In yet another so-so entry into the PG-13 horror pantheon, Blumhouse delivers FANTASY ISLAND today on Blu-ray and DVD. Based on the 1970s television show of the same name, we are treated to a horror-skewing take on the dark side of fantasies with a handful of impossibly pretty people.
As the film opens a plane is depositing a new set of victims/visitors to the island. Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) meets the parade of entitled travelers upon their arrival and explains the rules. The visitors are on the island to live out their fantasies, but they must live them out to their natural conclusions (code for careful what you wish for.) Melanie (Lucy Hale) arrives wishing to get back at a bully from high school, Patrick (Austin Stowell) has always wanted to be a soldier, Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) and J.D play a pair of insufferable brothers wanting to party (Ryan Hansen) and Gwen (Maggie Q) seems to have the most relatable of the fantasies in wishing she had accepted a marriage proposal from years before.
The shenanigans begin and fantasies start. Each character begins fulfilling their wildest dreams and wondering, what could possibly go wrong. Lingering in the background, for some reason is Damon (Michael Rooker) whose presence in the paradisaic nightmare only becomes more confusing the more you try to think about it. It is easy to dismiss plenty in this film as “fantasy.” Yet no amount of suspension of disbelief can unravel the knots that the plot ties itself in. That’s not to mention the surprising lack of horror in this horror movie. There is nearly nothing at all that is creepy, much less horrifying.
All said, Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island isn’t as bad as some of the other cinematic misfires we’ve seen from this production company. The film is consistently easy to look at if you can ignore the wobbly dialogue and broad characterizations. It’s just not the least bit scary. Call me a hardened horror fan but I at least like to feel a tinge of unease when settling in for scares.
4 out of 10
Still, if you would prefer to see for yourself, Fantasy Island is arriving on Blu-Ray and DVD today from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.