Wish Upon movie review: A candidate for the worst film of the year; watch for unintentional laughs

Mihir Fadnavis

Jan 12, 2018 14:05:45 IST


In the same week that we have Paddington 2, a candidate for the best film of the year, we also have Wish Upon - a candidate for the worst film.

This is not just a bad movie, this is one of those movies where you wonder how any single person from the hundreds of crew members continued to work on it knowing the material. The only reason you should watch it is if you’re in the mood for non-stop, unintentional hilarity.

The setup is basically a ripoff of the 90s trashy cult classic Wishmaster. A young girl (Joey King) finds a mysterious box that grants her seven wishes, but as she keeps making making wishes to benefit herself, she realizes that every wish has deadly consequences. This is in fact a classic horror trope, and done with a fairly minimal effort of self awareness and a sense of fun, this could have worked as a genre film.

A still from Wish Upon.

Unfortunately director John Leonetti and writer Barbarra Marshall (who also wrote the also terrible Viral) take the straight route and turn the film into a deadly serious affair, as if something truly nightmarish and important is going on, even though everything that is happening on the screen is utter rubbish.

There is neither any teen slasher fun to be had, nor any cheap but fun jump scare moment, nor any likable characters to care about, nor any semblance of logic or entertainment to keep yourself planted in your seat without wanting to poke your forehead with a fork to end the misery you’re being put through.

What is really frustrating about the film is what it doesn’t bother doing. There is in fact one interesting plot thread on what an unpopular teenager would do to become the center of attention. This is quite the gold mine for exploring teenage angst and the filmmakers could have done literally hundreds of things to make this a better quality film. Executed with the tone of something like The Ring or even the Final Destination movies this could have not been a complete disaster, but it seems that’s a wish even the magic box in the film cannot grant.

Interestingly the director Leonetti works largely as a DOP for James Wan’s films, and one would assume that someone who regularly collaborates with the modern horror maestro would learn a thing or two about the genre.

This discrepancy can actually be clarified by the fact that Leonetti has also directed Mortal Kombat 2 which is basically a series of side splitting unintentionally hilarious scenes strung together. It’s quite an achievement that he’s now got Mortal Kombat 2 and Wish Upon – which is basically The Room of modern horror movies – in his resume.

As if to ultimately flip you the bird the film ends with a sequel bait of a scene, promising you there is more to come – if Leonetti owns up to the crappiness of this movie and actually ramps up on the silliness for the sequel I’ll be the first in line to watch it.

Updated Date: Jan 12, 2018 14:05:45 IST