[IN THEATERS NOW] WISH UPON Is A By The Numbers Teen Horror Take On A Familiar Tale

When a horror film works, it should be either scary enough to frighten you or silly enough to entertain you and in a perfect world, both. Sometimes a good horror movie does both. John R. Leonetti’s WISH UPON does neither.

The film begins with a young mother placing something enclosed in a large paper grocery bag into a garbage can and closing the lid. The family dog, of course knows something’s wrong and promptly begins barking at the garbage can. She then tells her young daughter Clare to ride her pink bicycle down the sidewalk, dog in tow without straying too far. While this occurs she proceeds to walk back into the house and hang herself. You can pretty much guess what happens next. We then jump to several years later as Clare is now attending high school. Her father Jonathan spends his days digging through trash cansand his nights drinking beer on the porch with his dumpster diving buddy and only friend. He’s supposed to be a broken man yet he comes across as not much more than a happy-go-lucky dumpster diver. Take a wild guess at what he finds in the dumpster this time…

Jonathan leaves the object in the bag on Clare’s bed which turns out to be a kind of an octagon shaped box with faux Chinese writing carved into it. It just so happens that Clare knows the Chinese language through high school. Although the movie never makes it clear which dialect they are referring to. Basically, Clare is granted seven wishes. Want to take another wild guess what happens after each one is granted? Clare is a nerd and hangs out with a nerdy clique yet exhibits no actual nerdy attributes. So naturally she wishes her bully to, “just rot.” Not surprisingly, the debutante suddenly comes down with a rare disease that causes her to you know, rot. This then goes on and on. She makes a wish, the wish comes true and then someone dies. Basically the audience is five steps ahead of every character in the movie. Isn’t the point of a horror movie to be unpredictable?

I have a wish as well. I wish I got to review SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING instead of this film…

This is Harold. I’m the janitor at THE DAILY GRINDHOUSE. I get to see WISH UPON for free as long as I write something about it. Rich Maier was supposta write this but he insisted on writing about SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and some other guy got real pissed off about it. So I get to see this movie for free! To save time, I’m gonna write the review right here in the theater on my phone as I watch the movie!


Someone kills themselves in a house and then years later some other girl that lives in the same house gets a box that lets you get what you want.


Then a bunch of stuff happens and she moves into this real clean house and then she goes shopping with her friends.


Then they dance to a bunch of dance music and buy purses and make up.


Then a bunch of other stuff happens and then she gets back at some other girl that was mean to her.


Then she steals some other girl’s boyfriend. If The Fonz was a chick then she would be The Fonz! A bunch of people get killed too! She doesn’t even get sad when they die. She’s totally cool!


They kicked me out of the movie because of my phone! The guy next to me had a pad of paper! That isn’t fair! Now I’ll never get to see what happens at the end! I wish I never got to see the beginning!


The film stumbles all over itself trying to be clever. Casual dialogue pops up every now and then regarding a multiverse. The aforementioned  multiverse remains neither explored or even talked about in an intelligent way. When the film isn’t trying to be smart or frightening it merely turns into a mainstream dance (EDM) music video. In terms of editing and building tension, the movie hits most of the right marks but that’s actually part of the problem. Save for the very last scene, the right marks added to an all too familiar story only makes it beyond predictable. Even the twist isn’t really a twist. I would wish for another film but then again the last time I made a wish, the janitor ended up writing part of the review. Pathetic!



Rich Maier

Rich Maier is a film and music critic and a screenwriter from the badass Chicago suburb of Blue Island. Aside from often incomprehensible Facebook rants and The Daily Grindhouse, Rich has written screenplays and comic book scripts for Kaosfield Studios. When not being a writer and a beer snob, Rich is the main musician / producer for the mostly electronic act Sanity Association. He is also the former keyboardist, programmer, and sometimes guitarist for the legendary goth band Dalet-Yod.

Latest posts by Rich Maier (see all)

    Please Share

    Tags: , ,

    No Comments

    Leave a Comment