Ah, the wonders of DVD. Rather then having to spend extra money renting what would probably be an inferior sequel, Wishmaster 2 comes included on the original Wishmaster (1997) DVD!
So, after checking out the original, I refilled my popcorn and soda, and settled in for the sequel.
The acting is good enough, but not quite on the par with the original. It’s close, though, since the original didn’t have exactly Oscar-winning acting either, especially from it’s leads. It was a bit of a disappointment not seeing Robert Englund, Kane Hodder or Tony Todd (the actors who play Freddy, Jason and Candyman, respectively), especially since the robbery in the beginning of the film occurs in Robert Englund’s character’s house.
Holly Fields and Paul Johansson both stumble their way through without too many mistakes, and aren’t painful to watch, at least.
Andrew Divoff, the Djinn, does a decent job again, but his grinning and the whole looking through his eyebrows thing starts getting a bit old. He seems to be vamping just a bit more for Wishmaster 2, and it’s noticeably silly at times. Maybe it’s the newness of the character that’s worn off, I’m not sure.
The plot strays a bit from the first in one major way: The Djinn now has to collect 1001 souls before he can start going after Morgana. It’s a bit different, since the first film he only collected a few before going after the lead character. That’s one of those plot points thrown in that destroys continuity in the series a bit, since the rules can’t change for any good horror serial.
The basic rules need to stay constant. It’s like changing Freddy to be a real-life killer for one of the films, rather then something that attacks characters in their dreams. Okay, maybe that’s extreme, but you get the point. The 1001 thing was obviously just something thrown in there so they could have an “excuse” for a higher body count.
Plus, why 1001? There’s no possible way you’ll be able to show that many souls, and people will eventually get bored. Stay with a lower number. (By the way, the whole 1001 thing doesn’t stay true. He needs 800 more at one point, and then he has them all…but someone later states only 200 more people got it….kind of odd math, don’t you think?)
The special effects were decently done, and a bit different then the first film. They didn’t show anywhere near as much carnage in this film, and there weren’t as many different aberrations of death either. Some of the deaths in the first were quite interesting (turning into a tree, becoming a snake, becoming a mannequin, etc.). This film, however, they just went more for the gore then originality. Mostly people got squeezed till they burst. That’s about it. Not as interesting. Half the fun of watching the original was seeing what they’d come up with next.
All in all, an inevitable sequel for a horror film. Not as well done, obviously thrown together, and unoriginal. It’s not all bad, though. There did seem to be a bit more consideration when choosing the actors for the sequel then there usually is for these slapped together sequels.
A simple sequel, predictable, yet fun and semi-entertaining. It’s not as bad as some of the Friday the 13th (1980) sequels have been, but it definitely doesn’t top the original, either.
It does make me worry a bit about Wishmaster 3 and Wishmaster 4 – do they continue the downward trend or do they turn it around?
I’m almost afraid to watch them and find out.