Wishmaster Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
Feeling a bit nostalgic and thumbing through my Dvds when I came across an old favorite of mine. Wishmaster being among the first horror movies I watch as a kid and has stuck with me ever since and figured; why not, lets not do just a review of the first Wishmaster, but the series. Covering all four reviews over the next week or so. Some I have seen. Some I haven’t. In the end, going to have a good time regardless. So, lets gets started by diving into the first shall we.
We get things started during the opening credits. Watching the Fire Ruby being forged and opening words. Detailing the birth of the Universe, Angels, Man, and finally the Djinn. That the person who awakens the Djinn, gets three wishes. Upon the third, the legion of Djinn will be freed from the veil between the worlds and to fear them and them alone. Leading us to Persia in 1127 A.D. Where a pharaoh was making a wish and how horrific the wish was being twisted and the people were being devastated in twisted ways. Before he made the third, the Sorcerer interrupted. Sealing him away in the ruby. Jumping to today, we see a Museum Curator receiving a statue from the docks, but the Crane Handler was drinking on the job. Argument leading to his drink spilling and caused the Box to drop on top of the Curator’s Assistant. Killing him and shattering the statue. While the Curator is fuming over the loss of the statue. Doesn’t see the Dock Worker pocket the hidden Ruby. Who took it to a Pawn Shop, and the shop owner brought it to be appraised and the owner was more than happy to pass it along to his best; Alex. Who is currently playing Tennis with her best friend, Josh. Who wants them to be more than friends, but after some loss in her life. Alex doesn’t want to lose anything more in her life. Departing on him asking her to think about his offer for dinner and a movie. Jumping to her at work. Starting to evaluate the ruby. Inadvertently, kick starting the awakening of the Djinn. Realizing that there was something wrong, she takes it to Josh to get testing on the inside of the ruby. Going off to coach the girls basketball team, and she sees the Djinn exploding out of the gem. Injuring Josh in the process. The creatures gets him to wish the pain would end, which kills him and allows him to gather the energy to regain his true form. With him out, powering the Ruby with the souls of everyone who makes a wish, till it is time to go to get the three from Alex. She is scrambling to get any sort of information on the Djinn and how to stop his reign of terror and that is where I will leave it for now.
I really love the story they tell throughout. Was a simple story that was told excellently. The twists on the wishes went from horrific, like the pharmacist getting Cancer and the party scenes at the beginning and end. The party scene heavy on the gore and effects that are criminally underrated. To the more comical ones like the Houdini trap and the million dollar insurance policy. Pacing was spot on ramping up in intensity perfectly.
Then there was the way they handled the all powerful Djinn. The make-up and prosthetic were beautiful and he feels terrifying in his movements and gestures. Playing off the fact that he couldn’t really do anything without a wish to twist. Particularly with the guard telling him to leave and he was actually leaving. Not able to resist in anyway. Showed just how precise Alex was going to have to be to beat him at the end. In a way, the one thing that hurt the monster side was his human, cause the Nathaniel part was just as fantastic. His ticks and mannerisms. Smooth talking and reading his victims. Knowing just way to say, whether it was bringing out their vanity or get under their skin with frustration and getting them to open up. He was better that human than he was under the costume. Which is a huge applause to the actor, Andrew Divoff.
Andrew Divoff performance was simply spectacular as the Djinn. Like I said above, he brought out a level of fear and style in both forms. He ranks really high in my book of best horror villains, as controversial as that may sound, but he is just that good throughout. Aided by a good performance from Tammy Lauren as Alexandra. I have watched the scene between the two of them in Wendy’s Apartment a hundred times. The chemistry between them was just spot on that even the conversations were a blast. Then you had a Murder’s Row of whose who in horror. Start with narration from Angus Grim. Joseph Pilato, Reggie Bannister, Ted Raimi, George ” Buck” Flowers, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, and Robert Englund and probably more that I missed. All except for Angus dying at the hands of the new monster, but were a blast to see appear.
Negative wise, is a short little thing and that was an bit of audio issue with the Djinn. At times he is extremely hard to hear, but was only really and issue when they were in the ruby.
Alright. I am going to give it a give it a higher grade than it probably deserves. The fact is anytime anyone asks for a suggestion, this is normally the high on the list. It holds a special place in my heart. I have a blast every time I watch it. Gore, effects, comedic moments and Andrew Divoff. Had the line-up of Horror Acting Prestige. Everything I love and helped kick start my love of horror. Final grade = A+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank you for reading.