Starring Lin Shaye, Michael Welch, Melissa Bolona, Spencer Locke, Tony Todd
Directed by Timothy Woodward, Jr.
Cause and effect. It can be a real bitch, especially when cursed urns that are home to demonic Djinns are involved. All you have to do is make one innocent wish, and boom! Your life is officially changed… most times for the worst. If movies like Wishmaster and more recently Wish Upon have taught us ANYTHING, it’s that shortcuts to happiness and/or satisfaction come at one hell of a price. Timothy Woodward, Jr.’s The Final Wish gleefully follows spooky suit.
Aaron Hammond (Welch) is a bit of a dickish everyman who just can’t catch a break. He quickly finds out that even though he’s survived law school and passed the bar, that doesn’t necessarily mean success will be immediate. In fact, for him it’s just the opposite. Just when it seems as if anything couldn’t go more wrong for Aaron, he gets a call from an old girlfriend from his sleepy hometown with some seriously bad news… his father has passed on.
Upon returning home to deal with the tragedy, his family and friends spare no opportunity to let him have it. Especially his mom, Kate (the always wonderful Lin Shaye), who’s more than just a little bitter about Aaron’s absence during his dad’s bout with illness. With no other choice and despite his own life falling upon him, Aaron quickly discovers that it’s time to man up and deal with the family business, which just happens to include a rather odd antiquity that his father had collected… the aforementioned cursed urn that is home to a demonic Djinn just waiting to dole out some deadly wishes. As you would imagine, things quickly spiral from looking up to looking out of a grave for our unassuming hero, and that’s when The Final Wish is at its most fun.
All the elements are here for a good time! Gore, setting, a kicking fun score, spooky atmosphere, a cool monster, and Woodward displays a keen eye for the camera. Shaye is at her creepy best, and as always Tony Todd shows up to steal the show by delivering exposition like only he can. I swear, I’d love for him to show up in every movie from now until the end of time just to lay it down for viewers. It’s near impossible not to revel in each of his words. The script from Jeffrey Reddick, William Halfon, and Jonathan Doyle makes good on keeping things interesting while maintaining a true heart and soul to the story, but there are a couple of things holding this one back from being great…
Some of the acting… well, let’s just say it doesn’t live up to the rest of the film’s quality. Shaye and Todd, as expected, nail it; and even Welch turns in a great performance. The problem is that because they’re so good, people who are still honing their craft pale in comparison, including one who seems to be fighting back an accent for all they’re worth.
Still, if you’re looking for a spooky little flick that forges some new ground against a backdrop of familiar terror tropes, The Final Wish will grant you that. Just don’t wish for anything beyond that, or you’ll be in for some consequences.