The Wisher starts on Mary's (Liane Balaban) birthday, she approaches her cake & it starts to ooze blood then Mary wakes up... Mary Ryan suffers from nightmares & sleepwalking, her parents Jake (Iain MacLean) & Kelly (Wendy Anderson) are worried about her & think her interest in horror films is unhealthy. The latest blockbusting horror film to fill American cinemas is The Wisher & Mary along with her friends Kara (Andrea Runge), Debbie (Siri Baruc) & Brad (Drew Lachey) decide to check it out against her father's request, Mary wishes he would 'just disappear'. Once Jake finds out that Mary has gone to see The Wisher he goes to pick her up but has a fatal car crash on the way & dies. It's now 'Six Weeks Later' & Mary decides to go back to school but gets an odd feeling & thinks she keeps seeing the Wisher from the film. While having an argument with Kara Mary wishes she would 'shut up' & within minutes Kara has her tongue cut out. Mary becomes convinced that the Wisher, or someone dressed as him, is stalking her & making her wishes come horribly true...
This Canadian production was co-executive produced & directed by Gavin Wilding & basically is terrible. The script by Ellen Cook is awful & has a striking resemblance to Wishmaster (1997). For a start it's confused, muddled & stupid. Most good horror films have a central villain to dislike & hate but The Wisher decides it doesn't need to do this & keeps the villain in the background with quick flashes & the possibility that the Wisher is in fact a figment of Mary's imagination. Mary & the Wisher never meet until the last 5 or so minutes, they never talk to each other so we never really understand his motives & the Wisher is a real rip-off of the Wishmaster as well complete with wrinkled face & hooded shawl, they even manage to rip-off Freddy Krueger as the Wisher has shards of glass attached to his fingers. What about the splices of subliminal messaging that are cut into the film & Mary discovers? Virtually nothing is made of it. The identity of the Wisher is mundane, stupid, doesn't make any sense & how do they defeat the Wisher? They download the film on their computer (they download a 200+ MB file in a matter of seconds, yeah right they must have the fastest broadband connection ever) & watch how they kill the Wisher in that, a climax trying to create tension around two people trying to download a film just doesn't work. After finding out they use it on the Wisher & it works, but if the Wisher sticks to the film so closely that he would commit suicide when asked why does he attack Brad? No mention of wishing any harm to Brad is ever made. What about the six week wait between the first & second wish? What was he doing all that time, stalking Mary's every movement until she made a wish? How did he know she would? What about when he is hit by Debbie's car & gets up completely uninjured? I mean this guy turns out to be flesh & blood so how can he walk away from being knocked over by a speeding car? I could go on & on about all the lapses in logic & plot holes but I think you get the idea.
Director Wilding gives the film a nice look & feel throughout, better than the material deserves. However the constant, film-within-a-film & annoying dream sequences just irritate. Forget about any gore or violence, a cut out tongue & a (almost bloodless) face slashing, that's it I'm afraid. No nudity either.
The Wisher is a surprisingly well made & nice looking film, it obviously had a lot of time spent on it although this means nothing when the overall film is so bad. The acting is really bad & lead star Balaban in particular is simply awful & highly annoying.
The Wisher is crap, nothing else to say really. It's well made but the film fails in so many departments that watching it is no fun. The mystery elements suck & the film is deeply unsatisfying. Give this one a miss & watch Wishmaster again instead, one to avoid & for those who have seen The Wisher I can assure you now no amount of subliminal messaging would make me want to watch it again.
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