Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Film Review: Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)

Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (Review)
United States/1999
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Streaming
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes 

"I love this concept, but the execution this time around is severely flawed."

During the attempted robbery of an art museum, Morgana (Holly Fields) accidentally unleashes the evil Djinn (Andrew Divoff) from the fire opal she attempted to steal...

Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies continues as the Djinn is sent to prison, and Morgana begins to have nightmares of the Djinn's actions. The rules have changed a bit from the first installment: this time around, the Djinn must collect 1001 souls, then have Morgana make three wishes, in order to unleash Hell on Earth. So, the Djinn grants the wishes of his fellow inmates, while Morgana tries to find out what's happening and how to stop it. Really, it's pretty much the first story with half-baked attempts at making it different, and with less gore and horror, and more cheese and attempts at comedy. The ending of the film has a gory sequence reminiscent of the first film's introduction and conclusion, but not nearly as memorable. The rules also change during the ending, I guess the Djinn was trying to stop the same loophole from the first film; but, it still feels cheap, feels like a typical cop-out.

Wishmaster 2 is more like a black comedy with some horror elements, whereas the first film was a gory horror film with dark humor. So, off the bat, expect less gore and more attempts at humor. Unfortunately, I didn't really find this film all too funny. Some of the kills are unexpected and darkly humorous, but those are outnumbered by the boring death sequences. There are some jump-scares, but there is no suspense, so they're ineffective. And, if you want practical gore effects like the first, this installment has one gory scene throughout the film, then a gory ending, but that's about it. The story is the same as the first; I love this concept, but the execution this time around is severely flawed.

The acting is all around mediocre. Much like the first, the leading lady, Holly Fields, is bad; she's b-movie at her best, she's just has no screen presence or actual emotion. Andrew Divoff, who reprises his role, is awkward; he always has that smile on his face, like if it's supposed to be scary or creepy, but it's more like awkward -- looks like a bad Jim Carrey impression. Deebo, you probably know him as Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, makes an appearance, though, but there aren't many cameos this time -- probably due to the lack of Wes Craven. The special effects, practical and computer, are limited; the gory kills, all two of them, are great. Writer and director Jack Sholder is ineffective as both -- really, it feels like a copy-and-paste cash-in.

Overall, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is a mediocre horror film. It's occasionally funny, but rarely scary. There is one scene I probably won't forget, maybe two; otherwise, it's a forgettable time-killer. Don't expect much gore, or don't watch the first film, and you might come out impressed. But, if you haven't watched the original, stick to that one.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and gore, some sexual references.

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