A small group of people win a competition which allows them to fly to a mysterious place known as “Fantasy Island”. The host of this island, Mr Roarke (Michael Pena) explains to his guests that they can choose any fantasy and have it fulfilled while they stay on the island. Their desires can finally be received, or any wrongs can be corrected.
Each person in the group have different requests for Mr Roarke. Some of these people are Melanie (Lucy Hale) who wishes to get revenge on an old bully, Gwen (Maggie Q) who wants to correct the wrongs with a former boyfriend and has desires to lead a long life of marriage with a daughter she never had. The list goes on. For those of you who are not aware, Fantasy Island (2020) is in fact-based off a well-known TV Series which featured back in 1977. Unlike this film, the TV Series was in fact “family-friendly”. This time we have Blumhouse taking the same premise and concept but adding the secret ingredient of horror.
Fantasy Island doesn’t have much to do in regards to its setup or an introduction to its characters. We gain more information about them as they begin there Fantasy’s. The film follows each of the five characters weaving their stories back and forth. But some fantasy’s can lead to being more a horror then living the dream.
I enjoyed the film’s setup, and I was personally curious to know how this film would compare with the Tv series. I was also interested to see how the horror aspects would work in this film. People wanting to have fantasies completed doesn’t sound that scary on paper.
Visually for the majority of the film, Fantasy Island is an excellent looking film with solid colours and feels relatively sharp all around. Performances are over the top and filled with one-liners which may not appeal to all. For the most part, I was happy to see actress Maggie Q to be the best part of this film.
But as for the rest of this film, I have lots to say. Without spoilers, this film enjoys giving it’s audiences many twists and turns. But these big reveals either fill dull or worse, and they don’t always make sense (even more so once the film has ended). Other then the basic introduction in the movie, the plot is easily the most painful part of the film, and to me, it doesn’t work nor does it make sense. It should also be noted that some of the characters are just painful to watch along with cheesy one-liners which never land any laughs. Michael Pena, who I usually love seeing in films, seemed uncomfortable and is generally dull.
Overall, Fantasy Island brings a great concept to the screen. What was once a beloved TV series from the ’70s has now been turned into a horror film. Even if you’re not familiar with the once known TV series, this film has been made for those seeking a new style of horror with brainless twists. For me, this was a significant misfire of a movie as the concept may seem positive with its opening, but the results as a story are an absolute mess, and this is one Fantasy I wanted to end quickly.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden