What is about having more that makes so many people forget what they already have? Some might say it’s that we don’t have what we really want, or what we think we want, while others might state that it’s the desire to just step out of our own skin for a while to see how it might feel to have life go our way for a while. Wish Upon is the type of movie that makes it clear that for every action, there is an equal or greater reaction, though it goes about this in a manner that might not make sense to everyone since the reaction tends to be a little confusing at times. In terms of the horror aspect of the movie, Wish Upon is actually kind of tame since it has more to do with cause and effect from a supernatural angle than it does with the gore and absolute terror that a lot of horror movies tend to bring to bear. For this movie however that was a good move simply due to the idea that had it been too gory it would have slipped immediately into the B section and been a good laugh for everyone no matter how dark it might have felt. But there’s really no humor in this movie, at least none that’s intentional.
The discovery of a Chinese music box that will devour the user’s soul after seven wishes are made, and after exacting a blood price no less, is a decent idea to work from, and the cause and effect of each wish is fun to think about as well, but it does feel as though there’s something missing in the story that could make it a lot more attractive to horror buffs that are always looking for new ways to enjoy old themes. The whole idea of making a wish and then having to sacrifice something to make it come true isn’t exactly new, but it’s also not something that’s seen to be pushed in the mainstream that often for one reason or another. It could be that people don’t want to see that their desires could cost them something that they don’t want to part with, or maybe the creators of such stories don’t want to push this idea for some reason. In a way though, it’s far more realistic when it comes to the idea of give and take since in real life it might not be the way things go all the time, but the idea of changing one’s life so fundamentally or wishing harm upon another does tend to mean that something has to be changed, altered, lost, or sacrificed in order to make such a thing happen.
Rebooting this movie might not make it that much better to be fair, but at the very least it could address a few issues such as the acting, which was decent and worked for what it was, but could have been a little more intense and even a little better in some cases. But the story could be improved as well since the death scenes weren’t horrible but could have been a little more inventive. They don’t need to be as complicated as something like say, Final Destination, and they certainly don’t need to be over the top gory, but creating deaths that don’t leave people guessing quite as much as to why certain individuals were taken out (the reasoning isn’t hard if you think about it). Seriously, sitting here trying to think of ways this movie could have been made any better so as to make it more attractive to the fans (to heck with the critics, no offense) is kind of tough since from a writer’s standpoint the movie does check off a lot of boxes, but there are still elements that could be reworked to be a little more effective.
Perhaps a bit more backstory on the music box would be nice, not in a manner that might be considered cheesy or a little too crazy, but just enough to show that it’s been around, that it’s caused a great deal of grief over the years, that kind of thing. The main character actually saw that her mother had possessed the box at one point, which is what apparently drove her to commit suicide. But establishing a little more of a backstory as to where the box came from and why it suddenly appeared would be nice.
It could even be that prequel might stimulate interest in this movie yet again, since showing where things come from, or at least giving a hint of an origin story, can open an idea up in a big way. It doesn’t need to go back to the creation of the box or even the first owner, but showing the path of destruction that’s been left in its wake would be a good way to introduce the music box as a true tool capable of great horrors and far-reaching lessons about the dangers of greed and desire.