Wish Upon (2017)
Broad Green Pictures
Directed by: John R. Leonetti
Written by: Barbara Marshall
Starring: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Mitchell Slaggert, Shannon Purser
A new horror movie hitting theaters this weekend is Wish Upon from the director of ‘Annabelle’ and starring Joey King as Clare Shannon who, as a young girl, saw her mother hang herself in the attic. Now, as a teenager living with her father (played by Ryan Phillippe), she has to deal with being an unpopular outsider besieged by the “cool kids” at her school. But all that changes when her father finds an unusual antique while out dumpster diving and brings it home to his daughter as an early birthday present. Soon, Joey begins realizing the object’s power to grant wishes only to later find out that each wish comes with a terrible price.
The premise itself sounds ominous and worthy of a good horror movie, but the execution of the plot is rather lacking. While the film has one or two truly gut-churning moments, the overall story never delivers any real scares and thus falls short of hitting the true “horror movie” benchmark. The acting is fine throughout the cast and Joey King solidly delivers her role as the girl who finally fits in and then, maddingly, is unable to relinquish her newfound status even when faced with the consequences of her actions. Ki Hong Lee also delights as the ersatz suitor who attempts to help Joey find out more about the mystery of the device’s origin and to keep her from becoming another victim of its frightening legacy. The ending of the film should leave most audience goers feeling satisfied by the outcome but the rather lackluster steps taken along the way to get there will probably make the total trip feel less than worthwhile. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m sad to say that ‘Wish Upon’ only receives a 5.5 from me, based mostly on poor execution of an otherwise solid idea.