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Film / Wish Upon

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A 2017 horror film directed by John R. Leonetti (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Annabelle) and distributed by Broad Green Pictures, about a girl named Clare whose father finds a mysterious music box that grants 7 wishes. Although skeptical at first, Clare soon finds out the music box does indeed have power. Naturally, she begins using it to gain her heart's desire. However, every time she makes a wish, someone else gets hurt in order for the wish to come true. What's more, everyone before her who has ever owned the music box (and no doubt used its wishes) died under mysterious circumstances...


Tropes include:

  • Alpha Bitch: Darcie Chapman. She tends to harass Clare, leading to her wishing that Darcie would rot.
  • Artifact of Doom: The music box, which grants up to seven of its owner's wishes, but kills a person close to them in exchange for each one. After the seventh wish is made, the box claims its owner's soul.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Unless the car was practically blasting towards her, there is no way Clare would've been launched up several feet in the air when she got struck, let alone in that long of a parabola.
  • Back from the Dead: Clare's wish to go back in time to get rid of the box has the added effect of bringing back everyone who died previously. Too bad the Cruel Twist Ending kicks in and Clare herself dies in their place.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The music box grants seven wishes, but there is a price to be paid when all the wishes are granted.
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  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Meredith who is a Twofer Token Minority being half-Black/half-Korean and Gina who is Chinese both die, but neither is the first plus their deaths are erased and both are Back from the Dead at the end of the film.
  • Body Horror: Clare's first wish makes Darcie Chapman rot alive.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Clare asks everything to be undone... Too bad this was her final wish, which still counted even if it was to reverse everything. And worse, the box is still at large.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Clare was just a little girl when she witnessed her mother's suicide.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Most death scenes happen during nighttime.
  • Deadly Bath: August slips while getting into the bath, cracks his head on the edge of the tub, and drowns.
  • Downer Ending: Clare dies after undoing all the wishes and trying to get rid of the box.
  • Driven to Suicide: Paul, after he breaks into Clare's bedroom and she rejects him.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Every time a wish is granted, someone has to die. After the seventh wish, the box claims its owner's soul.
    "When the music ends, the blood price is paid."
  • Everyone Has Standards: Darcie might be a bitch, but she's still horrified when she accidentally kills Clare with her car at the end.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Clare's dog is shown snarling at the music box both when Clare gets it and when her mother throws it into the garbage.
  • Evil Elevator: Meredith is killed when the elevator she is in suddenly plummets. It stops briefly and she uses the opportunity to call for help. The door opens and she is about to step out, when the elevator suddenly drops again and plunges all the way to the bottom of the shaft.
  • Exact Words: The demon takes the user's soul once they've made seven wishes. Clare dies after using her last wish to undo all the wishes and get rid of the box.
  • Gardening-Variety Weapon: When Clare spots someone spying on her bedroom, she chases after them with a rake. She then almost hits her father with it when he comes up behind her.
  • Foreshadowing: Clare is almost hit by a car on her way to school at the start.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The demon possessing the music box. It spends the entire film inside the music box granting wishes, never speaking or appearing in person. Even when it claims Clare's soul in the end, the demon itself never appears in person. Despite being the driving evil force behind the story, it's more of a plot point than a character. The only time it displays any character is when it breaks its rule of only killing people close to the owner to kill Gina before she can warn Ryan and Clare.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Jonathan's death. We can only imagine what his decapitated corpse looked like as his blood sprays on a horrified Clare's face.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The demon possessing the music box is an odd case of being both this and the central villain at the same time. It possesses the music box and grants the owner the wishes, killing people close to the owner before claiming their soul in the end. However, the demon itself never appears in person, spending all of it time in the music box. This makes it The Ghost.
  • Haunted Technology: The music box is possessed by a demon that takes the user's soul when the seven wishes are granted.
  • Hell Is That Noise: "When the music ends, the blood price is paid."
  • Here We Go Again!: Clare dies after using her seventh wish to go back in time and stop her father from finding the box. The mid-credits scene shows Ryan preparing to bury the box, but stopping to read the inscription and looking at it thoughtfully. Uh oh.
  • Hope Spot: Twice: Once when Clare uses her sixth wish to undo her mother's suicide. Clare is too happily distracted by the reunion of her parents to realize that someone still has to die to make it happen... And another when Clare uses her last wish to go back to the day she found the box and have Ryan get rid of it. Too bad making her last wish still dooms her.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Gina meets her demise by tripping and falling onto the tusk of a rhino statue.
  • Jackass Genie: Zigzagged: Surprisingly, with the exception of Paul becoming too obsessed with Clare (even so, he never attempts to rape her), the wishes are all granted the way that the user wants them to (for example, when Clare wishes that her dad would stop embarrassing her, he simply did just that instead of dying so he could no longer do so, and when she wishes that she would be the most popular girl in school, her own popularity is simply boosted instead of the other students all dying or something.) However, for every wish that is granted, someone close to the wisher dies. There is also the fact that, when Clare wishes that her mom had never killed herself, the music box kills her father of all people.
  • Literal Genie:
    • "I wish that Darcie Chapman would just...I don't know, but just, like, go rot."
    • Also, "I wish that Paul Middlebrook would fall madly in love with me."
  • Look Both Ways: Clare uses her last wish to travel back in time and prevent her father from finding the wish box. She gives the backpack containing the box to Ryan and tells him bury it without opening it. Relieved of her burden, she turns and crosses the road to go to school without checking. And is immediately struck by Darcie's car and dies.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • The entire first trailer plays the music box's unsettling tune.
    • Also, the moderately upbeat "Careful What You Wish For" by Wayfarers playing in the end credits, directly after Clare's death.
  • Made of Indestructium: The box can't be destroyed in a fire or by being hit with a sledgehammer.
  • Madness Mantra: "Everything will be fine! Everything will be fine!"
  • Missing Mom: Clare's mother isn't around, only her father. The movie reveals that she committed suicide after using the music box, but she briefly reappears when Clare uses her sixth wish to undo her death.
  • Off with His Head!: How Jonathan (Clare's father) dies after Clare brings her mother back to life.
  • Punished with Ugly: Played with. Darcie's face begins to rot after Clare's wish, which causes her to be horribly disfigured at first and threatens to destroy most of her face. The rotting later stops and she is left with severe scarring, but nevertheless manages to look essentially like her old self with some facial scarring.
  • Rule of Seven: The music box grants 7 wishes.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Clare's sixth wish, to bring her mother back to life, causes her father to die in exchange.
  • Shopping Montage: Clare treats her best friends Meredith and June to one after she comes into her inheritance.
  • Social Media Before Reason: If one of your best friends has just developed necrotizing fasciitis (a.k.a. 'flesh eating disease') and is freaking out, then now is probably not the time to snap a photo of her and post it on the web.
  • Staircase Tumble: June falls down the stairs at while fighting with Clare over the box. She is seen lying unmoving at the foot of the stairs, but it is not clear if she is alive or dead.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Paul, under the box's influence.
  • Stalking Is Love: Paul, under the influence of the wish box, falls madly in love with Clare. So madly that he starts breaking into her house and taking photos of her while she sleeps.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Most of the characters who die from the wishes end up dying from their own stupidity, such as standing on an unstable ladder while using a chainsaw to cut down a branch.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer gives away three death scenes in pretty full detail like who's going to die and how. This while the deaths in the movie are supposed to be suspenseful.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Clare's father finds the music box in the garbage at the old estate and gives it to his daughter as a gift. A nice and thoughtful gesture to be sure, but in doing so, he unknowingly unleashes all of the carnage that is to follow.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: After the seventh wish is fulfilled, the music box will claim its owner's soul. When Clare makes the seventh wish to go back in time and stop her father from finding the music box, she succeeds but gets hit by Darcie's car and dies.

What's your wish?