Sitting around with friends it is easy to play the “what if” game. You know what I am talking about. Like, what if I won the lottery, or what if I found a creepy box that granted me seven wishes? Ok maybe the part about the creepy box isn’t talked about, but if we replaced it with a lamp, then its ok right? The point to all of this is to ponder the notion of what would you do if you knew that what you wished for could be granted, well ask and you shall receive.
Clare (Joey King) probably had that conversation with her friends because her life hasn’t gone too well. As a little girl she saw her mother commit suicide and she hasn’t fully recovered from the trauma. Twelve years later, Clare is in High School, while her father Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe) dumpster dives to find someone’s lost treasure. It is during one of those dives that Jonathan finds a box with some Chinese writing on it and thinks it would be a great gift for Clare; after all she is taking Chinese at school. This box is special as it grants the owner wishes. Of course being a girl in High School, Clare’s wishes for the selfish kind and things starting coming up Milhouse. Unbeknownst to Clare her wishes being granted have a side effect, that when she is granted a wish, someone she knows dies and since ignorance is bliss, Clare keeps making wishes. It is only after she has wished most of her wishes that she starts to piece together what is happening, but the box might have too strong of a hold for her to stop.
This movie has all the makings of a ‘not very good’ horror flick, and for the most part it lives up to that hype. The first misstep the film makes is aiming for a PG-13 rating. While it does fit in for the audience it was clearly aiming for, as the music and overall feel of the movie has a young adult feel to it, the gore that is missing hurts. That though is just one thing that makes you wishing you chose a Netflix horror movie instead. The characters are also a problem and you kind of start rooting for the box to wipe out the lot of them. I mean people make stupid decisions in movies but Clare takes the cake. While there are plenty of bad, there is a few things it does right. The consequences of the wishes have that “Final Destination” feel to it, as the deaths are just plain bad luck. The other thing it does well is building tension as you kind are at the edge of your seat at a few moments in the movie. These good things though, are not nearly enough to save this movie. But I toughed it out so I can give you this warning, skip this one, because this is one wish that has no chance of coming true.