Joey King looks to be an up and coming young actress who has found herself in a few different feature films due to her talent. Even with that being the case, it appears as if one of her main genre at this point could be horror. With a movie like The Conjuring on your résume, that’s an understandable move if that’s the case. You just hope the ones that she does in the near future are better than Wish Upon.
The drama and frights begin for Clare Shannon (Joey King) after her father (Ryan Phillippe) brings home a mysterious music box that promises to grant wishes. After seeing its powers first hand, the young lady sees this as a chance to improve on her difficult and awkward life both in and out of school. While it all seems great at the start, she comes to understand that the price of each wish that she makes comes with bloody consequences.
Movies like Wish Upon always disappoint me. Not only because it’s another horror movie that ultimately fails to excite, but they missed out on an opportunity to make this a decent movie. From my perspective, all that needed to be done was turn this into something that’s less serious. It would have been hard to make this great, but there was potential just by shifting the tone.
Since it comes with a rating of PG-13 and stars a number of teenagers, Wish Upon is something that I’m assuming is geared toward youngsters as well as adults interested in these kinds of scary movies. With that, you can lighten it up a little just to make it more engaging and palatable. Instead of doing that, they chose to take this and turn it into an R rated type of movie with no blood, gore or really anything else that you may expect from that kind of thing.
Something like The Conjuring is different when speaking about PG-13 movies since it’s based in a world where gore isn’t needed and the main characters are adults. This on the other hand, is closer to something like Ouija. While that one isn’t great by any means, it’s light enough to the point where you don’t need or want to take it seriously. Because of the way they laid it all out, that movie was successful enough to spawn a sequel that more than a handful of critics and fans alike actually enjoyed.
Because Wish Upon is taken so seriously, it ends up becoming a semi-decent comedy. You can also say that the bad dialogue also helped accomplish that as well. Although it’s not a good horror movie, this has at least a few solid things going on that makes the movie watchable at least once. You’ll likely finish it thinking you wasted your time, and I wouldn’t be able to disagree with that. However, Wish Upon is something that you can laugh at even though much it’s usually for the wrong reasons in most cases.
I’m hoping that Joey King and the rest of the cast get more chances to do movies of better quality in the future. It’s clear that they cared, and they deserve opportunities to continue to showcase their talents. Hopefully, the other projects that they get to do both inside and outside of this genre are things that are made by people understanding the need to be aware of your audience and how you want to pull them in. IN reality, I think it’s really that simple. Doing so here could have prevented this from failing as much as it does.
Director: John R. Leonetti
Ki Hong Lee
Film Length: 90 minutes
Release Date: July 14, 2017
Distributor: Broad Green Pictures
- Score - 3.5/103.5/10