Ryan Phillippe is the only bright spot in this horror about a young misfit’s magic box
When high-school outcast Clare (Joey King) is gifted a mysterious “Chinese wish box” by her dumpster-diving dad (a scruffy, bearded Ryan Phillippe), she immediately sees its seven-wish clause as an opportunity for reinvention, beginning with cliches such as money, popularity and “a less embarrassing dad”. (The latter wish is granted, with Phillippe reimagined as a smooth jazz saxophonist; an extra star for the comedy value of this alone.) What takes her longer to twig is that each wish has a grisly blood price. Fashioning itself as a teen horror, Wish Upon is far too tame for most actual adolescents, despite cameos from Shannon Purser (Barb from Stranger Things) and Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks’ Audrey Horne).