“There you go, big girl, don’t go to far!” Mom pushes young Clare’s (Raegan Revord) little bike off with her hand. Clare is calling “Mommy, Mommy where are you?” Tragic opening leave viewers hopeful for more …
Wish Upon review
Clare Shannon’s (Joey King) birthday gift is an old box with really cool ancient Chinese inscriptions on it; it so happens Clare is also in a Chinese language class in school. Backdrop: high school, the worst or best time of your life, depending on whether you’re in the “in/popular” crowd or the, uh, “not so much” crowd. Clare finds herself in the latter.
Wish Upon made me wish I was anywhere but watching this movie. Marketed as a “thriller/horror film was not exactly the route to go here. Maybe more like, Teen girl defies logic meets Final Destination.
Given the box for her birthday from her junk dealer father Johnathan (Ryan Phillippe) and his “business partner/cohort” Carl (Kevin Hanchard), Clare deciphers (due to her Chinese language class) a few words on the box … “Seven Wishes!” And, so it begins.
After a nasty encounter with a villainous Darcie (Josephine Langford), a typical entitled brat, Clare runs home and decides she wishes Darcie would just “rot.” The onslaught of wishes coming true initially brings with it unintended consequences.
Clare’s friend and sort-of crush Ryan (Ki Hong Lee) happens to be Chinese and his cousin studies ancient Chinese! Well, what do you know … Perfect! Clare and Ryan head out to his cousin’s house and she translates all the writing except, of course, the two most important words at the end of a sentence …
Suddenly, as Clare recognizes, Darcie has begun to rot, her dog is dead, and people are dying all around her. She becomes addicted to all the box is bringing her — money, popularity — and, even though using the box is killing her family and friends, she continues. In a scene that resembles a drug addict losing their mind, Clare hides the box but secretly continues to use it.
As mentioned earlier, the movie presents itself as a “horror” flick. The horror is in the plot and the scripting. The film promises to scare us; it under-delivers the fear factor and over-delivers the teen angst.
I did however, like a couple of the actors; Meredith (Sydney Park) has an edgy, cool-kid vibe, and she is appropriately bold and clever. Sydney and Ki Hong Lee were the stand-outs in this film. Ki Hon Lee is also funny and the dark horse of the movie. He brings comedic relief with perfectly executed timing.
Summation: Wish Sydney and Ki Hon were the leads …