Wish Upon

We often wonder what wishes we would cast if given the opportunity. We think of the riches, second chances, and various selfish or generous choices we would make. In Wish Upon, we bear witness to how this plays out for one teenage girl.

Wish Upon stars Ryan Phillippe as a widowed father to a teen daughter, Clare, played by Joey King (Ramona and Beezus). Working as a salvager, he comes across an antique Chinese Box that he gives to her for her birthday. Clare quickly understands that the box has the ability to grant wishes, but her limited understanding of Chinese prevents her from being able to decipher all of the characters on it which reveal an all important disclaimer: each wish will result in the death of someone you know.

The film is ambitious with its premise yet falls flat in its execution. What seemed to be a promising mix of The Box and Final Destination, resulted in an uninspiring teen thriller that, at times, seemed more slapstick than a film that would grab your attention and fill its viewers with anxiety and tension. Wish Upon checks off many of the cliché boxes with respect to their storytelling and interactions between characters and provides little originality.

Wish Upon misses the mark in not finding an identity. It jumps from being a slasher, to being a teen comedy, to being a romance. This would not be problematic if it incorporated all of these facets into creating a film that takes advantage of these aspects, but it does little to allow for the story to seem as one that would be memorable. Wish Upon will leave audiences wishing they had made a different choice at the box office.