Movie Review: Fantasy Island (2020)

Loosely based on the 70s television series of the same name, Fantasy Island is a 2020 horror movie directed by Jeff Wadlow (Truth or Dare, Kick-Ass 2). On an island owned by the mysterious Mr Roarke (Michael Pena), five strangers arrive and are told they can live out their deepest fantasies: policeman Patrick (Austin Stowell), who wishes to be a soldier, like his late father; J.D and Brax (Ryan Hansen and Jimmy Yang, respectively), brothers who want a non-stop party; Melanie (Lucy Hale) who seeks revenge on a high school bully; and Gwen (Maggie Q), who wishes to accept a former boyfriend’s proposal she previously rejected. Mr Roarke informs the troop they must live out their fantasies until their natural conclusions, as unknown to him a private investigator (Michael Rooker) snoops around the island, looking for answers of his own.

+ brothers J.D and Brax were the standout of the unfortunate guests, as they played off each other with real chemistry. Pena was surprisingly good as Mr Roarke, as I mostly know Pena as the fast talking, loud and obnoxious sidekick so this was a refreshing change. Michael Rooker is great, but mostly underutilised
+ the fantasies themselves are unique and varied, and I enjoyed the various ‘changes’ to each fantasy. They all progressed in a clever kind of way, even if the reasoning behind it was less so

fantasyisland_2
From left: Melanie (Lucy Hale), Gwen (Maggie Q), Patrick (Austin Stowell), Brax (Jimmy Yang) and J.D (Ryan Hansen) are greeted by Mr Roarke’s assistant.

– the plot makes little sense once you think about it for more than half a second, including a frustrating twist that thinks it is much more clever than it actually is

> two positives and one negative; there really isn’t a lot to talk about here. It’s a not very good horror movie based on an old TV series. What else do you want from me?

Should you see this film: This was dumb, but it was still dumb fun. The story is pretty standard horror schlock, the twist makes no sense at all, and the acting is kind of hit and miss – but every now and then you’ll chuckle. Watch this only if there’s nothing else available.

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