Film Review: ‘Wish Upon’ is light-hearted, teen-centric summer horror fun

Be careful what you wish for.

It’s early summer, 2017. You’re looking for an easy to watch, teen-centric summer popcorn-horror flick. You’d like it to be good, but it doesn’t have to be great. Heck, it can even be kind of ridiculous – as long as it’s entertaining and somewhat fun. Well, you’re in luck, because Wish Upon has arrived to grant you your wish.

From BroadGreen Pictures and director John Leonetti (Annabelle), comes the tale of Clare Shannon (Joey King), an angsty high schooler with a troubled past whose father (Ryan Phillippe) gifts her a found music box that promises to grant its owner seven wishes.

But this is no ordinary wish box. This one is old, Chinese, and full of mysterious writing. Never mind, because Clare innocently enough begins making wishes, not expecting that they might actually be granted, and certainly not guessing that each wish comes with a deadly price!

Luckily, she has some help in deciphering what’s going on, thanks to potential love interest Ryan Hui (Kee Hong Lee), who happens to be Chinese and who also happens to have a cousin who can decode ancient Chinese text.

Meanwhile, those closest to her, including BFF’s June and Meredith (Shannon PurserSydney Park) become concerned as Clare seems to fall deeper into the grips of the box’s mystical spell.

Wish Upon‘s style is reminiscent of Final Destination, drawing a fun sort of suspense out of the inevitability and freak-accident-type nature of its deaths. While it doesn’t bring much in terms of updates or freshness to this arena, it still brings a few thrills.

The film’s pacing is a bit strange, with some scenes feeling rushed, but that’s probably for the best lest you dwell too long on the bits that don’t quite work.

Where Wish Upon falls short in depth and originality, it makes up for with a diverse, eclectic cast that includes a number of fun familiar faces (Sherilyn Fenn!). Sure, some of them are peppered in rather randomly (Jerry O’Connell, what?), but it’s all part of the fun.

The end result is a movie that leans more horror-comedy than horror, a slightly silly but watchable summer popcorn flick.

Bottom Line: Wish Upon is light-hearted, teen-centric summer horror fun. Don’t wish for too much and you just might enjoy it.

Wish Upon (2017) PG-13

BroadGreen Pictures

Dir. John Leonetti.

Writer: Barbara Marshall

Cast: Joey King, Ki Hong Li, Ryan Phillippe, Sydney Park, Shannon Purser, Sherilyn Fenn, Elizabeth Rohm, Kevin Hanchard, Mitchell Slaggert.


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