THE FINAL WISH ** USA 2018 Dir: Timothy Woodward Jr. 96 mins
Well, this film from Cinedigm productions starts off spookily and horrifically with a gruesome and mysterious murder and then somehow never really found the right flightpath to whisk me away into what could have been a decent horror fantasy. I was left feeling like any continuation stopped when Aaron’s dad died, but I gave it a chance to change.
When self-driven city lawyer Aaron is called back to his family’s homestead in Jackson, Ohio by his estranged family for his father’s funeral the story starts to get a little stilted and loses itself in the mire of situational drama and forgets all the good horror intentions with which it started out and starts to dwindle into a quite poor copy of The Shining and other such classics.
Saying that, the shadowy lighting and dark shots of the house by Pablo Diez try and help it out by setting a chilling atmosphere that in all honesty felt out of place against what becomes a rather confused and unfortunate string of untimely happenings where the structure seems to hold back what in truth is quite a decent story about a haunted urn. However, I still always felt that I was waiting for a big twist that never really materialises. The characters felt incidental and weren’t introduced very well and the dialogue quality wasn’t all that clear which hampered my overall enjoyment of a film where the shocks seemed to be too estranged from the story, a bit like Aaron’s perturbed life.
‘The Final Wish’ for me is one of those films that tries too hard to be clever in it’s moralistic wisdom and Jeffery Reddick’s writing is good but doesn’t fit the feel of the film at all. The standard of the acting was good overall, but the end product lacked the gripping intensity that most of us would have hoped for in a film about devil curses. Some vital element seemed to be missing in a film that didn’t seem to know where to put itself.
A few slight slivers of light started to appear when Aaron’s dead Dad is wished for and takes his last dance, but it was all too late and the movie sadly disappears into a pit of it’s own craziness as it starts to then get lost in tales of ancient demonic lore and archaic evidence.
The film may entertain any twisted soap lovers out there, but I knew fairly early on in the piece what my final wish was.
Review by Nathan Sandiford