The Jakarta Post
A still from 'Wish Upon.' (Broad Green Pictures/File)
If you walk into the theater with a ticket for Wish Upon in hand and hope to see a gut-wrenching horror film because you heard that the director of this movie is the man behind the box office success Annabelle, then unfortunately, you’re out of luck.
Wish Upon doesn’t quite have the shock effects that Annabelle did, nor the gritty images that director John R. Leonetti produced when he did the cinematography for other acclaimed horror films like The Conjuring, or Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2.
That being said, Wish Upon could still be a fun movie to catch this weekend.
Claire (Joey King) receives a mysterious Chinese music box from her father (Ryan Phillippe). Having studied a little Mandarin in school, she reads that the box offers to grant its owner seven wishes. Initially making a wish to mindlessly entertain the claims of the box, she is surprised to find her wish coming true. She makes another, and another after that. She gains wealth, popularity, and the boy of her dreams -- without realizing that each wish the box grants comes at a deadly cost.
The premise is far from original, but Wish Upon does have an interesting take on how it all pans out.
More of a psychological thriller than a horror film, you might see this movie as a cross between Fox’s hit TV series Scream Queens and the 2004 teen comedy film Mean Girls, given that its plot revolves around high school drama with a dash of comedy. Except, instead of switching Regina George’s face moisturizer with foot cream the way that Cady did, Wish Upon gets a little more gruesome, as the movie’s underdog Claire wishes for the mean girl “to just rot”, to which said mean girl wakes up to find parts of her body bleeding from sores of rotting flesh. So in a way, the movie has the likes of Mean Girls -- but with a far more horrific twist.
If you’re interested in seeing a horror movie but aren’t too keen on the violently gory images or excessive jump scares that you would usually find, then Wish Upon is a great movie choice for you. You might not find yourself screaming, but Leonetti’s aforementioned past experience comes through for the intense, carefully crafted death scenes that leave you stunned. You’ll find yourself in suspense, holding your breath. You’ll find yourself chuckling. Ultimately, you’ll find that this movie surprises you in more ways than one.
Regardless of its rather predictable plot, Wish Upon offers viewers some hilarious lines, brilliantly crafted death scenes, and fantastic performances by the cast of Joey King, Ki Hong Lee and Ryan Phillippe. (tha/kes)