Wish Upon (2017) HD 720P MovieA teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.
Director: John R. Leonetti
Writer: Barbara Marshall
Stars: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee | See full cast & crew »
A teen girl discovers a magical box that will grant her seven wishes. As she uses her wishes for personal gain, bad things begin to happen to those around her. She discovers an evil entity lives inside the box and may be behind the gruesome deaths.
A woman Johanna Shannon (Elisabeth Rohm) is shown (reluctantly) throwing out a cloth-wrapped treasure in the trash. Her preschool daughter Clare (Raegan Revord) asks if she can ride her bike down thestreet. Her mom tells her it's okay but she has to come right back and stay on their own block. That's safe, to keep within an established timeframe and in one's familiar surroundings. She goes off with her pup Max, explores some baby birds in a tree nest, and returns home.
Fast forward to Clare as a high school senior. Her neighbor bakes with apples. Clare is the apple that doesn't fall far from the tree, taking after her mom who "was a good woman but she had a rough childhood, … secrets too big to live with." Clare has a sensitive artistic side like her mom's, which combined with a childhood trauma and a slight frame, makes her a target for bullying. Max is a big dog now. Her dad Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe) is a suave jazz sax player with a sideline of dumpster diving. He would have made a real catch in his day. The dumpster diving was fun when Clare was little, but now her dad is a source of embarrassment among Clare's schoolmates.
One day Jonathan finds a clamshell music box among the detritus—presided over by a gargoyle. Belated research will prove it to be a Chinese wish pot managed by a demon (Chinese: Yao Guai) that grants its holder seven wishes coming with a non-optional "blood price." After the 7th wish the Yao Guai claims its holder's soul. This particular pot had a tragic beginning, but its subsequent owners led prosperous lives—what remained of them—surrounded by lots of death.
This puts one in mind of (Prov. 26:27) "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him", now bastardized into, "What goes around comes around", or in pc terms messing with a level playing field. Rolling a stone uphill with affirmative action is what causes it to roll back down, and the pit is dug to handicap the competition. Who could blame those owners for capitalizing on their "leveling" device to give themselves a playing field more to their liking, collateral damage notwithstanding?
Jonathan gives it to Clare as an early birthday present. Lacking the maturity of the previous owners, she makes various droll requests concerned with her status among her high school crowd. If you count coming down with a disfiguring disease and falling madly in love, there are plenty of hits and falls associated with Clare's wishes. Double whammies are not out of the question, either, where there is both a hit *and* a fall. A hanging, for instance, involves a fall from one's support, then the knot of the hangman's noose striking the back of the cranium to knock out the soon-to-be-deceased before the rope breaks his neck. An auto-pedestrian accident may start with the struck person being launched through the air to fall upon something. At any rate the sound of a falling body is 'swish' and a hit *upon* is like the *Upon* in the cute title. When Clare turns 18, her wishes turn more mature.
The setting looks genuine Ohio where I once lived. The actors are all good, down to the dog, and the principal (Clare) is photogenic, easy to look at. The plot is consistent and strangely relevant to real life. The music from the box sounds western, but the Mandarin Chinese pronunciation in the Chinese class was spot on as they did their drills starting with the teacher's name. "Wish Upon" was not overly gory, relying more on suspense and imagination to get to the audience. It's short at 1 1/2 hours, but if you stay past the end, there may be an extra scene. This is an altogether well-crafted film and earns my highest marks. Unfortunately, it hasn't been heavily hyped, so horror lovers may miss a good one if they wait too long. It's clever enough to deserve more than one viewing to catch what you missed the first time.