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Wish Upon

5/10

Stars: Joey King, Ki Hong Lee, Ryan Phillippe, Sherilyn Fenn, Elisabeth Rohm, Mitchell Slaggert, Alexander Nuņez, Josephine Langford

Director: John R Leonetti

This thoroughly routine horror pic will at least keep tolerant fans of the genre happy enough for an hour and a half. Squishy-faced teen Clare (King), whose dad (Phillippe) has a mundane job looking for stuff in dumpsters (he's really a jazz saxophonist), and whose mother (Rohm) hanged herself, is hardly the most popular girl in school.

Then her father finds an octagonal box with Chinese writing on it. Unknown to Clare at first, it will grant seven wishes before it claims its blood reward, Amazed when her nemesis (Langford) at school contracts body rot, and she herself lands the college hunk (Slaggert) and becomes the most sought-after girl around, Clare is soon apprised of the true nature of the box by a Chinese friend (Lee): every time she makes a wish, a friend or neighbour dies horribly.

In desperation, she wishes her mother back to life (don't think she really thought that one through), unaware that the woman's suicide was itself caused by possession of the box.

Although most of the performances here are competent, with King's perhaps the least convincing, the story is just too silly to creep us out or even maintain our interest for long. Some decent death and destruction scenes are the film's best asset.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Vertigo (Orion). Colour by FotoKem.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Jul 2017