I came of age during the late 90s and early 2000s with such teen horror films as “Scream,” “Final Destination,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Urban Legend,” and “The Craft.”
So upon watching “Wish Upon,” I had a sense of ‘I’ve been here before.’ Because I have.
“Wish Upon” centers on Clare Shannon (Joey King) who is your typical outsider teen just trying to make it through the horrors of the school hallway, while also attempting to keep things afloat at home with her beleaguered dad (played by Ryan Phillippe). Upon receiving a strange box as a gift, covered in ancient Chinese writings, things get set in motion. We discover that the box grants the owner seven wishes. Cool, sounds harmless. But just know that nothing is free. There’s always a price to pay.
Now, this is the point to where I was having serious déjà vu with this movie. The whole notion of someone using an ancient box or entity that grants ‘deadly’ wishes kept creeping up in the back of my mind while watching the movie. And I finally figured it out with a quick Google search when I arrived home. It has all the trappings of the Wes Craven-produced, 1997 film “Wishmaster,” with just a few tweaks.
I’m not knocking “Wish Upon” for this, I’m just offering that if you’ve seen “Wishmaster” you’ll notice quite a few similarities between the two. There’s also one scene in the beginning dealing with a bully getting some just due that is straight out of “The Craft’s” playbook that I quite enjoyed — as a fan of that film.
This movie is steeped in teenage bad decisions — a formula that never ends because, real life. I was able to quickly deduce that I’ve aged out of this demographic, but was still curious to see the movie and the director’s take on this genre. And I’ve accepted that they didn’t make this movie with me in mind.
A major gripe of mine is the amount of time (basically at the end!) it took Clare to realize her wishes were setting off a dangerous and deadly chain reaction. That seemed implausible to me.
With that being said, it’s not a bad movie. But if you’re fans of the films I mentioned in the beginning, be prepared for comparisons and ‘Oh, this is about to happen’ quips to escape your lips.