Some money-rich producers really wanted to sell a wish-granting music box as a scary movie, and it really fell flat in that direction.
However, this clever “monkey’s paw” story is a cute “Final Destination” premise that shined with a lesser known cast of high school kids acting like actual high school kids.
When one girl is gifted a Chinese music box that gives the owner seven wishes, the teen makes plenty of selfish wishes that end exactly how one would expect.
To its credit, Joey King as said girl was not a terrible role, and actually made the story bearable. In fact, much of how the character is written and what she has to deal with justified her wishes.
Rest of the cast also did a good job of bringing the high school angst to life, and perhaps a stand-out scene in the film was this stupidly realistic cat fight in the cafeteria, right down to everyone whipping their cell phones out.
Perhaps the younger demographics were aimed well for this kind of plot, but the marketing sure does trick everyone into thinking that a monster takes place somewhere in the film. It doesn’t, and the loud noise jump scares are just loud noises.
Even when “Wish Upon” feels like a predictable missed opportunity, there are lots of cliché trappings and plot holes they tend to avoid.
Every wish felt premeditated, and the script felt very tight and grounded in this pseudo reality and mysticism that became so much more interesting in the last ten minutes, and then it ends.
Of all the half-baked horror movies hitting theatre before Halloween, “Wish Upon” is not complete garbage.
Clocked out in less than two hours, the film is definitely worth the time for those looking a for non-horror campfire story.