Blumhouse’s rebooting fetish continues with a redo of ABC’s late 70’s early 80’s series Fantasy Island. The film’s premise is simple enough, a group of adults have won a contest where they are transported to the titular island where their deepest and darkest fantasies will come true. There are only two rules that need to be followed, according to the island’s host Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena )- 1. Only one fantasy per guest and 2. The guest must follow their fantasy to its natural conclusion, a rule that will prove to be more difficult to swallow than any of the guests could imagine.
Fantasy Island can be best split into three parts- the first of which is a slow introductory build to the characters and their “deepest fantasies”. The cast is full of teen drama stars like Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars/ Truth or Dare), Maggie Q (the Divergent Series), Portia Doubleday (Mr. Robot/ Her), Austin Stowell (Bridge of Spies), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars) and Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley/ Crazy Rich Asians) that help to appeal to the target audience. Throughout the first act of the film, we are also introduced to each guest’s deepest fantasy. Lucy Hale’s character, Melanie, wants deep revenge on a childhood bully, Sloan, who is played by Portia Doubleday. JD (Ryan Hansen) and his brother Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) desire to be rich and live their lives with all the booze and sexual partners they can handle. Elana (Maggie Q) dreams for a second chance with a man she turned down and Randall (Austin Stowell) wants to be a war hero like his dear old dad.
Things are going as well as one can hope as each of our guests, especially the brothers, start to deeply enjoy how their fantasies start out. However, as each character gets more and more comfortable with what is going on, each of their fantasies soon begin to take a sudden turn something much, much darker. It is at this point that the slow-build beginning begins to turn into more of a Final Destination-esque movie, where all the characters are doing their own thing, but come together towards the end for the big reveal.
Act 1 was all about introductions. Act 2 had the meat and potatoes of the film, where the majority of the pieces began to come together. Then, there is Act 3. The part of the movie where it feels that the filmmakers didn’t know what they wanted to do and tried to M. Night Shyamalan us with plot-twist after plot-twist and everything began to fall apart.
Without going into detail and spoiling what happens in the film, it was at this point that I began to dislike what was happening. Fantasy Island was actually pretty entertaining until the last twenty minutes of the film, where the plot-twist took all the energy out of the film. I’m not really sure how else they could have ended the movie, but this wasn’t the right way to do it.
Fantasy Island is rated PG-13, which really limited the horror aspect of the film and turned it more into a teen drama. This is also apparent with the over-sexualization of the supporting cast (I’m looking at you Chasity Belt and Alejandro). Even with the rating issues, Michael Pena and Maggie Q really shine. Lucy Hale does a great job in her role, as does Portia Doubleday. There were some jump scares and really nice scenery, but again, not much in terms of actual scary moments. Just as a side note, the Zombie Doctor Torture character is everything that the Isaac Yankem DDS (Glenn Jacobs/Kane) character should have been in 1996 WWF.
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