Although it was a theatrical release, “Wishmaster” would probably have worked better as a direct-to-video release. The 1990s were a boon for low-budget horror movies, replete with stronger-than-average entries like “Night of the Scarecrow” and “Pinocchio’s Revenge,” and “Wishmaster” fits really well within that mold: It’s economical in its storytelling, getting right to the point with little subtlety or nuance but establishing clear dynamics along the way. It’s thin enough that you can just go along with it despite the regrettable special effects, particularly since the gore and makeup effects themselves are so imaginative and gleefully gruesome, not unlike the nightclub massacre at the end of “Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth.” As the malevolent Djinn, Andrew Divoff leans in to the Freddy Krueger campiness of it all, and his obvious delight at playing the character elevates the entire production. So overall, it’s not great cinema but it has buckets of charm, and horror fans will find plenty to enjoy.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)