Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002)

Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002)

Leave no soul unturned

A young woman who has a boyfriend crippled in a motorcycle accident accidentally releases the evil Djinn from his prison. The Djinn takes on the appearance of the lawyer who was trying to settle the compensation case and who also has the hots for the young woman. Will she make 3 wishes and inadvertently release the Djinn and the rest of his kind? Will they stop churning out these sequels? Does anyone actually watch them bar me?

 

Though entertaining enough on its own, Wishmaster was not a classic horror film. It had some good ideas, plenty of gore and gruesome set pieces, a few in-references to the genre and was watchable enough without ever reaching the next level and becoming a must-see horror – and it was hardly sequel-worthy. But with the unique title character, the money men saw an iconic horror villain with whom they could churn out successive sequels and here we have the third sequel, Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled. The first sequel was rubbish but at least it still had Andrew Divoff as the title character as well as one or two novel death scenes amidst a mountain of twaddle. The second sequel gave us less thrills, some poor death sequences and tepid Jason Connery assuming the mantle of the evil genie in human form.

Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled doesn’t deviate from the formula that the series has grasped onto like a lift raft – the Djinn is released, he grants backfiring wishes in the pursuit of whoever set him free and he attempts to bring about the end of the world before being imprisoned again at the end. Only whereas the original had a reasonable budget to be able to give adequate life to the backfiring wishes in the form of gory set pieces, the successive sequels have all been done on lower and lower budgets. This one looks like the bargain basement entry it is, shot back-to-back with the second sequel to save on costs. The wishes, at least the only worthwhile things to mention from the sequels, are toned down due to the lack of money. A couple of them had potential but the end results are worthless. The same goes for the grand finale and the ending – the film clearly has a bigger vision in mind for them but the results are underwhelming and distinctly dull. If you cut the cash, its time to cut the script and show what you can afford, not what you want to be able to afford.

Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled evidently knows its target audience (i.e. adolescent males) and kicks off proceedings with a gratuitous sex scene. Talk about a cheap way to get the audience interested.  Tara Spencer-Nairn looks great in the lead role and has a habit of shedding her clothes for the camera throughout the rest of the film (not that I’m complaining). When a horror film has to rely on sex to sell itself, you know they’ve hit a totally new low. But there’s little else to get excited about, if you’ll pardon the pun. The Djinn assumes human form once again, taking over the body of a smarmy lawyer in order to get closer to the person who released him. There is also a sub-plot about a Djinn hunter being awakened once the third wish has been granted but it’s literally a padding device, designed to throw in another character and kill a bit more time (funny how it was never mentioned in the previous three films either!). The hunter doesn’t do much and is completely unnecessary to the eventual outcome of the story.

At its core, the film is more about human drama than outright horror and at least the actors manage to keep things ticking over the best they can. The already-mentioned Spencer-Nairn can back up her body with her acting ability and Michael Trucco makes for a decent human version of the Djinn. John Novak is a terrible Djinn when he’s in his creature form, overacting with the passion of a Shakesperian Thespian. But the film skimps on the creature version and instead has the Djinn assume the form of one of the human characters for the majority of the film, thus saving on expensive make-up effects.

 

Spare yourself the trouble and avoid this lame third-rate sequel to a ‘franchise’ that was already struggling to find the breath to make a wish, let alone put the wish into motion. Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled at least fulfils the cinematic prophecy that straight-to-DVD sequels are pale imitations of their big budget brothers.

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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