Saturday, August 26, 2023

What You Wish For (2023) FrightFest 2023 Fantastic Fest 2023

Director Nicholas Tomnay has made a film that is going to be best the less you know. It's a film where the big picture is almost as shocking as the twists and turns. The result of Tomnay's plotting is a film that is very hard to review lest I give away a twist or two.

The plot of the film has a down on his luck chef, played by Nick Stahl, going to see his former roommate from culinary school in Central America. The roommate works as a chef for the wealthy flying into a city, preparing a meal and flying out. Circumstances occur and Stahl finds himself standing in for his friend. However as things go on the situation goes sideways.

Suspense mixes with black comedy as Tomnay milks the situation for all it's worth. He is playing games with his audience who he suspects might be trying to get ahead of him, but more times then not he manages to surprise us with an unexpected wrinkle. The film becomes a game of double cat and mouse as we are caught up in what is happening to the characters on screen, as well as with the games the filmmakers are playing with us. It's a lot of fun.

It's all a lot of fun. 

Is the film perfect? No, but it is a blast. The problem is that as good as Tomnay's plotting is he kind of twists things just a bit too much. It's not fatal but there was a moment for me when the tension broke. I was still invested in seeing where it was going but instead of leaning forward in my seat and groaning with each turn, instead I leaned back watching and eating popcorn.

Regardless of my quibble this is a hell of a ride.


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