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Review: Wish Upon

Updated on October 11, 2017
Joseph Lawrence profile image

Joseph Lawrence (25) grew up in the New York area and is a recent college grad in Film Studies. He is a huge film buff and loves horror!

Wish Upon theatrical poster
Wish Upon theatrical poster

Wish Upon

Directed by John R. Leonetti (the man who directed The Conjuring, Insidious: Chapter 2, and Annabelle), Wish Upon is a 2017 supernatural horror film. The cast includes Joey King (Clare Shannon), Ki Hong Lee (Ryan Hui), and Ryan Phillippe as Jonathan Shannon, Clare's father. The story is simple and kind of catchy. Clare's father finds a Chinese music box while dumpster diving and gives it to Clare has a birthday present. The music box grants the user any wish they want as long as a blood price is paid. Friends and enemies are dying around Clare and she ultimately has to decide who's happiness matters. Hers or the people she cares about.

Clare (Joey King) and her friends.
Clare (Joey King) and her friends.

High School

What Wish Upon easily does best is kill off its annoying high school cast. The movie does not stray away from the typical mean-girl clique stereotype either. The kids are all insufferable and one-dimensional. There's no one who you will actually care about, if they died. As a matter of fact, when they do die it'd be of great relief that you no longer have to deal with them. On the bright side, the film does have its characters that are caring, sympathetic, and helpful. Some of whom, you'd hate to see die, but then they will.

The Wishes

If you had a magical wish box, what would you wish for? World peace, a cure for cancer, more wishes? Absolutely, the worst part about Wish Upon, ironically are the wishes. The shallowness and idiocy behind the things that Clare wishes's amazing. But, she's a teenager right? I guess I shouldn't be too hard on her.

But then again, her first few wishes are wasted on a boy crush, her dad's behavior, and popularity. Even her friends tease her and say she could've actually wished for more important things. Now that I think about it, one of those wishes could've been used differently. Maybe, to take out another one of her bullies in school, just saying.

Clare (Joey King), Ryan (Ki Hong Lee), and his cousin as they try to decipher the meaning of the music box.
Clare (Joey King), Ryan (Ki Hong Lee), and his cousin as they try to decipher the meaning of the music box.


The most horrifying aspect of Wish Upon is its wasted potential. The movie clearly knows hows to be scary. There are scenes using demon statues as a way of transitioning between scenes and the actors' acting is really solid. Also, to the film's benefit, the death scenes are creative and gruesome. If you were to casually watch it and not take any of it seriously, then you'd have no regrets. But, if you require a little more from your horror movies then maybe look elsewhere.

Wish Upon is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and available streaming platforms.


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