The Wisher (2002)


Executive Produced & Directed by: Gavin Wilding

Written by:
Ellen Cook


Liane Balaban .... Mary Ryan
Siri Baruc .... Debbie
Drew Lachey .... Brad
Ron Silver .... Campbell
Billy Morton .... Earl
Andrea Runge .... Kara Genero
Wendy Anderson .... Kelly Ryan
Ariel Bastian .... Beth Ryan
Iain MacLean .... Jake Ryan

Release Date:
Direct-to-Video: December 1, 2002 (Canada)

*Images courtesy at:






A teenager named Mary Ryan (Liane Balaban) is obsessed with horror movies but constantly has nightmares about them along with having trouble sleepwalking outside of her home that the police have to pick her up.
Well one night there's a premiere of a horror film playing at the Galaxy Theatre that everyone is talking about in which she wants to see but her father Jake (Iain McLean) forbids her to see it but disobeys him and also made a death wish on him since she doesn't see eye to eye with him. After seeing half of the movie before she gets sick her wish has been granted as he dies in a terrible car accident after spotting a mysterious object standing in the middle of the road.
Six months have passed as she is still grieving but after she makes other wishes out of frustration this mysterious object does some deadly deeds due to this.
Her shrink Campbell (Ron Silver) thinks they're all just terrible incidents but her friend Debbie (Siri Baruc) tries to find some missing clues with her including trying to download the movie to find out on what happens in the end as the main highschool jock Brad (Drew Lachey) has a crush on Mary and seems to be stalking her since he seems to be a prime subject to these deaths.


There's a great beginning giving it a retro horror feel to all what happens here revealing a home at night and then cheesy one liners on a family celebrating their daughters birthday who happens to be Mary in which we spot something shocking and twisted when she cuts the cake with blood oozing out as well as shocked reactions to everything along with the father Jake acting evil and demented towards her grabbing a piece of it which looked convincingly intense. Then a great moment with Mary waking up realising that she's sleepwalking as well as things outside blowing in the wind adding a good old fashioned creepy touch to everything involving with what happens here. Also perfect settings when she is about to go to bed and shadows from a tree is being revealed and then transforming into some creepy looking objects too.
There's a good situation between Mary and her counsellor Campbell on her situations which looked nicely focused in by their interactions towards one another as well as him getting a little stern with her which gives the moment and uncomfortable feeling when he insists she takes her meds or her parents will lock her in her room. A nice touch to the horror story indeed.
Nice moments with having the highschool bitch Kara making out she accidently bumps into Mary making her spill some drinks on her friends which adds a nice touch to a horror story focusing on hischool kids making you want to her her big time. Also a nice intense moment with a misfit teen Shane Underwood having a seisure as this moment draws in quite strongly here.
SOme cheesy sequences with Mary and her friends going on a camping trip and something strange happens only to be revealing that she was sleepwalking which the settings on her sleepwalking at night looked perfect and dark as well as a shot on her screaming as this looked impressive too.
Nice moment with Mary going to see a movie with her friends and what we spot on the screen which looked incredibly spooky and effective on it's own along with some cheesy one liners like what we spot in an 80's horror flick. Also a great reaction on Mary getting sick which leaves an impression that something is going to happen later on.
A nice moment on Jake driving in his car and then being distracted as this gives you the chills that he's going to get into an accident along with a figure standing in the middle of the street and then the not so pretty results as to what he does to dodge this figure adding more great suspense to the story.
A good setting with Mary and her family at the dinner table and she acts sour interacting with her Mom and her little sister Beth as the moments here looked realistic and dysfunctional too. Also nice upsetting reactions on what she says with the situations talking about her dead father.
A perfect intense moment with Mary and her friends at a cafe talking and Mary acts closed minded as well as her going hysterics towards a friend of hers who tries to force a situation out of her in which this gives you a feeling that something bad will happen during this moment. Also a good moment when her friend walks out and then gets grabbed by the figure with a nice horror moment on what happens to her which should please slasher fans even if this scene took place in the daytime as it would've looked more classy at night.
A good moment with Mary spotting her parents as if it was all a dream and then her father getting wicked and nasty towards her on seeing that horror film as you could tell she was having another bad dream and you think to yourself when this is happening to wake the hell up and realise this isn't real at all that it draws you in a great deal here looking perfectly intense within all of this.
Of course in the story we have a moment with the bitch Kara fornicating with one of the jock's at her school as well as her leaving like it was not a big deal for what they did in which is a perfect pointer for a slasher film and a sign for her being the next victim too. Plus there's a good moment with the popular kid Brad approaching her and speaking coldly towards her as the setting looked good and dark which makes you wonder as to why he's being like this.
A perfect serious moment with Mary stressing something to Beth as well as nearly making a wish out of frustration and spotting a figure spying on them along with her panicking in which the situations between them looked incredibly great and suspenseful too.
Also a perfect moment when Mary's friend Debbie insists on telling her to wish to wreck her car as this leaves a chill down your spine that this isn't a good idea at all. Plus some nice adrenalised suspense when Debbie drives her car in an alleyway at full speed as this makes you watch and wonder on what's going to happen next.
A great moment on the two of them struggling to try and find a way to download the movie they saw to find out on what happens in the end as well as problems with situations like a pwer outage or the computer crashing in which this looked perfectly psychological on the frustrations with stuff like this while trying to find a way on surviving or looking for missing clues.
At times the story looked a bit disappointing when we fully reveal the killer trying to attack near the end of the film as the costuming looked slightly amateurishly done but we reveal the full eyes and face which draws in nice and wickedly. Plus when we reveal the unsolved mystery it seems very weird on what had happened but explains itself yet the events beforehand looked too supernatural even so. Still it leaves a door open for a sequel when we spot on what happens with Beth about to watch a the movie on TV.
Bottom line is that this was a great film that seems to use the formula from the slasher films we remember watching and the style looked great. Seemed like a cross between A Nightmare On Elm Street but not as good as that one as well as Wes Craven's Wishmater but this one was better than that one and more mysterious too. Plus there's the odd touch of the cult classic italian flick Demons too. This story very much reminds me of the young adult Fear Street novels by R.L. Stine as it borrows heavily from those too as I love reading them to this day. A bummer a sequel never came to life here as I was hoping that this one would have a big following as it was on the right track here bringing back the good old fashioned horror.

The acting was pretty good as lead actress Liane Balaban (Mary Ryan) seemed to show off a nice eccentric type of attitude but yet acting very popular and mature for what she does. Really brought off some great adrenaline while she ends up screaming in terror which she brought out perfectly here. Does a nice job acting hard headed too as well as having a good bitter attitude whenever she needed to behave like this or reacting to things which also seemed perfectly natural whenever she had to be this way. Was terrific whenever she screamed in hysterics or freaking out which she brings a hyped out energy big time while acting like this as well as her freaking out when the terror starts to strike at her just bringing everything out of this. Certainly studied this part inside out.
Siri Baruc
(Debbie) does a nice job as an understand friend in which she shows off a nice calm and decent attitude within whatever she did for her role. Also does a good job acting manipulative but in a good way showing a trustworthy type of motive as she really brought this to life. Plus does a great job getting anxious after she spots something terrifying and changes her mode a great deal offering a nice versatality here.
Drew Lachey (Brad) seemed terribly stiff and wooden throughout his performance as the popular jock in the film as his looks didn't even match his character too well. But there were the odd interesting moments while acting perfectly mysterious and stern in a certain scene and showing off some good energy when struggling against the final terror that has happened. He wasn't a passable character actor though.
Ron Silver (Campbell) knew his craft perfectly as a shrink in which he shows a good understanding and wise behavior along with expressing a stern attitude whenver he needed to be this way as well. He had a great drive by getting into what he needed through the person whom he was talking to and had a nice speaking voice whenever he was acting like this.
Andrea Runge (Kara Genero) was fairly okay playing the popular school snob as she does come across as someone you'd want to hit by what she does and delivers this fair enough but sometimes she's a bit over the top while expressing her actions. She wasn't terrible though as she does nicely while reacting to certain things which you could tell that she tried her best in her performance here. Had the fairly pretty blonde haired looked but not extremely stunning as you'd picture the school bitch in a horror flick.
Wendy Anderson (Kelly Ryan) does her job pretty good as a sympathetic mother with her warm behavior as well as her pleasant speaking too. Also does a nice job whenever she had to put her foot down and acted stern in certain spots too. Defientely lived to portray this role and had the nice type of motherly looks too. She came across nicely onto the camera big time here.
Ariel Bastian
(Beth Ryan) was one of the best cast members in the story too as she really portrayed a perfect smart, outgoing and genuine little kid who knows on how to give advice and make this look very realistic. Also shows good upsetting reactions and expressions for the dysfunctional situations which shines off nicely. Plus does a great job when acting scared and having a perfect emotional attitude while doing this. Yes she really brought it on and I can see her going places in future projects as this was a nice stepping stone for her.
Iain MacLean
(Jake Ryan) didn't have a huge part in the story but a real effective one nonetheless as he really brought it on with his insane behavior for the dream sequences really getting in your face big time and coming across as fairly intimidating while doing this. Also does a good job with his stern and hard headed behavior being the family man who has a hard time seeing eye to eye with someone but trying his best to do a proper upbringing. He for sure studied this role offering a perfect versatality here.

Andrea Runge exposes her breasts fully while fornicating with someone near a corner of a changing room.

Blood oozes out of a cake.
A tongue is cut off and a body has a violent bloodshed.
The killer constantly stabs himself looking bloodied.

The music seemed to sound not too badly here in which we have alot of great hissing noises or thumping which suits on what we spot in the film itself. Also some cold sounding violing music as well as piano playing too. THe odd powerful sounds seem to come in from time to time as well. All of this was put together by Chris Ainscough

Kara Genero : You know what they say about nice people...

Mary: I wish you would crash the car.