"Fantasy Island" Movie Review

Updated on February 17, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island | Source

As a movie critic (admittedly a semi-professional, less-than-part-time one), I feel at least a mild obligation to stick with a movie until the credits roll. Even recent dreck like Cats, Serenity, and Dolittle had a redeeming factor or two (and if not, I harbored a tiny, warped sense of curiosity about whether the ridiculousness could sustain itself for a full two hours).

Not so with Fantasy Island, the latest Blumhouse production, which bills itself as a horror movie but instead is nothing short of horrific. An unmitigated mess from start to finish, Fantasy Island fails on every single front (script, direction, acting, story) with no redeeming anything and no sense whatsoever that it has even the smallest inkling of what kind of movie it’s trying to be. (And therefore does all of them poorly.)

Based on the classic TV show, which I’ll wager means absolutely nothing to anyone born after 1980, the movie keeps the same basic premise. People come to a mystical island via “The plane! The plane!” and are granted fantasies with the caveat that the scenarios must be played out to their inevitable conclusion. It’s a classic be-careful-what-you-wish-for setup and is lorded over by ringleader Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña), who is appropriately evasive when people ask what’s going on or why it’s happening. This, of course, means the audience is kept in the dark, too, which only adds to the frustration.

The five “victims” (we’re told early on that they won a contest) include a seemingly unrelated gaggle of pretty people whose disparate desires propel the movie forward with a halting sputter. The life’s mission of Melanie (Lucy Hale) is to get revenge on the girl who made her high school years a living hell. Gwen (Maggie Q) wishes she could go back five years and say “yes” to the one that got away. High-fiving bros J.D. (Ryan Hansen) and Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) want nothing more than to live the hedonistic good life, and police officer Patrick (Austin Stowell) wishes he could have enlisted in the army like his heroic late father.

Over the course of the film’s 109 (!) minutes, we jump back and forth between the fantasies in neck-snapping fashion, as the movie shifts from the look and feel of a bland Saw entry to a sappy Lifetime time-travel drama to MTV Spring Break circa-1995 to a cut-rate Platoon rip-off… all of which, naturally, makes Fantasy Island feel like four horrendously crappy movies in one.

Director Jeff Wadlow, who helmed 2018’s Truth or Dare and also the repulsive and ridiculously stupid Kick-Ass 2 in 2013, does everything he can to make sure there will not be a worse movie this year then Fantasy Island. His script (which he co-wrote with Truth or Dare’s Chris Roach and Jillian Jacobs) offers up nothing in the way of suspense—there’s not even so much as a jump scare to be found—much less the slightest evidence of a cohesive plot.

This is one fantasy no one could possibly want any part of... except to teach a very simple lesson—the best way to cure the desire to walk out of a movie is to just avoid it altogether.

Rating

0/5 stars

'Fantasy Island' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)