Wisher, The (2002)

The Wisher (2002)

Cut to your worst nightmare.

Mary suffers from constant nightmares and bouts of sleep walking. Her parents blame the horror films that she watches frequently. After watching the latest horror film, The Wisher, Mary begins to see the title character and thinks that he’s stalking her. Whenever she wishes for something to happen, it does but in gory fashion. What is happening to her? Is she seeing things? Or has the Wisher come to life?

 

I hope the makers of The Wishmaster are taking notes because this borders a little on plagiarism! Or maybe not because The Wisher is such a monotonous and generic slasher that it’s even hard to remember what happened literally only a few hours since I finished watching it. I’m guessing that the people who made The Wishmaster have seen this but, like me, instantly forgot about it the minute the credits hit and so they haven’t taken any legal action.

For a start, it’s completely unoriginal and covers nothing new that countless other slasher films have done in the past. Borrowing heavily from The Wishmaster, Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street amongst others, there’s little material here that you won’t have seen before and seen done better. The film-within-a-film plot serves it’s purpose (there’s no way that it would rake in $100 million as the film states!) and even throws in a few not-too-subtle messages to the left-wing radicals who believe that kids take horror films too seriously. It even gets in a few jabs at other horror films, most notably Halloween: Resurrection. Although quite how anyone involved here can criticise or take a pot shot at the far superior Halloween franchise remains to be seen. Mary, the lead character, isn’t the strongest person to centre your film around but characterisation isn’t this film’s strongpoint anyway.

The Wisher limps around from generic set piece to the next for the majority of its running time. The killer has the ability to be in a hundred places at once and does the obligatory boogieman skits. Unfortunately, the finale is a complete cop-out where Mary finds out that the only way to stop the Wisher is to download a copy of the film illegally and watch the ending to see how he is defeated. Maybe she had an idea and heading straight to the finale is the best course of action for anyone watching.

The Wisher himself looks pretty crappy too. He’s a cross between Freddy Kruger and the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers, only without knives (shards of glass instead) and the lovable cowboy hat that the Creeper wore so brilliantly. He’s given little in the way of story and comes off as a weak threat at best. Shockingly, he doesn’t kill that many people so don’t go into this one expecting a body count of titanic proportions. More people get killed off in children’s TV cartoons. The deaths are rather lame and bloodless when they happen but they’re too few and far between to make any difference to the film. We get another swimming pool death scene where someone goes off swimming on their own at some bizarre time of the night. Who does this in real life? Who goes to an empty pool at silly hours of the night for a swim on their own? Hasn’t anyone heard of health and safety laws? They wouldn’t allow sole swimming here in the UK – there’d be about twenty lifeguards standing around the pool just in case anything happened.

This is all a shame because The Wisher at least shows off something of a budget. It looks reasonable and there are some nice effects splattered around. So clearly there was cash floating around somewhere – didn’t anyone think to invest it into the script or hire some decent actors? And least the writers knew the market for this and finally forced the token sexy girl to get naked.

 

The Wisher can sit and rot on the video store shelf next to the likes of Final Scream and Do You Wanna Know a Secret? It’s about the only place I’d be glad to see it ever again. A derivative slasher which offers nothing and delivers nothing except a goth-looking guy with glass in his hands – its only a matter of time before he uses it on his wrists!

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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One single comment

  1. Mark Spangler says:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one, but I did like the look of the film. It had a more polished professional look and the producers threw at least a little bit of money around to make it look good. Overall it’s a yawner though.

    Additionally, I just can’t stand Ron Silver in anything he ever did. He just always had that smug look of “look at me, I’m in a movie” in every role he ever did, as if he himself was surprised he got another TV or movie role. I know he’s dead and I shouldn’t speak ill of him, but I really detested his acting ability.

    This flick so clearly apes the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series it’s pathetic. Too bad because with the decent budget, directorship and cinematography that we see here, it might have been something we could watch over and over. Not so.

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