- release date
- Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Shannon Purser
- John R. Leonetti
We gave it a C-
Wish they’d start making Final Destination movies again? Hey, me too! For the moment, however, we’ll have to settle for Wish Upon — and “settle” is very much the operative term.
Joey King (The Conjuring, White House Down) stars as a high school sort-of outcast named Clare, who has a dumpster-diving father (Ryan Phillippe) and two best friends, the sharp-tongued Meredith (Sydney Park) and the Barb-from-Stranger-Things-esque June (Shannon Purser, a.k.a. Barb-from-Stranger Things). Clare wants to be rich, popular, and squired around the school hallways by a hunk. All of these desires are realized after Dad gifts her a music box capable of granting wishes.
Alas, each successfully-complete request comes at a cost of a “blood sacrifice,” with the music box supernaturally orchestrating the death of someone close to our heroine. That should be the real start of the fun, as the audience wonders who will pay the price for Clare’s lifestyle-upgrades and in what gruesome fashion that will occur. But it’s hard to care in which order the film’s collection of thinly-sketched characters will be offed while the kills themselves prove far less memorable than the Rube Goldberg-ian lunacy of the aforementioned Final Destination franchise, in which Death itself played the series’ diligent, and highly inventive, slasher-killer.
The result is not terrible — King is winning enough and Annabelle director John R. Leonetti keeps matters moving at an appropriately fast clip. However, this is forgettable stuff. It is tempting, of course, to sign off by saying your writer would use one of his wishes to wipe away the memory of watching the film. The good news is that the passage of time will surely take care of that soon enough. C–