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Wish Upon (2017)

1325 votes, average 5.7 out of 10

Review of “Wish Upon” (2017): A Teen Horror with a Twist

“Wish Upon,” directed by John R. Leonetti and released in 2017, is a supernatural horror film that blends teen drama with dark fantasy elements. Starring Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, and Ki Hong Lee, the film offers a modern twist on the classic cautionary tale about the dangers of getting what you wish for.

Plot Overview

The story follows Clare Shannon (Joey King), a high school student who struggles with typical teenage problems, including bullying and an embarrassing father (Ryan Phillippe) who scavenges for junk. Clare’s life takes a drastic turn when her father gifts her a mysterious Chinese music box that claims to grant seven wishes. As Clare begins to make wishes, she experiences positive changes in her life, but each wish comes with horrifying consequences. Clare must confront the true cost of her desires and find a way to break the curse of the music box before it consumes her.

Performance and Direction

Joey King delivers a convincing performance as Clare, effectively portraying the character’s transition from an ordinary teenager to someone grappling with the moral and supernatural repercussions of her wishes. Ryan Phillippe, as Clare’s father, provides a heartfelt performance that grounds the film in emotional reality. The supporting cast, including Ki Hong Lee and Sydney Park, contribute to the film’s dynamic, particularly in their interactions with Clare.

Director John R. Leonetti, known for his work on “Annabelle,” brings his expertise in horror to “Wish Upon.” While the film includes several effective jump scares and a sense of looming dread, it has been critiqued for relying on genre clichés and predictable plot twists. Nonetheless, Leonetti’s direction ensures that the film maintains a steady pace and delivers moments of genuine tension.

Cinematography and Special Effects

The cinematography by Michael Galbraith captures the eerie and ominous tone of the film. The visual effects, particularly those involving the music box and its supernatural workings, are well-executed and add to the film’s dark atmosphere. The use of practical effects in the death sequences heightens the horror, making the consequences of Clare’s wishes disturbingly real.

Themes and Symbolism

“Wish Upon” explores themes of greed, desire, and the unintended consequences of tampering with fate. The film serves as a modern-day morality tale, cautioning against the dangers of unchecked ambition and the human tendency to overlook the fine print when offered seemingly easy solutions to life’s problems. The music box symbolizes temptation and the corrupting power of desire, drawing parallels to classic stories like “The Monkey’s Paw.”

Critical Reception

“Wish Upon” received mixed to negative reviews from critics. While some praised the film’s premise and Joey King’s performance, others criticized its lack of originality and predictable plot. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 19%, and on Metacritic, it has a score of 32 out of 100, indicating generally unfavorable reviews.

  • Rotten Tomatoes: The film has an approval rating of 19%, with critics noting its reliance on horror tropes and lack of genuine scares​​.
  • Metacritic: With a score of 32, the film is noted for its mixed critical reception, highlighting issues with its narrative execution and originality​​.

Streaming Availability

For those interested in watching “Wish Upon,” the film is available on various streaming platforms in the United States:

  • Amazon Prime Video: Available for rent or purchase.
  • Apple iTunes: Available for rent or purchase.
  • Google Play Movies & TV: Available for rent or purchase.
  • Vudu: Available for rent or purchase.
  • Netflix: Availability may vary based on region.


“Wish Upon” offers a blend of teen drama and supernatural horror, making it an interesting watch for fans of the genre. Despite its predictable plot and reliance on horror clichés, Joey King’s performance and the film’s cautionary themes provide some redeeming qualities. For viewers looking for a modern twist on classic horror tropes, “Wish Upon” is accessible on several streaming services.

Posted on:
Tagline:Be careful what you wish for
Duration: 90 Min
Budget:$ 12.000.000,00
Revenue:$ 14.300.000,00

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