Tony's Take

WISH UPON review

Be Careful What You Wish For

“Wish Upon” opens as a young girl experiences the unthinkable, discovering her mother after hanging herself in the attic of their home.  Years later, Clare and her father are getting-by.  Clare is in high school, going mostly unnoticed by anyone other than her friends or the popular kids who love to bully her.  One day, her Dad discovers a mysterious object with Chinese writing on it and he gives it to her.  Clare deciphers a few letter and discovers it an old Chinese wish box.  One by one, her wishes start to come true, but with many mysterious consequences surrounding it.  After learning all of the rules behind this wish box, Clare faces the ultimate moral battle; she can either hold-onto it and finish her seven wishes or stop wishing and hope that no one else gets hurt.  The rest of the film follows Clare’s decision that impacts the lives of all of those around her.

Joey King stars as Clare Shannon, the young girl who receives and begins using the Chinese wish box.  Ryan Phillippe plays Clare’s dumpster-diving father who finds the box, Jonathan Shannon.  Shannon Purser and Sydney Park play Clare’s best friends, June and Meredith.  Ki Hong Lee plays Ryan, a friend at school who helps Clare decipher the wish box’s true mystery.  Josephine Langford, Alexander Nunez, Daniela Barbosa, and Mitchell Slaggert plays the popular kids at Clare’s high school, Darcie, Tyler, Lola, and Paul.  Elisabeth Rohm plays Clare’s mother, Johanna Shannon.  Kevin Hanchard plays Jonathan’s friend and co-worker, Carl Morris.  Sherilyn Fenn plays Clare’s nice and caring neighbor, Mrs. Deluca.  Alice Lee plays Ryan’s cousin who help uncover the box’s true meaning, Alice.

“Wish Upon” is filled with plenty of forced-suspense, predictable plotlines, poor dialog, but it has just enough to keep the viewer entertained.  One of the few strengths of “Wish Upon” is it’s imaginative deaths.  Though it does try to be too-much-like “Final Destination”, some of the character’s untimely deaths are quite original and intriguing.  While not painfully over-the-top, the cast do little to “hook” the viewer’s empathy, offering yet another inaccurate portrayal of high school.  Luckily, Joey King proves strong-enough to carry the film so that we aren’t left begging for the credits to roll.  One of the most painful aspects of the film though is how predictable it is.  Not only are the deaths easy to guess beforehand, but even some of the film’s bigger realizations and twists can be seen coming from a mile away.  Some of the film’s most dramatic moments had the audiences laughing; and remember, this wasn’t a comedy.  “Wish Upon” has a run time of 90 minutes, keeping it brisk and not overstaying its’ welcome.  The film isn’t a complete mess; it never tries to be anything more than a fun, horror flick, but I was left hoping for something more given the subject matter.   “Wish Upon” will undoubtedly find a small audience and make its’ money back (only 12 million budget), but if they decide to revisit, I can only hope they work on a stronger script.

“Wish Upon” follows a young girl after she used a Chinese wish box that carry serious, deadly consequences.  The film features a fun, but predictable plot, some imaginative deaths, and a few twists as well.  If you heading to the movies this weekend, choose something other than “Wish Upon”!!

 2.5/5

WISH UPON is rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing images, thematic elements and language, in theaters JULY 14TH!

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