Wishmaster 3: Beyond The Gates of Hell (2001)

Three movies in and the writers behind “Beyond The Gates of Hell” pretty much run out of steam with the idea of the djinn stretching the concept as thin as it could (a student wishes to go to a place where she can’t be found, the djinn grants her wish by forcing her head in to a rat cage). The djinn still isn’t much of a horror villain and spends much of “Beyond The Gates of Hell” badgering our heroine in to making wishes, rather than appealing to the darker desires of humanity. This time around we follow college student Diana, who is still reeling from the death of her parents at a young age. That back drop of tragedy has no real play in the duration of “Wishmaster 3” except giving her an excuse to be religious.

Although the djinn makes it clear in the first film that it’s just about detached from conventional religious mythology, the writers still try to reconcile the demon to Christian mythology. As Diana fights her attraction to a professor and struggles to maintain her relationship with her boyfriend, she accidentally unleashes the djinn (Jason Connery and John Novak in place of Andrew Divoff) from its gem prison. Anxious to release his fellow djinn from their—I want to say prison, he takes on the body of her professor after murdering him, and begins looking for ways to convince her to make her three wishes that will unlock the realm holding his brethren. Meanwhile Diana begins to scramble to look for a method of outwitting him or undoing the prophecy. A lot of “Beyond The Gates of Hell” is paper thin and relies on filler.

Say what you want about the first two movies, but they at least had a premise. Even Part 4 has more of a narrative than “Beyond The Gates of Hell,” which not only goes through the motions but turns the djinn in to a nuisance. He literally spends minutes on end screaming at our heroine to make her wishes, and derives contrived ways in convincing the very small supporting cast to make their own wishes to feed on their souls. And it’s never quite indicated that he uses the wishes to feed on souls, so much as he convinces people to make wishes just to royally anger Diana. Mid-way the movie transforms in to an action film, as Diana’s boyfriend is possessed by the spirit of the angel Michael, who aids in fighting the djinn.

This “fighting” is comprised of clumsily swinging around a sword at him, and really nothing else. There are also a lot of awkward foot chases and car chases that is obviously just stalling for time. I mean if the djinn is psychically linked to Diana, why does he spend the entire movie running around college looking for her? “Beyond The Gates of Hell” misses a lot of what made the original film so amusing and is a pretty scattered tonally confused follow up that spends more time tossing filler at us than ever unfolding an interesting story. At least we get to ogle Emmanuelle Vaugier for a little while.