It’s accurate to state that this movie built itself up in one way to tell a convincing story but somehow stumbled and tripped over its own premise before it could really get going. While it does feature a few reasonably well-known actors, The Final Wish might make a lot of audience members feel that it’s just barely interesting enough to continue with or might give the feeling that there’s something there that makes the rest of the movie worth watching. Initially, it’s made clear that the main character, Aaron Hammond, is kind of down on his luck, seeing how he’s applying for a job with a firm that appears to have extremely high standards and no appreciation for his position as a lawyer. On top of that, he’s being kicked out of his apartment, and his father has died, meaning he has to go home to console his aging mother. Strangely though, he isn’t given the warmest welcome by anyone other than his buddy, who is revealed to be dead later on in the movie.
Kids leave home to be successful; that’s normal.
It’s quickly established that Aaron’s attempt to leave home and be successful wasn’t taken that well by those he left behind, but it could also be that he didn’t leave on good terms with everyone. Apparently, he didn’t think to visit his parents either, and his father’s death is taken especially hard by his mother, who appears to blame Aaron for not being around. Added to that is the fact that those he had dealings with vary in their responses to him, from being grateful for his presence to being quietly hostile. When Aaron attempts to sell his father’s belongings in a yard sale, though, his mother makes it clear with an emotional outburst that she harbors a great deal of resentment toward him as well.
The supernatural quality of this movie is kind of, well, awkward.
In a big way, it’s almost as though this movie doesn’t know what it wants to be right away since the idea of Aaron coming home is established quickly, but the idea of the urn that he keeps and that what he wishes starts coming true is muddled in a manner that doesn’t offer any quick and easy answers. That’s usually the best way to approach a story when telling it, but in this case, it feels entirely uncertain and not clear what direction this story is taking. By the end of the movie, it doesn’t feel that anything has been fully revealed, and throughout the telling of the story, it’s not entirely easy to get into it in a manner that the average audience will respond to. There are creepy elements to this movie that are kind of interesting to think about, such as the spirit in the mirror that appears to torment Aaron and the fact that the urn is a very important object in this story. But after that, it’s very easy to dismiss what’s going on in favor of wanting to see something concrete and worth the attention.
The story doesn’t feel as complete as it should be.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a writer and like to see a story continue or end in a definitive way, but this story leaves itself open in a manner that doesn’t allow for an easy way to continue, and it doesn’t come to an entirely satisfying conclusion. There’s no doubt that some folks might like this movie and even call it appealing in a very strange but compelling manner. But this movie is one of those that a lot of people would have something to say about whether they liked it or not. Aaron’s place in this story feels like one that might as well be that of an observer or an unwitting participant since it doesn’t feel like he’s in control of his fate at any given time. That could be why this movie doesn’t feel like it comes together at any given point. The protagonist is, well, kind of hopeless when one really looks at it from a wider angle.
When it comes to horror movies, this feels like something that rides the mediocre shelf.
There are horror movies that reach for the sky only to fall face-first in the mud, and then there are horror movies that don’t aspire to much but somehow establish themselves as something unique and even great. The Final Wish wasn’t either of those as it rides the line between horrible and good without fail. There isn’t a lot to dislike about this movie, but there also isn’t a lot to make one state that it’s one of the more innovative horror movies out there. When all is said and done, it’s kind of ‘meh’.
Sometimes horror needs to go big or not go at all.