Wish Upon – (2017) Horror Movie Review

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By Melissa Antoinette Garza

 

I had the pleasure of watching WISH UPON (2017) in an empty theater with my favorite people in all the world, this past Sunday. My amazingly sexy, funny, talented husband of 7 years, Stephen Ray (Alotious) Garza, was on the left of me.   He’s the best around.  Nothing’s ever gonna keep us down.

And then, my best friend of almost 15 yrs, my confidant, co-planner of world domination and most awesome person in the world, Meghan Winkler was right there too.

Also, SHOUT OUT – to my Best Friend’s Boy Friend and therefore my best friend, Nick Stiles. If you need a house, live near the area, (Western MA), you should go to him!  He is the BONAFIDE CHAMP ins Real Estate:  http://rovithisrealty.com/agents/Nick+Stiles.

STYLE is literally his last name, sort of.  He’s intuitive, professional and will find you what you want for the right price!  He’s my true friend and a Rockstar so he gets this KUDOS from me, (even though he didn’t go see the movie, but probably out selling houses).  Just remember WHEN YOU WANT A HOUSE WITH STYLE, GO TO MR. STYLES!  (I take full blame for that slogan. Nick had nothing to do with it!)

So anyways, with Steve on the left of me, coming to see if WISH UPON is as of the “so bad, it’s good” variety and, Megan and I, there to enjoy how bad it is regardless of the sub-genre, we were set to go.

WISH UPON (2017) follows the selfish, annoying, greedy protagonist (?) Clare Shannon(Joey King).  Clare’s mother Johanna (Eliza Rohm) hanged herself while a very young Clare watched.  Her father, Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe) is a garbage man with a weird-ass beard, who, due to his inability to move on after Johanna) became a hoarder.  He also plays the saxophone for a few seconds and it’s supposed to be a big thing, but it’s not.

Clare, on the other hand, does have some big things going on.  She is getting teased and bashed by the cool (?) kids.  These three stereotypical caricatures reminded me of every movie I’ve seen in the last 15 years.  No depth, very flimsy, but, nonetheless, fun.  The head of the elites is this blonde, CLUELESS meets MEAN GIRLS, dumbass Darcie Chapman (Josephine Langford), her right-hand man is the black version of Jack from WILL AND GRACE, who walks around with his phone constantly taping Clare and putting up harassing b.s. on social media.  Tyler (Alexander Nunez), at no fault of Nunez’s, was made into this old-timey, effeminate, sassy homosexual that Dr. Frank N Furter (Tim Curry) and Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien) would’ve slapped him around like the bitch that he so clearly is.

Last is “OTHER MEAN GIRL” Lola (Daniela Barbosa) who is dating Clare’s crush Paul (Mitchell Slaggert).

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Now, it isn’t like Clare is all alone without friends to help her get through the day.  She isn’t the social outcast that she tries to make herself out to be.  Sure, her dad’s the garbage-man and the other kids at school see him, so she’s embarrassed.  Get over it, you millennial snowflake!  She has the homely, quiet, but tells-it-like-it-is, friend who should be ginger-but just quite isn’t,  June (June Purser).

There is a weird scene concerning June.   After Clare makes a wish, where June gives Jonathon a seductive look; and then nothing ever come of it.  Clare wished her dad was cooler, so it makes sense, but given the amount of time they stayed on the shot, I assumed there would be a follow-up where June throws herself at him.  It would have been such a pivotal and significant scene, because throughout the film, Purser brings out the softness and rational voice to Clare’s insanity.  Then in the end, June does something out of character.  The level of strength shown is out-of-nowhere.  I wonder if there is a deleted scenes between June and Johnathon that was cut. Otherwise, June’s character arc doesn’t make sense.

Purser is a fabulous actress.  She’s actually a very beautiful woman, but was put in costumes that though fitting of the character, is not of the actress.  While Purser brings much more to the character than the script demanded, the powers-that-be didn’t focus enough on the character’s attire.  June looked as though she just got back from a FALL OUT BOY concert circa 2002.

Clare’s other friend, Meredith McNeil (Sydney Park). who is a fast-talking, ready-to-fight on a dime, kind of girl is the most likable character in the movie.  She holds Clare accountable and isn’t afraid to hold a grudge for a little while.

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After being bullied at school by the cool kids, Clare went home to find her hoarder dad left a Chinese Wish Box on her bed.  Upset about Facebook postings regarding a fight with Queen Bee, Clare puts her hand on the box and makes a wish that Darcie would rot.

Sure enough, Darcie is out of school with a flesh-eating-bacteria the very next day.  Meredith and June have no idea about the box at this point so they think it’s just karma.  Meredith’s celebration regarding it is perfect.  She’s happy about Darcie’s condition, which is true to the character and performance.

At this point, Clare should know that the Wish Box is granting wishes.  When she comes home and finds her dog dead, she should have figured the Wish Box was bad news – but evidently she didn’t  (though she still made wishes).

Nearly all of her wishes are so vain and selfish.  She wishes for money, popularity and for her crush to fall in love with her – each time someone died, yet Clare, our protagonist keeps wishing and then feigns innocence.  She’s painfully naive and downright evil.  The final attempt at redeeming her just came way too late.  She was too complicit and willfully controlled for too long.  She was given too many opportunities to do the right thing and failed every time.

When she finally tells Meredith and June what’s going on, despite them not really believing her, they give her good advice to throw the box out.  She agrees, but instead keeps it.  It is here that the tone shifts a bit.  Instead of just enjoying the idea of having stuff, now her obsession is the box itself.  It’s almost an addiction.

All of her friends, even the boy crushing on her Ryan (Ki Hong Lee) tries to pry the box away from her.   He, along with his friend Gina (Alice Lee) who is also one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen, help Clare translate the Chinese Curse written on the wish box.  Essentially, the owner is given 7 wishes for a blood sacrifice.  If the owner doesn’t use the 7 wishes and throws the box away, all of her wishes will be reversed (but the sacrifices are gone – they’re not coming back), and if all 7 wishes are made, the box owns the owner’s soul, which historically means death in every case.

Overall, I had a great time at the movies.  The film was okay.  It was a fun, cheesy, teen horror movie.  I didn’t enjoy the caricatures or stereotypes, and I hated the protagonist, but otherwise it was fun.  If you’re looking for a horror movie barometer, I’d say, take 10% of CHRISTINE (1983), 10% of THE BOX (2009), 25% of FINAL DESTINATION (2001) and 55% of THE CRAFT (1996), and viola you got yourself WISH UPON (2017).

If you’re going to watch this, watch it with friends.  It’s something to laugh at and poke fun of.  It’s not a serious movie and it doesn’t even try to be one.  Don’t try to analyze it.  There’s a lot of holes, but who cares?  It’s not trying to be NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984).  WISH UPON is fine standing in the right line square in the middle of KNOCK KNOCK (2015) and MAMA (2013).

The ending is predictable, but it still entertained.

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Scared Stiff Rating:  6.5/10