Clare is a teenage girl who struggles with high school and all of the subsequent teenage drama that comes with being a teenage girl. Her dad embarrasses her, the boy at school that she has a crush on is too popular to date her, the popular girls at school don’t like her, and she has yet to discover she is not the focal point of the universe. All of her problems seemingly disappear once she discovers a magic box that grants wishes. This might sound like every teenage girl’s dream, as I’m sure teenage girls everywhere can relate to such a terrible existence having to suffer from all of the aforementioned non-problems, but I digress. Each wish Clare makes comes with a deadly caveat – someone must die for each wish to be granted. Good news for us, this fact doesn’t stop Clare from making more wishes, because you simply can’t tell a teenage girl to NOT do something.
Having an idea of the plot before watching the film, I pretty much knew what was to be expected – teenage drama, high school popularity, whether boys like her, blah, blah, blah, but the beginning of the movie actually got my hopes up a bit. We see Clare’s mother hang herself in their attic, in front of Clare, which is highly disturbing in itself. Then, once Clare’s dad finds the magic box and gives it to her, there is a moment of suspense when you’re not quite sure what kind of effect it’s going to have on her. This tension is quickly turned to tedium once you realize she’s going to spend the remainder of the film wishing for inconsequential things that only a teenage girl with no imagination would wish for: the most popular boy to fall in love with her, the most popular girl to go rot, her dad to not be embarrassing, etc. You have a magic box that will grant you literally any wish you desire and these are the things you waste them on? I didn’t realize the film’s target audience was teenage girls when I started the movie, but if you’re over the age of 18 you will find this character completely unrelatable.
If you do decide to watch this film, you should know going in that it is not scary. There are moments of suspense when you know someone is going to die in a scene but are not quite sure how they will die, but beyond that you are basically watching a drama. I will admit some of the death scenes are good, and extremely reminiscent of the Final Destination movies, given the environment is being manipulated by an unseen force as to make each death seem accidental. Given the direct correlation between these death scenes and those of the Final Destination movies, I don’t know that I can give credit to Wish Upon for these scenes, either. I mean, Final Destination was the first to create that air of uncertainty that builds tension from your very surroundings trying to kill you; this wasn’t an original Wish Upon idea. I suppose I could say, thanks for ripping off an idea from a successful horror movie franchise to bring us at least some scenes that provide enjoyment.
Even though I mentioned the unknown force causing various scenes to be suspenseful, don’t let that detract from the fact that when you think something is going to happen, it does. When you think that girl is going to die – she is. When you think the kid she gives the box to is going to use it instead of burying it – he does. When you think she’s going to make some dumbass wish out of spite – she does. Of course they all do. The characters are predictable, although the way they die isn’t, and this created a film that didn’t surprise me in the least. It’s disappointing this movie turned out so poorly considering it was a great initial movie idea, with so many possibilities that could have really turned out well, if done well. It started out entertaining but they couldn’t hold the momentum of the opening scenes. I think if they focused on the box a little more, or maybe had more death scenes, or more interesting wishes, maybe it could have been a decent horror movie. Unfortunately, as is, this is nothing but a drama about teenage angst and popularity.
This movie is…
Interesting trailer and opening scenes but quickly falls flat and stays there.
Cheers and goodnight.