Friday, April 25, 2014

Wishmaster In Retrospect

First and foremost, the basic concept of Wishmaster remained unchanged for all four films in the series. So, let me explain this once fresh turned stale and cheesy concept all at once. The Djinn – basically an evil genie – is unwittingly unleashed from a gem, he must grant three wishes to the person who summoned him, then he can unleash his brethren on Earth and cause chaos. I loved it's originality the first time around, but imagine watching the same formula four times... yeah, it gets stale.

The original Wishmaster, produced by Wes Craven, is by far the best installment. The introduction and ending to the film are very gory sequences where chaos reigns – probably the most memorable introduction and finale in the horror genre. The story in between isn't bad, either, with plenty of gory death sequences to keep the film alive (ironically). The lead actress was mediocre, as are most lead actresses in the series, but this film features plenty of cameos from some of horror's most regarded icons.

The second installment of the series, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, changes the formula a bit. The Djinn ends up in prison and, only for this installment, has to capture 1000 souls and grant three wishes to the person who summoned him. This film features some gory sequences and some memorable scenes, but due to the heavy presence of cheesy comedy and poor one-liners, the film comes off as ineffective. I didn't absolute hate the film, but I didn't like it, either.

Wishmaster 3: Beyond The Gates of Hell was the worst installment. This film lacks both horror and humor, and adds a cheesy good versus evil subplot. In this film, Saint Michael the Archangel is summoned to fight the evil Djinn, and they literally fight – I mean, they have a sword fight. The film goes to hell (but not really) with a bizarre chase scene – ripped straight out of Terminator 2 – and an abrupt and poor ending. I said it lacked humor, but you'll probably laugh out loud at the poor quality of this installment.

Finally, Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled promises something great off its title: Hell on Earth. Really, the title itself tells you the prophecy will be fulfilled. But... it isn't! The film should have been titled The Prophecy Almost Fulfilled. You see, as the final wish is made, the Djinn is forced to make his summoner fall in love with him! Sounds like the plot of a bad romantic comedy, right? This film probably features the best acting, excluding the first, and there are some redeeming special effects.

Overall, there isn't a viable reason to watch anything except the first film. Every film after the great first installment comes off as a poorly executed cash grab. I loved the concept of the first film, but after watching the rest of the series, I kind of dislike it. The last two films leave a terrible taste in your mouth, and it's unfortunate and disappointing. I guess the point is to warn you: Watch and love the first film, and don't spoil it by watching the rest.

Anyway, what did you think of the series, if you've seen it? Do you like it? Am I too harsh? Let me know by leaving a comment, and thanks for reading! I really appreciate it!

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