Review: Wish Upon

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“There have been others who’ve had the box. They, and everyone they love, all die.”


I’ve tried to think of a good word to describe this movie. Unsettling is the best that I can come up with. Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? No.

The movie centers around seventeen year old Clare Shannon (Joey King) and her father Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe) after her mother’s tragic suicide. The film opens with Clare as a child and her mother still alive. Clare rides down the street with her puppy and comes back home. She walks into the house and begins looking for her mother, walking upstairs just as her mother hangs herself. Flash forward to present day, Clare is a normal high school girl, and her father has went off the deep end a little. Since her mother’s suicide he has became a hoarder, and he does dumpster diving for a living. Clare gets the bad end of the stick because the kids at school make fun of her. Mainly classmate Darcie and her clique.

After embarrassing Clare at school, Jonathan and his friend go to another location to see what they can find. Jonathan finds an interesting box, and decides to give it to Clare as a gift to make up for earlier in the day. Meanwhile, Clare gets into a fight with Darcie at school. When she sees the box and reads what it says, she jokingly makes a wish hoping that Darcie would rot. To her surprise, the next day at school they learn that Darcie got some sort of infection from the spa and is literally “rotting”. What seems to be a coincidence to Clare after her first wish, turns out to be harsh reality when all of her wishes start coming true and the people around her begin dying.

This was a knockoff of the Monkey’s Paw story, Wishmaster, and several other forms of media that have taken the W. W. Jacobs story and made it into real life. Did this film have potential? I say yes. It was a fresh take on a concept that has been around over a century. Did it deliver on that potential? I would mostly have to say no. While the film was not bad, and made me extremely uncomfortable, it didn’t do Jacobs’ short story justice. The concept of making wishes and getting what you want only to ultimately cause harm to someone else nauseates me. Clare made a wish not thinking that it would have any consequences, but it did. Even when she realized the harm she was causing, she kept making wishes. She became addicted to it all.

My biggest issue with the film was the kind of wishes that she was making. Yeah, I get it, you’re in high school and life is hard. BUT WISH FOR SOMETHING THAT MIGHT MATTER TO YOU IN FIVE YEARS? Popularity, money, the popular boy to like you– none of it matters. And none of it will matter to you later. Wish for money in the future, wish for a happy life, but my gosh don’t wish for your dad not to be embarrassing, because everyone’s parents embarrass them sometimes.

The acting was subpar, but not terrible. I don’t have too much to say about it, good or bad.

Overall, this movie was mediocre at best. It made me think about what I would do, and some parts made me uncomfortable. I would probably take a chance and watch it again if it came out on Netflix, but until then, I’ll keep it as a distant memory. (And try not to remember that I spent $13 on it.)

Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Trailer: Wish Upon


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