“Wish Upon” is a spooky teen story that’s not particularly scary and has lots of unintentional giggles, almost ensuring it a spot as a cult movie. Directed by John R. Leonetti, “Wish Upon” is about a mysterious Chinese wish box that wreaks havoc on the life of Clare (Joey King), who can’t stop making wishes, even as her loved ones drop dead around her.
Clare has had a hard life. Her mother (Elizabeth Rohm) committed suicide, and things haven’t been easy since then. Her dad (Ryan Phillippe) Dumpster-dives for scrap metal, and Clare is a misfit at school, a target of violent outbursts from a mean girl. When dad brings home a Dumpster treasure — the wish box — Clare facetiously uses it to wish ill upon her enemy.
And that wish comes true, gruesomely. So Clare keeps wishing for things like popularity, love and money. Later, she claims that she just wanted to feel “normal,” although it’s unclear how suddenly becoming a wealthy, popular girl overnight somehow is “normal.”
“Wish Upon” is an odd horror film, because the monster is also our heroine. “Wish Upon” is the kind of simple filmmaking coupled with insane writing and plot points that make it an ideal candidate for so-bad-it’s-good viewing.
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This is a harmless, defanged horror flick for the younger set. It’s never all that scary, but it is funny — a curio to be enjoyed for its silliness more than anything else.
Rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing images, thematic elements and language. 1:30. Fayette Mall, Frankfort, Georgetown, Hamburg, Nicholasville, Richmond, Winchester.