Going into Fantasy Island, I had zero idea what to expect, and that made the viewing experience simultaneously better and confusing! Directed by Jeff Wadlow and written by Christopher Roach and Jillian Jacobs Fantasy Island was loosely marketed as a horror version reboot of the classic 70’s Fantasy Island Show. It is not exactly what I consider horror. Like many of the most iconic Blumhouse features, Fantasy Island is a genre bending, fun, surprisingly touching, and action packed ride that is self aware and does not take itself too seriously.
On Fantasy Island, you can have your ultimate fantasy come to fruition- but as with any wish, often we imagine we want something so badly we cannot consider the possible consequences of getting what we want. In a nutshell this is the theme of the movie. Be careful what you wish for. What isn’t in any of the previews, is the intricate relationships that develop between our characters throughout the two hour adventure- nor those that become realized through what can only be described as ‘highly unlikely but specific situations’ or… fate.
Every single character in this film has a backstory and lineage as complex as that one 900,000 piece cat puzzle you decided to buy because ‘you were going to be really into puzzles in 2008.’ (Too Specific? Just me? Ok. Just me.) But really, the biggest game play in Fantasy Island is trying to guess ahead of the movie, who is related to who- and why. Often there so many major plot-twists in a matter of minutes, the viewer will absolutely get whiplash. It’s high-comedy masked with classic jump scares.
What isn’t laughable, is the sincere themes of regret and grief. Of course Fantasy Island is a game, but underlying is the relatable way each pawn will always fight an internal battle of doing what is right and doing what is desired. If you had one wish, and knew it could change the course of history of everyone around you- would you still make it? Would you bring back a loved one from the grave if it meant sealing the coffin of another? Would you make your wish frivolous? I believe any film can have a deeper take-away if you let it, and Fantasy Island is no exception. If you are looking for something serious, or something disturbingly scary- maybe this isn’t the film for you. But if you enjoy a fast paced, comedic meld of supernatural doings and a moderate dose of existential questioning all equipped with a talented and enthusiastic cast- take the 1 hour and 49 minute journey to Fantasy Island.
Fantasy Island is currently in theaters and stars Lucy Hale, Ryan Hanse, Jimmy O. Yang, Maggie Q, Charlotte McKinney, Evan Evagora, Kim Coates, Michael Peña, Austin Stowell, Michael Rooker, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Portia Doubleday, and Robbie Jones.
Check out the trailer from Sony Pictures!