What You Wish For Review – Spoiler-free
There are several ingredients that you need to make a thriller work, especially if they are an Indie one that does not have a large studio backing them. You need a great script, talented cast, and a few good twists and hooks. What You Wish For has all of that and more.

Nick Stahl leads this suspenseful film that will have viewers on the edge of their seat while waiting to see what is around the next corner. Sure, it is predictable at times, but it knows exactly the kind of pacing it needs to hit to keep things moving along so that there is never a dull moment.

What You Wish For Synopsis: A down-on-his-luck chef, Ryan, assumes the identity of an old culinary friend who’s a private chef for the wealthy. As the motives of his mysterious clients become clear, he desperately tries to find a way out.

As is often true with a movie like What You Wish For, one of the best things about it is the twists and turns that come in the third act. Of course, I do not want to reveal the ending of this film, but just know it is well worth the hour and a half of time that you will invest in it. My jaw was on the floor, I had chills, and I thought to myself, I would love a sequel if the right story comes along.

Stahl shines as Ryan from the very first moment he is on screen, all the way to the very end. Viewers go on quite the journey with him, and while he is a bit mysterious at first, it becomes rather easy to connect with him and root for him to make it safely through this experience.

The synopsis points out that he assumes the identity of his old friend, so most people watching will already know this. Thankfully, What You Wish For does not force you to wait too long for this to happen. We have just enough time with the two friends together, before we really get into the meat of the movie, and oh what a movie it is. If you have seen the trailer, the first act is going to feel predictable, but the movie keeps enough twists and turns hidden for the third act, have no fear.

(L-R): Nick Stahl as Ryan and Tamsin Topolski as Imogene in What You Wish For. Photo by: Magnet Releasing

What is so smart about What You Wish For is that whenever something starts to become obvious, they give it to you straight. There is no waiting around for far too long for the movie to reveal details to the audience. This keeps the pace on point, and the story intriguing, rather than slow and boring.

While you will certainly spend a lot of your time on the edge of your seat waiting for the suspense to subside, there is a dark humor here as well that will have viewers nervously laughing. There is a social commentary buried here as well, about just how easy it is for the rich to get away with things. They can treat those below them extremely poorly, exploiting them and covering their tracks along the way.

Some scenes are a little difficult to watch, but What You Wish For never gets too grotesque or too gory, but there is an uneasy feeling that many will get during certain scenes. The final act is what drives this movie home. Nick Stahl does a wonderful job of taking viewers on a journey along with him, allowing us to discover what is truly going on right alongside the character of Ryan.

Overall, What You Wish For works extremely well as an entertaining and suspenseful thriller. It is dark, yet funny at times, and provides a social commentary that will resonate with many in different ways. Nick Stahl is fantastic in the lead role, providing a character that audiences can connect with and root for.

What You Wish For is an Indie film, but do not let it fly under your radar – it is a must see thriller.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What You Wish For will be released in theaters and on VOD May 31.


Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She owns Mama’s Geeky, but also is a freelance writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for more than ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association. Her passion for film, television, video games, and comic books started when she was a little girl and has only continued to grow. 

Keep up-to-date with us on all of our channels and social media accounts:

YouTube: http://youtube.com/Popternative
Instagram http://instagram.com/popternative
X: http://twitter.com/popternative
Facebook: https://facebook.com/popternative/
Spotify: https://goo.gl/nWtNHP
Apple Podcasts: https://goo.gl/y6tbA9