A teen girl discovers a magical box that will grant her seven wishes. As she uses her wishes for personal gain, bad things begin to happen to those around her. She discovers an evil entity lives inside the box and may be behind the gruesome deaths.Written by
L.E.T.S.G.O. (Cashio Remix Remix)
Written by Anthony R. Miller, Jamin Wilcox
Published by Edgecliffe Music (ASCAP), Jamin Wilcox Publishing (ASCAP)
Performed by Headband
Courtesy of AM Sounds See more »
"Wish Upon" is one of the best thrillers of the year!
"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you." That's the chorus from a song in Walt Disney's 1940 animated classic "Pinocchio" – and the song went on to become the de facto anthem of the Walt Disney Company. But 2017's fantasy horror thriller "Wish Upon" (PG-13, 1:31) sure ain't Disney. Throughout history, in literature, folklore and real life, people have made wishes by throwing money in a well, blowing dandelion seeds into the wind, blowing out candles on a birthday cake and whispering their greatest desires to the heavens. Those wishes are usually for good things and, if a wish seems to have come true, it usually means good things have happened. But along with the universal human habit of wishing, comes the proverbial admonition to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes a wish granted can create unforeseen problems that the wisher then wishes he or she could just wish away. The advertising for "Wish Upon" carries a reminder of that traditional warning and the movie makes the point that, whether you're wishing on a star or a mysterious wooden box, the seemingly innocuous act of making a wish, can make you wish you hadn't.
Clare Shannon (Joey King) is a typical teenager with typical wishes. She's awkward and wishes she weren't. She has a crush on a classmate (Mitchell Slaggert) who doesn't notice her and she wishes he would. She doesn't have much money and she wishes she did. Her father embarrasses her and she wishes he didn't. And she has even more serious problems (like the memory of seeing her mother hang herself years earlier), problems she'd love to be able to wish away, but can't. Or can she? When Clare's father, Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe), who seems to make his living by salvaging what other people throw away (think, a modern day "Sanford and Son"), brings her home a wooden box with Chinese writing on it, Clare just may have the solution to all her problems sitting right on her bed. Then again, maybe not.
Clare is learning Chinese in school and, while she can't read all the writing on the box, she can make out something about the box granting seven wishes. Not really believing that the box's promise is real, but really wishing it were, she touches it and makes a hypothetical wish that a school bully "would just go rot". When Clare's tormentor suddenly comes down with a flesh-eating infection, Clare is amazed at the "coincidence". She doesn't necessarily believe that her wish was responsible or that the box caused her classmate's unusual illness, but she makes some more wishes you know just in case. What Clare definitely doesn't yet fathom is that a series of freak accidents and tragic deaths in her town are somehow connected to her wishes. To understand that means being able to read the rest of the writing on the box and learning about its mysterious origins, things that her classmate, Ki Hong Lee (Ryan Hui) can help her out with. But even when she understands what's happening and why, she has to decide whether to listen to her best friends Sydney and Shannon (Meredith McNeil and June Acosta) who tell her to get rid of the box, or heed the ominous warning the box has for those who take such an action.
"Wish Upon" is one of the best thrillers of mid 2017. Sure, it's unrealistic, but show me a thriller that isn't. And, yes, it's kind of simplistic, but therein lies its appeal. Screenwriter Barbara Marshall ("Viral", TV's "Terra Nova") creates a solid mythology to under-gird the film's premise and does a great job of connecting the dots of her various plot points, while staying within the limits she establishes for her story. Director John R. Leonetti ("Annabelle", "The Butterfly Effect 2") keeps the script real (regarding the behavior of an ordinary teenage girl caught up in some extraordinary circumstances), builds tension at key moments and gives us some disturbing and bloody fulfillment of the box's warnings, while not relying on an unnecessary amount of gore. The acting is even pretty good for a horror movie, especially from the film's central character, played by rising young star Joey King. This movie combines typical teenage dreams with the nightmare of the "Final Destination" films and what Movie Fans get is one creepy, scary and brain-teasing good time which brings home the warning in the film's tagline. "A-"
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