When Jonathan (Ryan Philippe) discovers an ancient wish pot in a wheelie bin, his teenage daughter Clare (Joey King) is granted seven wishes. But each comes at a bloody price in this eye-scratchingly bad high school horror.
What would you wish for? World peace? Instagram fame? Or maybe for Hollywood to stop making horror films so needlessly violent, so deeply cynical, so aggressively targeted at teenage girls?
There are attempts at human drama here, like when Clare mourns the loss of her mum through surrealist paintings, or when Jonathan finds solace in bin-diving kleptomania – coming across that dreaded Chinese box. Yet the priority here is how creatively the cast can be killed off by the cosmos.
‘Wish Upon’ claims to be based on English author WW Jacobs’s 1902 supernatural short story ‘The Monkey’s Paw’. In reality, it’s a mix of ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Final Destination’ and the ‘Insidious’ franchise, on which director John R Leonetti worked as a cinematographer. How much longer can Hollywood studios cater so brazenly for a mass teen audience?