Wish Upon

Wish Upon

2017, PG-13, 90 min. Directed by John R. Leonetti. Starring Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Sydney Park, Shannon Purser, Mitchell Slaggert, Elisabeth Röhm, Sherilyn Fenn, Alexander Nunez.

REVIEWED By Steve Davis, Fri., July 14, 2017

Jiminy Cricket! The dream fulfillments in the wretched horror/comedy Wish Upon come at a bloody price, ripe with psychological promise: For every wish an ancient Chinese music box grants, a life must be offered up in return. Unfortunately, the filmmakers here have no earthly idea how to execute this nifty supernatural conceit (Barbara Marshall’s screenplay appeared on the 2015 Black List), teetering between cheap laughs and cheap thrills without doing either very well.

Mousy high-schooler Clare (a misused King) lives on the outside of life looking in, a sad-sack sophomore who dreams of the things most girls her age crave (or so we’re told): wealth, respectability, popularity, and a hottie blond boyfriend resembling Mark-Paul Gosselaar in his Saved by the Bell heyday (a dumb-as-fuck Slaggert). So when her broken-down, junk-collecting daddy (Phillippe) gives her an Oriental octagonal box with mysterious powers, Clare wastes no time obsessively asking for everything but the moon, seemingly oblivious to the deaths (both canine and human) that coincidentally accompany each granted request. The pace of Wish Upon should build with grisly suspense as Clare realizes the consequences of her actions, and yet can’t squelch the desire for something more. It’s the American dream as the American nightmare or, maybe, as the ultimate addiction. But there’s nominal continuity between the sporadic scenes depicting the upside (a modernist mansion; the adulation of your peers) and the downside (the best demise: death by long, braided hippie hair caught in the garbage disposal) of each fulfilled wish. The movie seems to take place in an alternate multiverse that time literally forgot. The minutes seem like hours, the hours like minutes.

Wish Upon is yet another high-concept, low-budget (here: $12 million) enterprise that aims to make a fast buck with minimal effort. There’s nothing wrong with that business objective, but the timidity with which this movie proceeds goes against the grain of everything it should stand for. Aside from its bonkers It’s a Wonderful Life ending (as well as Park’s sassy turn as one of Clare’s BFFs), there’s nothing much here to distinguish it from other idiotic entries in the genre, most of which primarily depend upon turning up the volume to elicit scares (e.g., The Conjuring and Annabelle franchises). The scariest thing in Wish Upon? A seriously intent Phillippe pantomiming a wailing saxophone in the middle of the night. Ah, the horror, the horror. There are some things you can never unsee.

Showtimes

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Tue., July 25

CC/DVS 10:40

Wed., July 26

CC/DVS 10:40

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Tue., July 25

digital 4:40, 10:30

Wed., July 26

digital 4:40, 10:30

Tue., July 25

digital 10:15

Wed., July 26

digital 10:15

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Tue., July 25

digital 8:15, 10:55

Wed., July 26

digital 8:15, 10:55

Thu., July 27

digital 8:15, 10:55

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., July 25

digital 1:20

Wed., July 26

digital 4:00, 6:50, 9:15

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Tue., July 25

10:20am, 1:20, 7:10, 10:10

Wed., July 26

10:20am, 1:20, 7:10, 10:10

Thu., July 27

10:20am, 1:20, 7:10, 10:10

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Tue., July 25

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Wed., July 26

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Thu., July 27

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Tue., July 25

ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 12:00, 2:15, 4:30
ClosedCap;HI 7:00, 9:20

Wed., July 26

ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 12:00, 2:15, 4:30
ClosedCap;HI 7:00, 9:20

Thu., July 27

ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 12:00, 2:15, 4:30
ClosedCap;HI 7:00, 9:20

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., July 25

CC/DVS 12:00, 10:15

Wed., July 26

CC/DVS 12:00

Thu., July 27

CC/DVS 12:00

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., July 25

CC/DVS 2:50, 5:20, 8:00, 10:30

Wed., July 26

CC/DVS 2:50, 5:20, 8:00, 10:30

Thu., July 27

CC/DVS 2:50, 5:20, 8:00, 10:30

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Tue., July 25

11:05am, 4:50, 10:20

Wed., July 26

11:05am, 4:50, 10:20

Thu., July 27

11:05am, 4:50, 10:20

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Tue., July 25

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Wed., July 26

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Thu., July 27

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45
READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Wish Upon, John R. Leonetti, Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Sydney Park, Shannon Purser, Mitchell Slaggert, Elisabeth Röhm, Sherilyn Fenn, Alexander Nunez

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