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Featured Blu-ray and DVD Review: Wish Upon

October 8th, 2017

Wish Upon - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand (Theatrical)
Video on Demand (Unrated)

Wish Upon

Wish Upon could go down in history as the movie that ended Broad Green Pictures production division. That’s not fair, as the film earned more domestically than it cost to make and only one other film they produced and distributed can make the same claim. The film didn’t ruin their production division. It was just the most recent film to come out when the decision was announced. Does the film deserve this infamy? Or is it a decent horror movie saddled with some bad luck?

The Movie

We are first introduced to Joanna and her young daughter, Clare. There is obviously something on Joanna’s mind, because shortly after we are introduced to her, she kills herself, only to have her body discovered by Clare.

When we flash forward to the present, we meet the older Clare. Her mother’s suicide has been tough on her and her father, Jonathan. He’s become a hoarder and goes through dumpsters looking for stuff to collect and even does this at Clare’s school. This doesn’t help her social standing there. Clare does have some friends, notably June and Meredith, but she also has multiple run ins with Darcie, the Mean Girl of the school.

While Clare is at school, Jonathan finds a Chinese music box. His partner, Carl, thinks it will be worth a lot of money. However, Jonathan has a better idea and gives it to Clare, because it’s Chinese and she’s taking Chinese in school. At first Clare isn’t interested at all, because it’s literally trash, but when she sees it, she’s intrigued. She can’t read all of the writing on the box, but she knows part of it says seven wishes. For her first wish, she wishes Darcie would rot. It is not a spoiler to say that wish comes true, nor it is a spoiler to say these wishes come at a price.

However, what exactly that price is definitely is a spoiler.

Wish Upon is a wish-granted horror movie and this particular sub-genre tends to follow a template quite closely. It is sort of like romantic comedies in that regard. Because of this, the movie needs something to help it stand out. It needs an interesting hook or a real sense of style to set it apart. Sadly, this doesn’t happen, as the style is also not original and the filmmakers seem “inspired” by the Final Destination franchise.

If you are interested in a horror film that feels like a lost Final Destination sequel, then is Wish Upon worth checking out? I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The film has bad editing that causes, among other things, some pacing issues. On the other hand, the film does have some good kills that work both in the PG-13 and the Unrated versions thanks to the tension generated. Additionally, the acting in the movie is better than the dialog in the script. Joey King is the lead and without a good central performance, the movie would have been painful to watch. She elevates the material she is given, as does many of the supporting cast. I especially liked seeing Shannon Purser from Stranger Things here.

Overall, Wish Upon isn’t nearly as bad as its Tomatometer Score would indicate, but it is, at best, a flawed but entertaining horror film.

The Extras

The Blu-ray comes with both the PG-13 rated and the Unrated versions. The latter is just 1 minute longer, but there’s apparently 10 minutes of alternate scenes. I guess I could watch the two movies side by side to see what’s different, but I’m not going to. Right now, the DVD costs $15 on Amazon, while the Blu-ray costs $45. That’s not worth it. There’s more gore in the Unrated version and that’s all you really need to know.

Extras begin with a two-and-a-half minute interview featurette with the cast. Joey King give a two-minute tour of the attic set. Directing Darkness is another two-and-a-half minute behind-the-scenes featurette. Finally, there are two motion comics. The first looks at the origins of the box and the second looks at how the music box got to America.

That’s not a lot of extras, but I wasn’t expecting much.

The Verdict

Wish Upon isn’t as bad as its reviews or box office numbers would indicate, but it is also not a great movie. It is worth checking out, if you are a fan of the genre, but I don’t think the DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack are worth picking up.

Filed under: Video Review, Wish Upon, Final Destination, Ryan Phillippe, Joey King, Kevin Hanchard, Elisabeth Rohm, Shannon Purser, Sydney Park, Josephine Langford, Raegan Revord
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