Home » Wishcraft is Rife With Bad Dialogue and Acting [Retrospective]

Wishcraft is Rife With Bad Dialogue and Acting [Retrospective]

Brett (Michael Weston) sitting on the bleachers in the 2002 Danny Graves, Richard Wenk film Wishcraft.

High school student Brett Bumpers receives a bull penis in the mail that says it will grant the recipient three wishes. Almost immediately after his first wish, a rash of murders break out at Brett’s school. Brett begins to suspect that there may be a correlation between the bull penis and the string of murders affecting his classmates.

Wishcraft is the kind of film that one must suspend their disbelief and turn of their brain to glean any kind of enjoyment from it. It is not a particularly well-made film but it does have a certain amount of raw entertainment value if you can keep from focusing on the film’s shortcomings. I saw it on cable a while ago when I couldn’t sleep and it kept me entertained for the most part. It’s fine for sheer escapist entertainment value but if you’re looking for anything more than that, you’ll quickly discover that it’s riddled with problems.

What carries Wishcraft is a somewhat interesting killer, a couple of good death scenes, a twist that sort of works, and the use of practical effects over CGI. The film falls flat in almost every other aspect, so be forewarned.

Michael Weston (Crank: High Voltage) is a bland as Brett. He gets slightly better as the film progresses but Weston never achieves a leading man quality performance. A lot of the supporting performances in Wishcraft are of extremely poor quality. A.J. Buckley (Disturbing Behavior) is absolutely impossible to tolerate as Brett’s best friend Howie. Howie is always making jokes that aren’t funny or doing something moronic in an attempt to provide comic relief but he is never successful at doing so. The late Zelda Rubinstein (Poltergeist) has a supporting role in the film as a medical examiner and she is enjoyable as always. But Rubinstein’s role in the picture is fairly short, like my patience with this flick by the point she appeared.

In addition to poor performances and an unconvincing leading man, the film also suffers from some really obnoxious dialogue. Howie has a ridiculous amount of irritating banter with Brett. It’s never amusing. All of Howie’s scenes are over acted to the point of being painful. Listening to him talking about the different cliques they could join is excruciating. No one actually talks like that. Not now and not in 2002 when this film was released.

Another of Wishcraft‘s tragic flaws is that it can’t seem to make up its mind if it’s a horror picture or a romantic comedy. The pacing is up and down with long gaps between the kill sequences. There are chunks of the film where it functions almost solely as a coming of age comedy.

If you make it through to the end of Wishcraft there is a somewhat unexpected twist that I didn’t see coming. Though the twist is semi-amusing, it will have an impact on replay value. Knowing the twist will make repeat viewings somewhat pointless but since the film isn’t that great, it’s kind of a non-issue.

If you haven’t seen Wishcraft, it does have its moments. There are a couple of pretty inventive and well-executed kill scenes and the film provides a certain level of mindless entertainment. But the bad far outweighs the good. The film is frequently overacted, suffers from choppy pacing, and features some idiotic dialogue.


Director(s): Danny Graves, Richard Wenk
Writer(s): Larry Katz
Stars: Alexandra Holden, Michael Weston
Year: 2002
Studio/ Production Co: Gold Circle Films
Budget:   Unknown
Language: English
Length: 97 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Slasher

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dog, and cat hat(s).
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