Fantasy Island is a show mainly remembered for Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Rourke and his assistant Tattoo played by Hervé Villechaize. The show was an anthology series where every week, guests would arrive to fulfill a fantasy. Usually it was for an adventure to address a regret. The show was remade for television in 1998 with Malcolm McDowell stepping in as a more sinister Mr. Roarke.
Twenty Years later Blumhouse has given us an updated version that may or may not be meant to begin a franchise. And…
Well, I did not hate it.
But to be clear, it is not really that good either. Now, the big deal made was that this was a horror re-imagining of the series. Except, not really. It follows the formula pretty closely. People arrive to live out fantasies that seem impossible. There is a sentimental story, a live the big life dream, an adventure and petty revenge. The petty revenge ends up being the horror plot (as was common on the series, Fantasy Island often had at least a few scary episodes each season). And the fantasies turning on themselves is totally part of the franchise.
The movie brings everyone together at some point, all their fantasies coalescing into a fight for survival. Most of the cast is okay, though I really was bummed that Michael Peña is so…well, not invested. He constantly feels like he has a better role lined up so he is just delivering his lines as fast as possible so as to be done with the film.
The twists are somewhat predictable, but fine…save one. The film’s biggest twist requires a scene that has to happen to keep the audience in the dark…but the minute you discover the twist, that scene makes absolutely no sense.
The film is pretty much TV movie level, and hey, maybe rent it when it hits streaming or Red Box?