21st May2020

‘The Final Wish’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Michael Welch, Lin Shaye, Tony Todd, Melissa Bolona, Spenser Locke, Kaiwi Lyman, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Jean Elie, Christopher Murray, Douglas Tait, Larry Poole | Written by Jeffrey Reddick, William Halfon, Jonathan Doyle | Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.

Pretty much my whole reason for giving The Final Wish a watch was because Lin Shaye stars in it. She is a seal of approval for me and I know that even if the movie disappoints, then I will at least see a good performance from the veteran actress. That said, this also features Tony Todd, another reliable horror icon and had some decent-looking poster artwork, so it had at least a few things going for it.

The Final Wish has a simple concept. After his Dad dies, a man (Michael Welch) heads back to the place he grew up to see his Mum (Shaye). While he is there he discovers a mysterious urn that he soon believes is granting his wishes.

It’s an idea that has been seen before in the horror genre (most recently in 2017s Wish Upon), where having your wishes granted never works out very well. Something bad will always happen after. But despite the story feeling very familiar, there’s a reason it’s not been replicated too often – because it’s seemingly difficult to make an entertaining movie out of. In theory, it shouldn’t be but the films I have seen prove otherwise.

The Final Wish does have quite a few issues. Most commonly that it doesn’t do enough to make you care about the characters or anything that happens to almost any of them. In part because of the script but maybe more in part about how the movie is edited. Because we seem to get no real build-up or any tension at all when it comes to the most dramatic scenes or any death scenes. It feels like we just get thrown one scene after the other with little flow. So despite some decent performances – Shaye is as good as ever, Todd is decent in a very small role and Welch in the lead is enjoyable enough too – I never really cared about the characters.

The movie needed something else to it but it just didn’t have it. It could have made up for things a little when it comes to death scenes. The possibilities were endless with how the story pans out and I’m not having a low budget as an excuse. The deaths should have been more over-the-top or at the very least, entertaining.

The Final Wish is at least shot well and runs along at a decent pace, so while I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, I was never actually bored. There was no surprise when I learnt that this came from the same writer (Jeffrey Reddick) as the original Final Destination because they’re are clear similarities. But it really just made me want it to be more like those entertaining movies.

Even a pace pick-up and a scary-looking demon in the last ten minutes can’t save The Final Wish from mediocrity and a predictable ending.

** 2/5

Signature Entertainment presents The Final Wish on Digital HD from May 25th.

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