Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell Review
If I could be granted one wish, it would probably be to get my 90 minutes back after watching Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell. This 2001 sequel to Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies was not only unnecessary but also unworthy of bearing the title; Andrew Divoff does not reprise his role as the Djinn, the writing and themes don’t match either of the two prior films, and ultimately there’s very little point to the whole thing besides meeting a quota of direct-to-video knockoffs of popular/somewhat popular franchises. Remember when video stores used to have a bargain bin full of DVDs? One would expect to find fifteen copies of Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell buried in that picked-over mound.
The film takes very little cues from the first two, instead introducing a Hellraiser-esque Pandora’s Box that contains the mystical gem housing the Djinn (this time played by John Novak). Besides looking cool, the box makes no difference later on, and writer Alex Wright fails to give much context to the way the Djinn miraculously appears out of thin air after our main character Diana (A.J. Cook) touches the thing. But from there, Wishmaster 3 follows the same formula as the other films, except in this case it manages to be infinitely more boring while featuring less creative wishes or gore.
It’s difficult to write an appropriate review for director Chris Angel’s film. Its opening scenes are reminiscent of the worst DTV teen slasher films, with annoying character tropes and bad acting in spades. As Wishmaster 3 continues, its more overt religious views seep in, cribbing from Wishmaster 2 but also ignoring most of the mythology created in those original movies. Instead of using the creativity and imagination present in the conclusions of the first two films, Diana makes a wish what transforms her dead boyfriend Greg (Tobias Mehler) into St. Michael the Archangel, who carries with him a flaming sword necessary to vanquish the Djinn despite, you know, his having been trapped twice previously without the need to actually fight him. It boils down to a cringe-worthy final action scene that, by that time, had sapped any enthusiasm I had for the rest of the series.
Don’t be fooled – under no auspices would I recommend Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell, not even to watch as a joke. There’s very little to like about the film and, more than that, none of it is memorable or interesting. Luckily, most of the actors – like A.J. Cook, who went on to star in Criminal Minds – bounced back from this film, but it’s easy to believe that most of the cast and crew are wishing for this film to be wiped from their resume.