What You Wish For Image

What You Wish For

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | June 13, 2024

NOW IN THEATERS AND VOD! The shadowed underbelly of moral compromise required to hit the big time is illuminated with a beam of darkness in writer/director Nicholas Tomnay’s licorice black horror noir What You Wish For. The film stars Nick Stahl as Ryan, a hotshot chef who slid down hard and is now in trouble. Running from debts from his degenerate gambling habit, Ryan flees to the middle of a Latin American jungle to visit his old friend Jack (Brian Groh). In the 12 years since they’ve seen each other, Jack has become rich by cooking for special events for millionaires all over the world. He lives in London but is staying at the luxurious jungle villa in preparation for an exclusive feast, costing $1.5 million a plate.

“…Ryan assumes Jack’s identity, hoping to cook his way to a big payday.”

Ryan begs Jack to take him on as sous chef, but the host insists this is a one-person show. While out drinking, the friends run into Alice (Penelope Mitchell), who they invite back to the villa to party. Jack and Alice hook up, and the next morning, he drops Alice off in town while he shops for produce for the exclusive dinner. Meanwhile, Ryan gets a message that unless he pays up, his mother will be murdered. The next morning, Ryan finds Jack’s body hanging from a noose by the patio. When Imogene (Tamsin Topolski) and Barry (Greg Winter) from the hosting agency arrive, Ryan assumes Jack’s identity, hoping to cook his way to a big payday. That is when Ryan finds out what kind of deals Jack made on his way up and that the view from the top isn’t very pretty.

At its core, What You Wish For is a Hitchcockian take on Weekend At Bernie’s. As odd as it sounds, this concoction is pretty cool. Bear in mind, I consider Weekend At Bernie’s a brilliant black satire on the “succeed at all costs” attitude of the 1980s. People were willing to drag a corpse around to live a privileged life. In many ways, this is also a brilliant black satire about high society, but much more droll as it is played dry as ice. Tomney wisely avoids any overt humor, with everyone playing it straight and keeping the situation’s gravity heavy.

What You Wish For (2024)

Directed and Written: Nicholas Tomnay

Starring: Nick Stahl, Tamsin Topolski, Brian Groh, Penelope Mitchell, Greg Winter, Ariel Sierra, Randy Vasquez, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

What You Wish For Image

"…everything you could wish for in a well-lit plunge into the abyss."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon