HOLLYWOOD—For most people if they had three wishes they would have to think carefully about what they truly want, but what if I told you that you had a total of seven wishes, what would you wish for? Well, that is the premise of the new thriller “Wish Upon” which finds teenager Clare (Joey King) placed in a predicament where her wishes come true, but at a painful cost.
Some of you might be thinking this is a unique and fresh take on the idea of being granted wishes, but for those who are fans of the horror genre this is a movie we’ve seen before, known as “Wishmaster.” That flick was a bit more risqué with its dialogue, bloodshed and violence. This time around teen outcast Clare (Joey King) finds herself in the ultimate position of power, when her father, Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe) gifts her a music box he found while dumpster diving.
Yes, “Wish Upon” does its best to strike a chord with viewers by going to a place of teen angst which many can identify with. Her father constantly embarrasses her; she is not popular and finds herself constantly being teased by the school’s mean girl and her trio of minions. Does it work to evoke some emotion, yes, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary that has not already been seen before. That all changes after a school fight, where Clare makes a wish and finds herself utterly surprised when it actually comes to fruition. Her nemesis develops a flesh eating disease, and she begins to relish in her enemy’s misery.
What Clare doesn’t realize is that each time she makes a wish, someone close to her pays the ultimate price: their life. What really ticks me off are the wishes this teen makes: popularity, money, affection. You’d think considering the movie opens with a backstory about Clare losing her mother to suicide, she’d immediately wish for her mother back in her life. Not the case people.
The thriller has a slow pace, which is probably what hurts the narrative the most. It takes nearly 50 minutes for things to really start to transpire, so much to the point that by the time things get interesting, as a viewer, you’ve already checked out or the movie is just mere minutes from ending. The deaths seem like a playbook from the “Final Destination” series where things start to transpire that ultimately lead to the demise of several characters.
Unfortunately, “Final Destination” is a much better executed flick, compared to “Wish Upon” which takes a piece of this movie, a piece of this movie and a piece of that movie and mix them all together hoping things would work. If you’re looking to be scared, this movie won’t deliver those thrills for you. I didn’t flinch a single time watching this entire movie; the one moment where the suspense was palpable was a scene leading up to a character’s demise. “Wish Upon” is a thriller, you will wish you didn’t waste your time on.