31 Days of Horror: Wishmaster

ann hale dares to make a wish…

My movie today was supposed to be The Prophecy, but due to a malfunction with the disc, I had to alter the schedule. I took about five minutes or so this morning looking through my 400+ collection of horror films, all obsessively alphabetized, trying to find something I haven’t seen in a while that seemed worthy of being part of my 31 Days of Horror. Now, let me go ahead and say that, while I write about one film a day, I really watch 2 or 3, sometimes 4, horror movies a day. Needless to say, I’ve already watched plenty that would and should be on this list. Finally, I got to the last shelf, which is W-Z, when I found something that caught my eye. There, still unopened, sat Wishmaster.

The djinn are creatures made of fire, doomed to dwell between worlds. When someone wakes a djinn, they are granted three wishes but, upon the granting of the third wish, the djinn are all released onto Earth.

A drunken crane operator drops a priceless statue of Ahura Mazda revealing a red opal inside, which is stolen and pawned by a dockworker. Alexandra Amberson, an appraiser at an auction house, is then sent the opal for evaluation. During her evaluation, Alexandra accidently wakes the Djinn. Thinking she sees something inside, she passes the opal over to her friend Josh to analyze under a microscope. The reflections of light release the Djinn, who then murders Josh.

After stealing a face from a cadaver in the morgue, the Djinn becomes Nathaniel, who walks around granting wishes with horrible results and collecting their souls until he can find Alexandra. Her boss, in exchange for a wish, reveals her location and the djinn tracks her down at the office of a folklore professor whom he kills and steals her identity. Alexandra eventually figures out that it is the Djinn she is actually talking to and he attempts to force her to make her three wishes. Now she must figure out how to defeat the Djinn without allowing him to release his friends.

This film automatically gets love from me for the casting choices of Robert Englund, better known as Freddy Krueger, and Ted Raimi, brother of director Sam Raimi or, if you’re a nerd like me, you’ll remember him as Joxer on Xena: Warrior Princess.

What I really love about this film is the portrayal of the genie or djinn. When I asked my friends what they thought of when I said the word “genie” the most common answer was Jeannie or Aladdin. Both of these genies are kind. However, in folklore, the genie or djinn can also be an evil creature. I idea of three wishes sounds too good to be true, and in Wishmaster, it is. The Djinn uses your own words against you and twists your wish so that it doesn’t mean what you meant for it to. For example, when Josh wished for his suffering to end, he was killed instead of his pain just going away. Your words are almost taken too literally.

I was always taught that nothing in this world is free and to be skeptical of anyone who tries to convince you otherwise. Three free wishes are a little too good to be true. So next time someone asks you what you want, be careful what you wish for.

Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80's action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.