Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled Review
Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled was planned and shot at around the same time as Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell by the same director, Chris Angel, so anyone coming off that previous trainwreck will probably not have much faith in this final sequel in the series. However, Wishmaster 4 happens to be a hell of a lot better than its predecessor, sporting a better cast, a more intriguing storyline, and some better effects that even incorporate more Djinn into the plot. Surprisingly, this is a solid follow-up to some of the ideas left unexplored in the Wishmaster universe.
This film was written by John Benjamin Martin and follows yet another young woman – this time named Lisa (Tara Spencer-Nairn) who accidentally awakens the Djinn (John Novak) after she receives the red gem from her lawyer/potential lover Steven (Michael Trucco). Lisa’s suffering from a disastrous marriage after a bike accident leaves her husband Sam (Jason Thompson) paralyzed, and the Djinn manages to worm his way into Lisa’s life while tricking her into asking her three wishes without even knowing the Djinn mythology.
This is a smart direction for Wishmaster 4, especially since the past three films focused on the Djinn appearing to the waker in full demon form and forcing them to make all three wishes at once. This film foregoes all of the boring stuff – no more thousands of wishes before the Djinn can seek out the Waker – and instead gets right to the good stuff. In this case, the good stuff happens to be the Djinn’s pursuit of love, taking over Steven’s persona and getting close to Lisa while also goading her into making wishes that improve her home life.
Martin’s script is a strong point here, since it crafts a compelling backstory for Lisa and Sam and gives them a reason to make some ill-fated wishes. At the same time, Wishmaster 4 often relies on stupid logic to get over certain humps; its characters often ignore red flags, and ultimately the Djinn’s need for human love is never really explained, a factor that really needs some exposition in order for the audience to truly believe that he would go against his race’s demands for freedom for a chance at true happiness.
Still, Wishmaster 4 is a surprisingly serious affair for the most part, and Angel definitely has a better handle on the material than in his previous outing. There’s even some room for more gore effects, which aren’t incredibly intricate but still a welcome addition to the film. There’s also a Highlander-esque swordfighting scene which… well, that’s probably better left unmentioned as a weak, cheesy point in the movie.
Another interesting element is the incorporation of more Djinn, who tend to give off a Cenobite vibe whenever they’re shown. While the makeup effects aren’t particularly great – especially when our main Djinn is in natural lighting – it’s good to see Angel attempting to show more of the djinn race rather than relying on the main Djinn throughout this film.
Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled is far from perfect, but it’s certainly better than the sequel before it. This one at least makes strides to develop the series’ mythology, and it shakes things up a bit with the tension that the prophecy will actually be fulfilled after Lisa makes her three wishes. It’s a good movie on which to end the series, mercifully retiring the Djinn without subjecting him to any further story deterioration.