I honestly don’t know where to start with this one. The problems really lie in the fact that the acting was great, the filming was great, the effects were great. Usually, in any given horror movie, something is off about one of these things, even if it’s big budget but no. All of that was really good. Even the writing wasn’t that awful as in the actual dialogue but the behavior of the main character was. Like were we supposed to hate her? Anyway, this is my review of the movie Wish Upon (kind of more like a rant) and it is not spoiler free. I wouldn’t worry too much about that though because it’s not really worth paying to see and if you know anything about horror movies that also involve wishing for things, you can pretty much figure out the ending on your own. Seriously, spoilers, right away, stop reading right now.
The movie starts out with a woman who is throwing something away that is wrapped up. Which, I’m sorry, but it’s kind of instantly obvious to anyone watching that this was the evil box. You can’t see that it is but it’s obvious, it really is. Or maybe I just watch too many horror movies because I think this was supposed to be a twist? I can’t tell. Whatever. So there’s this little girl and her puppy dog and she’s riding her bike and the dog is following her. Then she goes and does little girl stuff and comes back home. She walks in on her mom in the attic and she’s hanging herself.
Then it shows the girl as an older teen waking up with the same dog except now it’s not a puppy anymore. From this, we can deduce that she was the little girl who walked in on her mother committing suicide. We find out that she’s kind of poor and her dad (think his name is John) is a dumpster diver and that’s how he makes money or something. Which is obviously embarrassing to a teenage girl. Also, this apparently takes place in Cleveland, Ohio. This only matters because I fucking live in Cleveland and I think they used only two actual places in Cleveland to film. 99% of that movie is not Cleveland except like one establishing shot (which was so grainy it could have easily been stock footage from the 90’s) and then the scene after the end credits. We’ll get to that later.
Claire ( the main girl who saw her mom die) is riding her bike to school. When she’s about to pass her rich as fuck uncle’s house some bitch girl from her school (Darcie) nearly hits her with her car and she goes flying off of the bike. She talks to her old ass uncle for a moment and gives him his newspaper then goes to school. Darcie, her bitch friend, and some catty gay guy are mean to her some more. Meanwhile, her father is dumpster diving somewhere and finds the wish box in the garbage. Claire meets up with her friends June and Meredith (side note: I really liked Meredith) and this ends in a fight with Darcie (an actual like well…girl equivalent to a fist fight) where apparently neither of them get suspended or expelled or anything. Hell, their parents don’t even seem to care. Darcie goes to the spa after and Claire doesn’t even get yelled at.
When Claire gets home her dad tells her he found something for her and he thought she’d like it cause it has Chinese writing on it and she takes Chinese classes in school. She goes and looks at it. The box (at least the part she can read) says wish and seven. Then she goes on Instagram or something and sees a bunch of people making fun of her for being a loser and “losing” this fight with Darcie. She puts her hands on the box and wishes that Darcie would “Go rot”. Then, Of course, the next morning Darcie has necrotizing fasciitis (That’s basically a bacteria that kills your skin and makes it rot and whatever). People think she got it from the spa, mostly, except that when Claire hear’s this she seems to connect the two things. Then later that afternoon or night or something I dunno when her dog dies.
At that point, she’s super sad and seems to know that the box granted her wish (or not) and decides to wish that the popular guy, Paul, was madly in love with her. Then the next day he’s totally being a creep and staring at her and super into her but she also doesn’t seem to like it? I mean you’d think if she wished for that she’d instantly be right into it but she’s not. She also didn’t even seem like the type to want someone like him. She seemed way more into her friend Paul. Anyway because she made this wish her super rich Uncle who her dad said was bad/evil but never explained why, dies. She finds this out and then wishes that he would leave everything in his will to her and she gets her wish.
There’s a whole montage of shopping and being rich and hanging out with her friends and all that crap. At this point, someone is stalking her at night but she never sees who. She knows it’s happening though. Also anytime the box kills someone it opens up and plays music and then shuts again but she’s never seen it happen. Then she makes a wish that her dad won’t be so super embarrassing anymore. That comes true but it kills her neighbor who was super nice to her at the start of the movie, Mrs. Deluca. Except, Claire isn’t living anywhere near there at that point and apparently this lady lives alone so no one figures out she died for like a week. This role was played by Sherilyn Fenn who I adore in anything she does, but it kind of irked me because her best role ever is Audrey Horne, who was a smart young woman and Mrs. Deluca was kind of an idiot. When the box is killing Mrs. Deluca, Claire is in her room and sees it open and play music then shut but kind of never really questions this because she’s a moron I suppose.
Also, I may be getting the timeline of events in this movie mixed up, I’m sure Mrs. Deluca died third but I can’t remember what the wish she made to make that happen was. Alright so by this point her friend Ryan (who just happens to be Chinese) has told her more about the box but he can’t figure out some of the symbols on there. He says his cousin could help but she turns him down. Which is obviously exactly what you want to do at that point even though you have to be somewhat aware that this box is killing people and it’s all connected. I mean it wasn’t even subtle it was obvious. I’d have pretty much figured it out after my uncle died (even if I also didn’t give a shit about my uncle).
For some reason, I don’t remember why she goes to visit Mrs. Deluca and finds her dead. That’s when she decides to take Ryan up on his offer and go see his cousin Gina so she can read the box. They find out that the box used to belong to and/or was created by a woman named Lu Mei. Her family died (all except her) and she went to a temple and prayed for seven days to get revenge on all that harmed her family. Then a demon came to her and gave her a box or something I dunno. She got wealthy and shit happened then she died of an opium overdose. Gina still can’t read some of the symbols so she has some friend named Mike and she texts him a picture to ask him.
Claire and Ryan flirt a bit then she goes home and makes another wish to be super popular and have everyone love her. Which comes true because she’s immediately invited to a huge party for the popular kids. It’s at this point that Gina gets sent the translation to the box. It says something like, “when the music stops playing the blood price is paid” or whatever. She tries to call Ryan to tell him but of course, she dies in a series of improbable events.
The next day, Claire runs into him and he demands to know how many wishes she made and whatever. She’s really aloof about it as if she still hasn’t drawn the connection but we all know that at this point she totally has (Maybe?) see Claire is a very idiotic girl which also shouldn’t be possible since she’s kind of made out to be some kind of nerd at the beginning but don’t ask me. He explains to her the blood price thing and that his cousin is dead now. He wants her to get rid of the box but she tries to play it off like it’s no big deal and she won’t make any more wishes. Then she starts to get freaked out and apologizes to her friends June and Meredeth and tries to explain to them about this box and her wishes.
Meredith and June first try to play it off as coincidence and like they don’t believe it. Then they also get upset with her for being selfish for her wishes. She doesn’t want to get rid of the box because if she does then all the wishes reverse themselves and things go back to how they were. She promises to get rid of the box and there’s a scene where she’s about to throw it out and it’s implied that she does. Then they cut to her at some party for high school seniors. She breaks up with Paul but he’s MADLY in love with her. She makes up with her friends to go on some senior scavenger hunt with them. June asks if she threw the box out and she’s like, “Uh…yeah” and it’s obvious she’s lying but June just believes her.
When they are on the hunt, Meredith goes off in this hotel they found to catch some kind of weird monster on her phone for this horror themed Pokemon type game. When she’s on the elevator it crashes to the floor and kills her. This is intercut with scenes of her father getting a flat tire and nearly dying to tease you about which one will die next. June blames her for Meredith’s death (no shit though cause I would too). Claire then tries to go to beg Ryan for help. He has been researching the box and found out that after Lu Mei, the box went to some soldier guy who got rich but ended up killing himself. Then it got to some dude in Cleveland who won the lottery and got married and whatever then his wife died and kids (maybe) he barricaded himself into his house and it was set on fire and he died. Also apparently after you make the 7th wish then the demon that owns the box comes to get your soul and you die anyway so basically all you have to do is not make the 7th wish.
They try to destroy the box by doing TWO THINGS which don’t work and they quickly give up. They try to burn it and then hit it with a sledgehammer 3 times and then they are like “Well, we’ve done all we can do” and give up. That night, Paul shows up at Claire’s house saying he’s going to kill her and/or himself if she won’t be with him anymore and slits his wrists. The police are called but it doesn’t appear he died as he’s sitting up and relatively normal when the ambulance is shown. At some point after (or during this), the box goes missing. Claire is freaking out but Ryan asks her if there’s anything she wished for that she can’t live without and she says no. The wishes start to reverse because the box was stolen. Except everyone who died is still dead. Awesome.
It turns out that June stole the box and is keeping it in her locker at school. Claire sees this and flips out and fights with her to get it back, knocking her down the stairs as she does. She doesn’t seem to care much about this either. She runs home and is promising not to make any more wishes then suddenly wishes that her mother never killed herself. So her mom is there, and she has two siblings, and her dad is there and it’s her birthday. Yay. She has some fun with this for a while but because her mom never died her mom still has an art studio in the house (her mom was an artist) and she finds a painting her mom did of the box. Which, I’m sorry, it just wasn’t a twist at all to me cause I kind of saw that coming from scene one. If it was supposed to be a twist it was lost on me and my friend who saw the movie with me. Then her dad dies in the dumbest way possible (At this point almost anytime anyone died I was either laughing or rolling my eyes).
Then she starts screaming that it’s all her mom’s fault and wishes for the box to take her back to the morning before her father even found the box. It does. Then everyone’s still alive and back to normal. She goes with her father that day to dumpster dive and finds the box herself. She puts it in her bag and takes it to Ryan and asks him to just bury the bag and don’t ask questions and whatever. At which point she’s hit by the bitchy girl’s car because you die once you make seven wishes. At a scene after the credits, we see Ryan digging a hole and then going to bury the bag but he takes the box out and sees the Chinese on it. He translates it to Seven Wishes and it cuts out from there.
- If the mom had the box originally what did she wish for? It seemed like they were all poor as fuck even from the very start of the movie before the mother killed herself so…what?
- How did the mother get the box? Why did no one know about this? How did the guy after her get the box? Did she know him? How is that all connected?
- The scene with the guy who last had the box implied he was married to her mother (I’d have to see that again to make sure that’s what it was saying) but if that’s the case then…did she take the box and undo all of the wishes then kill herself? Why even do that? And if this even is what happened, Claire’s father couldn’t possibly be her father and that wasn’t ever talked about. That whole angle of it was super confusing.
- The father told Claire he wished she wouldn’t talk to her super rich uncle cause he was bad/evil but never said why. The worst I could think was that he was rich and not giving them money (making him bad/evil) or that he was committing tax fraud BUT there was no way for the dad to know that until later in the movie. It was also not explained if the uncle was his or on his mother’s side (I don’t think). So whatever that was about, it was not explained.
- Claire wasn’t an idiot or at least not set up to be one. If someone like Darcie had gotten the box I could see why she wouldn’t put two and two together and see it was killing people but Claire it took her until basically finding Mrs. Deluca to even slightly believe it, then Gina had to die (Ryan’s cousin) and even still after that point she was making wishes. Are you kidding me? Why? If I hadn’t immediately drawn the connection after my dog died I would have certainly understood it after my uncle died (even if I didn’t care about him cause he was a shit head).
- The box and how long it took to kill people. It seemed like everyone got killed the same night a wish was made EXCEPT when Meredith died. That death seemed to take like a week.
- When she wishes to be the most popular girl in school and everyone would love her, her two friends still hated her, the wish didn’t seem to work on them at all but if she wishes she was the most popular/well-liked girl in school, why did they still hate her?
The acting, effects, cinematography, and scoring were really good. The characters were believable (dialogue wise for teenagers) and the scenery was pretty cool. The only actual problem was that I didn’t find the main character sympathetic at all. At a certain point, you just start hating her because you know she’s aware of what she’s doing and she just won’t stop doing it. There was never anything to really explain this behavior either. Every time someone died she got super upset so it wasn’t like she was killing and didn’t care (except maybe her uncle). However, she was upset over her best friend and Mrs. Deluca and then, of course, Gina because she was her friend’s cousin. There was no reason for her to continue. It even seemed that she wasn’t enjoying two of her wishes that she immediately figured out she didn’t want to be with Paul AND popularity was stupid and empty.
If everything was all working out for her and going well, and she didn’t clearly regret at least two of the wishes that she’d made, then it would make sense for her to keep wishing and be power hungry. Also after her dog died and she was SOOOO upset about this she didn’t wish for her dog to be alive again and regardless of how stupid that would have been or how badly it probably would have ended up, wouldn’t that be like ANYONE’S first wish if they thought the box could actually grant wishes? Well it would be mine I’d probably wish for my dog and myself to be immortal (I’m kind of amazed none of the previous box owners wished for something like that as it would kind of ensure the demon at the end can’t come and kill you).
Whatever, the point is that if you want to hate the main character and watch her make really dumb decisions while also cheering against her the whole movie, it’s a good movie. Otherwise, it’s tedious, riddled with plot holes, and a cliche ending that you can see coming miles away. Since it was well acted and filmed I can’t call it a piece of crap entirely but it was like you know…a pile of shit nicely wrapped up with a bow that kind of only stunk a little. Probably skip this one until it’s cheap or, free.