Fantasy Island Review: A Fantastic Flop

Image found on

Gage Landauer, Feature Editor

Blumhouse has released quite a few hits recently being able to set themselves apart from other horror studios, by making great movies with a low budget. By restricting the budget of all of their movies while giving the directors creative freedom, Blumhouse can make a lot of movies that vary greatly in quality. While they recently released the great movie Invisible Man they also released Fantasy Island; a horror reimagining of the 1978 Fantasy Island T.V. series.


Fantasy Island has a very simple but interesting concept. There is an island run by an intimidating host where people can live out any fantasy they want. This leads to the people of the island being forced to face their inner demons usually akin to a monkey’s paw or a genies wish backfiring. And though this concept is simple it’s easy to screw up.


Though this film is meant to be a horror reimaging of the show, it is far from scary. Though the 1970s show was not necessarily horror-based, it was still able to create a sense of dread and tension especially with its host Mr. Roarke. Mr.Roarke in the original series was mysterious and intimidating, his background was left extremely vague, even hinting that he may be immortal. But in the 2020 film, he was given a clear background and has little to no tension; but is pretty likable being played by Michael Pena who seems to fit any role he’s cast in. 


The story starts with five people being welcomed onto the island by Mr.Roarke. They are informed by Mr. Roarke that they have won a contest and will each be allowed to live out one fantasy but they have to see it out to a natural conclusion. Two characters J.D.(Ryan Hansen) and his brother Brax(Jimmy O. Yang) are hoping to just party in their fantasy. Melanie(Lucy Hale) wants revenge on her high school bully. Patrick(Austin Stowell) is a police officer who hopes to fulfill his dream of being a soldier. And Gwen(Maggie Q) is hoping to see what her life might have been like if she had said yes to a proposal from her ex-boyfriend. All the actors in this movie seem to be trying their best, it’s the writing of this movie that fails.


Though the idea is interesting, the execution is bogged down by jump scares and a few concepts that just don’t belong in this movie(for example a zombie). This movie has no internal logic to what is occurring and how the island is supposed to work. This movie also features a ridiculous twist that doesn’t improve the already boring plot. Anyone who liked the original show will probably be off-put by this movie and people hoping for something remotely entertaining even more so.