Fellow Fanatics, if you have taken the time to watch the trailer for the summer's first real horror film Wish Upon then you probably already know why we scored it what we did. However, if you are one of the few who has never heard of the film, let me enlighten you on why you could be facing in the theater when you see this movie. Wish Upon is a typical genie movie with horror elements infused throughout the film. Think Aladdin without the romance, charm, or adorable monkey. The film centers around Clare (Joey King) who is just barely staying afloat in high school due to relentless taunting by the popular clique in school. Her mother committed suicide when she was younger leaving her and her dad (Ryan Phillippe) in a very dark rut. One day as her dad is dumpster diving (because he found a way to turn that into a career to support his daughter) he finds a strange Chinese box and decides to give it to his daughter as a gift. Clare soon finds out this is no ordinary box when it starts granting her wishes. The situation seems perfect until Clare soon realizes that getting what you want always comes with a heavy price. With every wish, people around her seem to meet their end in brutal and violent ways.
I really set the bar low for this film and to be honest, it was definitely better than I expected it to be. It wasn't great, but not awful either. The story is fairly predictable at times, but I will say I did appreciate the ending after spending the last half of the film wondering how they were going to wrap this one up. It definitely ended like it needed to. There is plenty cringeworthy scenes and moments of total dread as you watch some of the characters teetering close to their demise (garbage disposal anyone?).
As far as the cast goes, Clare herself was actually one of my least favorite characters in the film. She was always looking like she was on the verge of a pouty breakdown, even when her deepest desires were coming true. She also turned into a colossal jerk when she started realizing her wishes killed people but still kept wanting more, despite the cost, like some sort of wish junkie. The best character in the film is easily Clare's friend Sydney played by Meredith McNeil. She is super sarcastic and most of the time is saying the things we are all thinking. She feels the most real. It was also cool getting a chance to see Shannon Purser aka Barb from Stranger Things walking the halls of High School again as Clare's other friend June (Why does this girl always get these old sounding names?).
Overall, this film feels like it should have gone straight to streaming services. It doesn't do much for me personally in terms of horror/thrillers, but it at least tries to own the genre unlike other films that have hit the scene this summer (Did someone say, It Comes At Night?). They, of course, leave the door open for possible sequels if you stay through the credits for the bonus scene, but even with all that we still have to give this one a C-.
Wish Upon hits theaters everywhere July 14th.