WISH UPON – review

The new film Wish Upon is a reminder to be careful what you wish for.

For Clare (Joey King), anything would be better than her life as it is. After witnessing her mother’s death as a young child, Clare’s life has not been exactly easy. She lives with her dad who has seemingly fallen into a deep depression after her mother’s death in a house that seems to have not been touched since then either. As if high school was not hard enough as it is, the fact that her dad’s past time seems to include dumpster diving does not help her popularity either. When her dad finds an old music box inscribed with Chinese characters promising seven wishes, Clare figured nothing more could go wrong. As Clare’s wishes become true, she begins to lose the things that are most important to her.

Typically I enjoy a teenage film, especially ones with an underdog rising through the ranks. Clare is a high school senior and this movie fits most of the Hollywood high school stereotypes. You have your popular pretty clique. The really cute guy. The other guy. And of course the unpopular main character and her two best friends. The film is aimed at a teenage audience, so this makes sense to follow the standard high school formula, but this film is almost trying too hard to be a high school that it becomes unbelievable.While the high school personality stereotypes bothered me, Clare’s wishes bothered me even more. I will not spoil the movie beyond what is in the trailer, but even I as a high school senior would have had a little more sense in my wishes than she did. While the death’s and blood in this film are disturbing, Clare’s wishes may be the real horror of this film. I may be reading too far into this, but maybe the reminder is not to be careful what you wish for but actually that teenagers do not always make the best decisions. (Nor should they, you have to make mistakes, but this takes it to the extreme in the bad decision department).

This movie is targeted towards a high school aged audience and has a PG-13 rating. As a consequence, all of the “frightening” scenes are lacking for what I expect from a thriller. I am not a fan of horror/thriller movies, but if I am going to see one, I want to at least get a good dose of fright and suspense from it! I predicted almost every scene. Some of the kill scenes were so bad that people in my viewing were laughing instead of being held in suspense.

Overall I give Wish Upon a D. I do not give out low grades frequently, but the predictability made this movie unenjoyable. It also felt like this was the cliff notes version of what could have been a really good film if a little more time was spent on character development, including portraying the box as a true main character. This film was so silly it almost seemed as if was intended to poke fun at high school thrillers. Unless you are 13 (or younger and sneaking in), then I say skip this movie. Otherwise, you may be wishing you chose another movie.

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