Fantasy Island Review: A Metaphorical Monkey Paw

A 2020 remake based on a 1977 television show targeted to a group of people who weren’t born when the show originally aired…what could go wrong?

Sony Pictures Releasing

Blumhouse Productions is back with another hit or miss low budget horror film and with low expectations, the film could have been a pleasant hit for the dreadful early film year but instead trips and falls in its own vomit by the 2nd act.

Fantasy Island drops five unsuspecting people onto an island that claims to fulfill any fantasy they desire to its logical conclusion. A middle-aged woman (Maggie Q) who regrets passing on a family, a bullied promiscuous young woman (Lucy Hale) out for revenge, a pair of frat-like stepbrothers (Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen) who just want to party with a bunch of hot women (and men), and a former cop (Austin Stowell) who wants to save his father who died in war are all brought in to fulfill their hedonistic dreams but none of them are prepared for evil that lives underneath them.

Fantasy Island is almost a decent film, the setup is good enough for audiences to buy into the concept and competent enough for people to be taken in by the story. That is where the praise ends as we ultimately get another milquetoast PG-13 horror that tries too hard to be more clever than it is.

Sony Pictures Releasing

Outside of subplot involving Maggie Q’s character of Gwen, the rest of the cast play empty stereotypes of horror movie tropes. The film was a black woman and 2nd gay man away from being a rejected Scream screenplay. Lucy Hale continues her post-Pretty Little Liars career of bad decisions such as working with Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow again after the previous Blumhouse disaster known as Truth or Dare. Wadlow, who seems unable to write a script where characters talks like real humans produces some of the worst dialogue since his last film with terrible dialogue.

The film truly falls apart with its 3rd act twist that makes an absurd premise completely ridiculous. By the time, you discover who is the true mastermind behind everything, you’ll wish the film ended 20 minutes earlier than it does.

Sony Pictures Releasing

It is a shame that Fantasy Island fails on the only interesting concept the movie had going for it but at the end of the day, this proves to be just another low budget horror film with little effort given both in front and behind the camera. The only fantasy audience will want from this film is to watch literally any other movie.




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