High school student Brett Bumpers receives a bull penis in the mail that says it will grant the recipient three wishes. Almost immediately after his first wish, a rash of murders break out at Brett’s school. Brett begins to suspect that there may be a correlation between the bull penis and the string of murders affecting his classmates.
Wishcraft is the kind of film that one must suspend their disbelief and turn of their brain to glean any kind of enjoyment from it. It is not a particularly well-made film but it does have a certain amount of raw entertainment value if you can keep from focusing on the film’s shortcomings. I saw it on cable a while ago when I couldn’t sleep and it kept me entertained for the most part. It’s fine for sheer escapist entertainment value but if you’re looking for anything more than that, you’ll quickly discover that it’s riddled with problems.
What carries Wishcraft is a somewhat interesting killer, a couple of good death scenes, a twist that sort of works, and the use of practical effects over CGI. The film falls flat in almost every other aspect, so be forewarned.
Michael Weston (Crank: High Voltage) is a little bland as Brett. He gets slightly better as the film progresses but Weston never really succeeds at achieving a leading man quality performance. A lot of the supporting performances in Wishcraft are of extremely poor quality. A.J. Buckley (Disturbing Behavior) is absolutely impossible to tolerate as Brett’s best friend Howie. Howie is always making jokes that aren’t funny or doing something moronic in an attempt to provide comic relief but he is never successful in doing so. The late Zelda Rubinstein (Poltergeist) has a supporting role in the film as a medical examiner and she is enjoyable as always. But Rubinstein’s role in the picture is fairly small.
In addition to sometimes-poor performances and an unconvincing leading man, the film also suffers from some really obnoxious dialogue. Howie has a ridiculous amount of very irritating banter with Brett. It is never amusing as it is intended to be. All of Howie’s scenes are over acted to the point of being painful. Listening to him talking about the different cliques they could join is excruciating. No one actually talks like that. Not now and not in 2002 when this film was released.
Wishcraft can’t ever seem to make up its mind if it is a horror picture or a romantic comedy. The pacing is very up and down with long gaps between the kill sequences. There are chunks of the film where it functions solely as a coming of age comedy. Those dry spells are bound to make viewers that are looking for a proper horror film grow anxious.
If you make it through to the end of Wishcraft there is a somewhat unexpected twist that I didn’t see coming. Though the twist is semi amusing, it will have an impact on replay value. Knowing the twist will make repeat viewings somewhat pointless but since the film isn’t that spectacular in the first place, decreased replay value isn’t necessarily such a huge deal.
If you haven’t seen Wishcraft, it does have its moments. There are a couple of pretty inventive and well-executed kill scenes and the film provides a certain level of mindless entertainment. But the bad often outweighs the good. The film is frequently overacted, suffers from choppy pacing, and has some idiotic dialogue. If you don’t have anything better to do and approach it with zero expectations, you might not totally hate it.
Director(s): Danny Graves, Richard Wenk
Writer(s): Larry Katz
Stars: Alexandra Holden, Michael Weston
Studio/ Production Co: Gold Circle Films
Length: 97 Minutes