Hollywood Reporter

The target teen audiences are unlikely to discern the myriad influences on John R. Leonetti’s horror film riffing on everything from the classic short story The Monkey’s Paw to the grisly death-happy Final Destination franchise. Starring Joey King as a 17-year-old who comes into possession of a mysterious Chinese box that grants its owner’s wishes, Wish Upon doesn’t break any new genre ground. But it should prove mildly diverting for viewers young enough not to care how utterly derivative it is. (read full review)


By any normal standards, teen horror pic “Wish Upon” is a pretty bad movie. But its badness is of such a distinct and kooky character that it can’t help but exert an inadvertent charm. Anyone looking for actual scares, sparks of originality, or dialogue worth speaking is advised to look elsewhere. But for those who delight in pickup lines like “You dig on multiverses?,” newspaper headlines reading “Police Notice Uptick in Unusual Deaths,” or the idea that Ryan Phillippe playing soft-jazz saxophone is the pinnacle of human coolness, this gangly mess of a supernatural thriller has camp value to burn.  (read full review)

AV Club

Director John R. Leonetti has an inconsistent talent for running a rake over the audience’s nerves. Topping the sewing machine scene from his cheaply effective evil-doll potboiler Annabelle, the best moment here wrings cruelly prolonged suspense from the digit-mangling potential of a garbage disposal. (read full review)

Common Sense Media

This modern-day, teen-centric take on W. W. Jacobs’ classic horror story The Monkey’s Paw is a not-scary dud that suffers from both uninspired scares ad extremely shallow, annoying characters. “What’s wrong with you?,” characters keep asking Clare — and viewers are likely to be wondering the same thing. Screenwriter Barbara Marshall (Terra Nova) and director John R. Leonetti (Annabelle) fail to paint Clare as a truly desperate character: She’s cute, she has two best friends, a home, a loving father, etc. Her life isn’t terrible enough to risk everything on deadly wishes, and it’s hard to root for her. (read full review)


It says something that in 2017 being jaded about Chinese-finance marketing synergy is the new being jaded about horror-film tropes. So imagine my surprise when I came back from a screening of Wish Upon — a decidedly B-level horror film in which a high-school girl studying Chinese comes into the possession of a magic Chinese music box covered in ancient Chinese characters, and must enlist the help of her cute Chinese classmate and his sister to discover the Chinese mystery of the box’s Chinese powers — only to discover it was a Canadian co-production! My sheepishness for the erroneous pigeonholing gave way to another familiar question: Why couldn’t the lead have just been Chinese? But if I’m being honest, I have to say that none of these issues made that big of a dent in my enjoyment of Wish Upon, a deeply silly midsummer lark that makes up for the fact that it’s about nothing by being incredibly entertaining. (read full review)

Chris Stuckmann

LC Screen Talk