WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Starring: Nick Stahl, Tamsin Topolski, Penelope Mitchell, Randy Vasquez, Juan Carlos Messier, Brian Groh, and Ariel Sierra
Director: Nicholas Tomnay
This film has been reviewed by Quentin and Nick as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of Fantastic Fest 2023.
All in all, What You Wish For has several flaws. It moves a little too slowly (especially at the start), some of the acting is extremely wooden, and it could have used a lot more tension and suspense once the second act hits. Having said all that, I still enjoyed it, even if it did often remind me of better movies like The Menu. Plus, and maybe this is just me, but it’s nice to see Nick Stahl working again. I wouldn’t call it necessary viewing, but it’s a decent indie thriller, and probably one of the more surprising offerings I saw at Fantastic Fest.
The Menu was one of my favourite films last year, and while What You Wish For doesn't live up to it, it’s still a serviceable addition to the underrated culinary horror genre. Although the darker storyline shows potential, it’s hurt by average performances and pacing issues throughout. The message (as alluded to in the title) of your wishes not being what you expected would likely have had more impact with a more likeable lead, but that doesn’t fall on Nick Stahl. Combine this with the lack of suspense and intrigue, and you have a film that I unfortunately expect to forget before long.