Wish Upon: Director John Leonetti reveals that the longer cut of the film is much gorier
Broad Green Pictures‘ new teen-centric horror film Wish Upon stars Joey King (The Conjuring) and hits theaters tomorrow. We reviewed the film and found it to be an eccentric little flick, with a great turn by King, snappy dialogue and welcome doses of humor. A decent bit of nastiness for younger horror fans seeking some harmless and often quite grim cinematic escapism.
The film tells the tale of 17-year-old Clare Shannon (King) who is barely surviving the hell that is high school, along with her friends Meredith (Sydney Park) and June (Stranger Things‘ Shannon Purser). When her dumpster-diving dad (Ryan Phillippe) gifts her an old music box with an inscription that promises to grant the owner’s wishes, she thinks there is nothing to lose. Clare makes her first wish and, to her surprise, it comes true. Before long, she finally has it all: money, popularity and her dream boy. Everything seems perfect – until the people closest to her begin dying in gruesome and twisted ways. Now, with blood on her hands, Clare has to get rid of the box, before it costs her and everyone she loves the ultimate price.
Wish Upon is directed by veteran cinematographer John R. Leonetti (Detroit Rock City, Insidious), whose work with James Wan nabbed him the gig of directing The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle, thus making him a suddenly super-hot horror film director. In the film, there are several grueling sequences of suspense that build to Grand Guignol peaks, though — because of the teen friendly PG-13 rating — many of those scenes fail to end with any serious moments of splatter. One bit in particular sees Twin Peaks legend Sherilyn Fenn monkeying with a garbage disposal and having her hair sucked into the mechanism. Though its clear something bad happens to her, the film cuts away before it gets too explicit.
Today, Leonetti told us this and many other messy moments along with expanded character sequences will indeed be restored in time.
“There’s an 11-minute longer version of the movie,” Leonetti told us.
“But we had to cut it because of the pacing. There’s some amazing character sh*t, like the scene with Clare and her dad on the bed, for example; that went considerably longer and it was actually so good that people who saw it would get tears in their eyes. But it was just too long for this ‘zone’, you understand what I mean? That’s just part of the deal with a movie like this and the audience it was made for. And that scene with Sherilyn in the sink, she DOES get scalped and that’s in the unrated director’s cut that we’re releasing on Blu-ray and on cable or wherever. There is a cut that initially got an R and her scalp gets torn up pretty good. I can’t wait for people to see that version of the movie. It’s just better. It’s a better version of the movie all around, but it’s still paced pretty briskly.”
Wish Upon is directed by Leonetti and produced by Sherryl Clark (Cloverfield). It stars King, Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, Mitchell Slaggert, Purser, Sydney Park, Kevin Hanchard and Fenn. The film is written by Barbara Marshall (Viral).
We dug the movie. Will you be giving it a shot this weekend?