Wish Upon is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by John R. Leonetti, and starring Joey King, Ki Hong Lee, and Ryan Phillipe. It was released on July 14, 2017.
As a major massive horror fan, I think it's very important that we support the genre. To some people that's exclusive to one sub-genre but to others like me, that means everything. Now, that doesn't mean if you're not interested in something go see it anyway just because ~horror~. But I don't buy into the PG-13 horror is always bad
belief that many seem to have. Not every horror movie is made for adults. Not every horror movie is made to be uncensored. And not every horror movie is made to scare you. As a genre fan, I never have nor will I ever watch horror to be scared. Some people do, which is why movies like these (and overall PG-13 horrors) get poor reviews because non-genre fans are going to see them and not being scared and being upset by it. So far this movie has gotten poor reviews by critics, but genre fans seem to like it. Some even a lot. So TL;DR: don't dismiss this movie (or future PG-13 horrors) just because of the rating. Unless of course, you're not actually a genre fan.
Aaaaaanyway, moving onto the actual review...no spoilers btw
The movie starts off with a bang. Things get started immediately, and move along very quickly. We aren't given a whole lot of backstory into the characters, but I would have felt it unnecessary. What we got was enough. In the beginning, we are introduced to a young Clare who goes on a short bike ride with her adorable trusty sidekick Max. When she comes back, she goes searching for her mother only to find her hanging in the attic. (Not a spoiler, it's in the trailer.) The very next scene is teenage Clare (Joey King) having woken up from a nightmare, seemingly recalling finding her mothers body.
Clare goes to head off to school and says goodbye to her father Jonathan (Ryan Phillipe) who appears to be some kind of dumpster diver who may or may not have an actual job. While Clare is at school, Jonathan finds a innocent-enough looking box with Chinese writing on it. He brings it home to Clare as "an early birthday present" because she's studying Chinese in school. She knows enough to know that some of the writing on the box says 7 Wishes
Clare seems to be randomly picked on by the ~popular kids~ in school, who go out of their way to be cruel to her. So when Clare gets a box that says she 7 wishes, she figures why not? What's the harm? The harm is that for every wish there is an even more volatile consequence. She will lose someone she loves as a result of getting her wish.
Unfortunately she realizes this much too late, after she's already grown deeply attached to it, when a school friend offers to have his cousin translate the rest of the box. What the cousin finds is horrifying, but once told this Clare still seems hesitant to give up the box.
This movie was a very solid effort on all parts. The director had a good vision, the actors had a solid script, and the ~horror~ was intriguing. Clare wishes for selfish things (money, a new boyfriend, to be popular) but that's the point. I think many of us, if given a chance to have some of our wishes come true would wish for at least one
self-serving thing. The whole premise is would we/wouldn't we. If you knew the consequences, would you still do it?
It did remind me slightly of the wildly popular Final Destination series, but only in that the deaths were of the freak accident variety. Everyone dies in accidents that could happen to any of us. None of the deaths are particularly gory, but they don't always have to be. I thought the way it was done was extremely effective. Overall, this was a great movie. It was fun to watch, the characters were overwhelmingly likeable (aside from the ones you were supposed to dislike) and it wasn't dragged down by forced plots and agonizing dialogue. The ending was also very satisfying.
One last note: if or when you do finally watch this movie, stay for the credits
. Not only is there some cool visuals, but an extra scene at the end.