Movies

‘Fantasy Island’ movie review: More yawns than frights

A still from ‘Fantasy Island’

A still from ‘Fantasy Island’  

A remake of the popular 70s show, this offering seems like a slapdash attempt instead of an a horror-adventure film

When you think of Blumhouse Productions, a spate of successful horror films like Paranormal Activity, Insidious and The Gift come to mind. The production house has carved a name for itself with micro-budgeted films that have borne box office gold. Jason Blum at the helm of the company has in fact been nominated for a few Academy Awards for producing Whiplash, Get Out and BlacKkKlansman. But his latest project earns a few head scratches. A remake of the popular 70s show, Fantasy Island, the film is a peculiar addition to Blumhouse’s roster.

Sure it’s got a supernatural inclination to it. But mostly the film is a tired adaptation of the essence of the series which had the time and scale to delve into the intricacies of a unique premise. Fantasy Island 2020 brings back Mr Roarke (Michael Peña) as the host who manifests people’s most desired wishes. Gwen (Maggie Q) regrets spurning the man she still loves; Patrick (Austin Stowell) wants to be a soldier for a weekend; while Melanie (Lucy Hale) seeks revenge on high school bully Sloane (Portia Doubleday). Lastly, brothers from different mothers JD (Ryan Hansen) and Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) just want to have the party of their wildest dreams. While the island brings to life their fantasies, something obviously isn’t right when things go awry.

Fantasy Island
  • Director: Jeff Wadlow
  • Cast: Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, Michael Rooker
  • Storyline: A group of seemingly unrelated people embark on fulfilling their fantasies on a mysterious island with supernatural powers

That trouble should hit the fan is visible a mile away. Director, co-writer and producer Jeff Wadlow seems to have done a slapdash hurl of the script on to the big screen. With no consideration to nuance or gasp, even run-of-the-mill jump scares, Fantasy Island unravels like a ball of yarn across a flat floor. It’s strange how the film can be both predictable and confusing simultaneously. A twist that should ideally grab some eyeballs just ends up being exasperating and frankly a little stretched. Whatever little humour there is, is courtesy of comedy veterans Hansen and O. Yang, hits its peak right at the start with the two wading through woods: “I’m not into bush whacking” the retort to which is, “Is that why Jenny dumped you?”

For a company that focuses on horror, Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island elicits more yawns than frights.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 8:15:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/fantasy-island-movie-review-more-yawns-than-frights/article30840959.ece

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