’Connell as Lawrence Hart
Rating = 2.5 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The film is a story of a young teenage girl named Clare (Joey King) who is consistently bullied by the ‘popular kids’ because she is unfashionable, strapped for cash, lives in an old dilapidated house and has a father (Ryan Phillippe) who, much to her embarrassment, likes to hunt through trash bins looking for unusual items to reuse or hoard. In the bins of a recently-deceased rich eccentric, Clare’s father finds a quaint Chinese musical box. He cleans it up and gives it to Clare as a gift. She persuades a boy of Chinese descent to translate the inscriptions engraved upon it, which apparently promise that the box will grant seven wishes. While sceptical of the supposed powers of the musical box, Clare has nothing to lose, so makes her first wish and, to her surprise, it comes true. Being an unimaginative teen, she makes a bunch of lame, self-centered wishes – that a hunky high-school boy abandons his hot girlfriend and falls madly in love with her, that she becomes wildly popular, that she gets rich, etc. She is thrilled as her social life radically improves, and she becomes seduced by the dark power of the box. Clare joins the ‘popular’ kids, abandoning her erstwhile ‘less cool’ pals and seems to finally have her dream life – until she begins to notice that people she is attached to have been dying in violent, gruesome and elaborate ways. Clare realises that she has blood on her hands, and the correct moral choice would be to get rid of the box, but somehow, she finds herself unwilling to part with her new-and-improved life. Unable to deny the lure of fulfilling her wishes, she rapidly approaches the seventh one, leading her down a dangerous path in which the box will demand the ultimate price.
The movie has severe violence and gore. There are many scenes of horror/violence in this film. In one scene, a girl leans over a sink with her hair in the garbage disposal drain, the blades are activated by her hand accidentally pressing the button and cut up her hair as she is trying to deactivate the blades. As her hair is being pulled, we see blood drip into the sink. Her neck is then snapped from the blade’s pulling on her hair, ultimately killing her. Then there is another scene of an elderly man who fills up a bathtub with water, enters the bathtub and slips, becomes unconscious by hitting his head and smears blood as his head slides to the side. He then wakes up a bit panicked, and hits his forehead against the faucet. Another violent scene of a woman who enters an elevator, then the elevator malfunctions while moving, and stops. The elevator opens, and the woman is proceeding to leave the elevator, but the elevator suddenly drops with her in it, and crashes into the ground, killing her. She is seen with glass shards in her body. Finally, there is this man who is cutting off branches from trees with a tool while another man stays on the ground, watching him. A teenager runs outside telling them to stop, but then the man with the tool accidentally slices the other man’s head off, killing him (the film cuts so you don’t see the decapitation).
The Grave Review
Wish Upon (2017) is a fun movie to watch in the same light as that of Final Destination series and Drag me to Hell. It is PG13 despite the gory scenes in the movie. The main characters are in high school and thus this will cater to the younger crowd.
Acting performances are not consistent. Some of the characters displayed a better performance than others. However, the film is not mainly focused on the acting, but rather the story of the magical box. But of course, the film will take you to unpredictable twists and turns, primarily in the last 5 minutes of the film before the credits.
What was nice about Wish Upon (2017) is that it presented a backstory of the object to give the main plot a little more depth. In addition, you feel enticed and excited to see what demonic effects the object will ultimately have on its summoners. With that said, most of the film focused on building the story of the object rather than equally building the character development as well.
The story of Wish Upon (2017) was well paced. However, there are some editing flaws that can be noticeable as rushed. Some of the backstories of the characters are lacking and may have been deliberately done for time constraints.
Cinematography is commendable as there are a lot of scenes where the camera is an integral part of developing the tension. It has done its part very well to create that atmosphere of intense anticipation of what will happen next.
Musical score is not too bad. Wish Upon is rated PG-13 so it’s definitely a good candidate for a gateway movie into the “Be Careful What You Wish For” sub-genre.
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Wish Upon (2017) three graves out of five graves.
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