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Wish Upon

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Unrated Director's Cut
Release: Dec 29, 2017 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

The Black List is a collection of movie scripts that are considered to be especially interesting and worth to be picked up by producers. If a movie is made on the basis of such a script, the marketing department is happy to emphasize this aspect, hoping that it’ll benefit the movie in the eyes of potential viewers. But as we all know, a lot can happen during the production process of a film so that the final product can still deviate substantially from the initial script and turn out to be unsatisfying. In this context, it would be interesting to see how Wish Upon – whose script was indeed featured on the 2015 list together with other scripts that evolved into movies such as All the Money in the World or Miss Sloane – changed until completion. After all, the finished movie makes a pretty generic and formulaic impression despite its topical relation to Final Destination.

Wish Upon and its censorship for the mainstream PG-13 rating

Even though it didn’t cost much with its $ 12 million budget, Wish Upon has a teenage cast and therefore aims at an audience in this age range. Broad Green Pictures understandably targeted this group of viewers for the theatrical release and had to censor the movie in order to achieve the PG-13 rating (for violent and disturbing images, thematic elements and language).

Director John R. Leonetti (Annabelle) said early on that his movie was initially much gorier and received the MPAA’s “R” rating in the first round. He also said that he considers this “Unrated Director’s Cut” to be the better version of his film. Such statements are helpful in promoting the eventual home video release, especially since the film failed to impress at the worldwide box office with only $ 21 million in revenue.

A harder version is a good way to increase the overall sales of the Blu-ray. And in this case, this cut is indeed worthwile compared to what was presented in theaters (and on DVD, where it’s the only version available). As we discovered, there’s a lot more censored than the mere runtime difference of just one minute would suggest. That is due to the usage of alternate material and CGI blood censorship.

Compared are the Theatrical Version (PG-13) and the Unrated Director's Cut (both included on the US Blu-ray by Broad Green Pictures).

14 differences, consisting of

8 extended scenes with alternate material
6 extended scenes
2 scenes with alternate material

The Unrated Director’s Cut runs 58.68 seconds longer than the Theatrical Version.

Extended scene with alternate material
0:00:00: The whole prologue is cut differently in various moments. The Unrated often features longer or different shots without changing the scene’s context too much. An added detail is the female neighbor who is seen shortly as she’s communicating with Clare’s mother in a somewhat one-sided fashion.
When Clare goes into the house shortly after and searches for her mother, the dog stays in front of the door a little longer. A lot of the differences here look like the director’s stylistic decisions rather than any kind of censorship.
The UR runs 41.72 sec. longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut



Extended scene
0:08:11: Die Kamerafahrt hoch zur Figur auf dem Tor ist in der UR deutlich länger. The camera shot nearing the statue on the goalpost is much longer in the UR.
6.6 sec.



Extended scene
0:10:10: Clare shares more details from the definition of “smegma“. One would find it in the area of the male’s glans and the female’s clitoris. That seems to be a little too much sex-ed for the PG-13 rating.
7.12 sec.



Extended scene with alternate material
0:19:45: The shot of Max, the dead dog, is a little more explicit as the rats crawl out of its stomach wound. The intestines are redder and resemble blood more clearly while they’re darkened by CGI in the Theatrical Version.
2.2 sec.

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut



Extended scene with alternate material
0:22:49: When Clare is wooed by the “bewitched” Paul who ignores his actual girlfriend Lola, both versions feature moments of Uncle Augst in between as he wants to take a bath. He then slips accidentally and hits his head at the fringe of the bathtub. We see blood as a result. He’s a little dizzy and when he tries to get up, his forehead hits the faucet heavily. As he sinks back down, we see more blood. Both versions have a different scene order.
Even though the Unrated is shorter in total, the Theatrical Version features mostly filler material that is more harmless (e.g. Uncle August checking the water temperature). The Unrated also has an exclusive shot at the end where we see him dead in the tub while bloody water flows on the floor. Again, we clearly see that the PG-13 version also has color censorship in all scenes involving blood.
The Theatrical Version runs 13.2 Sec. longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut



Extended scene with alternate material
0:28:33: The sequence where the neighbor has lethal problems with her garbage disposal is different in the scene order. Really decisive is the last part where her pigtail is pulled into the hole. The unrated version shows some blood and an explicit shot of her scalp ripping open.
Die Theatrical Version läuft 14,88 Sec. länger

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut



Extended Scene
0:31:11: The dialogue between Clare and her father Jonathan about her mother is slightly longer in the unrated version but doesn’t offer substantially new information. A shot is longer and Jonathan extends a sentence: "So was she...until she wasn't.".
The UR runs 9.92 sec. longer



Extended Scene
0:43:48: When Gina’s head is impaled by the sculpture, it’s happening in the dark at first, which is convenient for the PG-13 theatrical version. The unrated cut shows this once more and after the short interruption with Jonathan’s saxophone concert offers two more shots of the deceased Gina with more lighting and thus more visible gore.
5.52 sec.



Extended scene with alternate material
0:44:33: Ryan discovers the dead Gina. The unrated cut has her staying in the picture almost the entire time while the theatrical version tries to avoid it as good as possible by focusing on Ryan. The unrated version also allows him to utter a shocked “Fuck!” while he stays silent in the PG-13 cut.
The Unrated runs 3.84 sec. longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut



Extended Scene
1:02:29: Dead Meredith can be seen a little longer as she topples to the ground after the elevator door opened.
2.2 sec.



Extended Scene
1:02:39: Dead Meredith is seen once more.
3.96 sec.



Alternate Material
1:07:55: As Paul hurts himself with the knife, there are two explicit scenes of this in the unrated cut while the theatrical version only shows one.
The Unrated runs 0.36 sec. longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut



Extended scene with alternate material
1:17:24: As Clare comes running, we see digital censorship as the blood of her father’s accident hits her face. The unrated cut has more of it compared to the theatrical version.
The Unrated runs 3.32 sec. longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut



Alternate Material
1:17:37: In the theatrical version, Clare’s bloodied face is less bloody in the following minutes, as well. A few examples can be seen below.
No time difference

Theatrical VersionUnrated Director's Cut





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