Cast: Michael Pena, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Howell
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Seriously, can we stop giving Lucy Hale a pass for starring in crappy movies because she’s hot? She contributes absolutely nothing to the major roles she gets handed and you could pick up any amateur actress for these roles and they’d probably do just as well. Being a scream queen requires your movies to be scary and not “PG-13 and mildly edgy,” which she fails to see by consistently being in poorly-made Blumhouse movies. Fantasy Island is yet another spectacular failure from Blumhouse as they continue to release garbage as long as it sells. Through a unique combination of boring horror scenes and a truly jumbled script full of unlikable characters, Fantasy Island fails spectacularly on every level imaginable.
The film follows a group of people who win a trip to Fantasy Island; an island that can make even the most unrealistic dreams come true. While this all sounds good in theory, their fantasies soon become nightmares as the things they wished for suddenly turn against those who wished for them in the first place. As you may be able to tell based on that description, this isn’t the most intelligent or well thought out movie of all time, and the attempt to tie it in to the original show is pathetic. I’ve never watched the show, but my understanding is that there were no real horror elements at play. The supernatural stuff was still there, but the tone shift in this movie seems unnecessary at best and ridiculous at worst. On top of this, by having an ensemble cast and 109 minutes to explain all of their backstories, emotions, and motivations, it makes it tough to truly care about any of them at the depth that we probably should. On top of this, since Blumhouse’s money pit seems to be making movies for teenagers who can’t see their R-rated content, they refuse to do anything remotely entertaining and horrifying to the point where you could almost consider Fantasy Island to be a drama. It gets really bad towards the end as the movie has no true way for it to end, so it just throws a bunch of twists and turns in to shake things up, but they happen without any sort of forewarning or thought. These are twists for the sake of having twists and it adds to the complete lack of value associated with this movie. I feel bad for Pena because he’s the only one in this group that’s a legitimately good actor in other movies, but he really picked a doozy of a project to sign on to. There are so many more useful ways to spend your time rather than watching Fantasy Island, and even for Blumhouse standards this is pretty low down the list. When the director is the same person who directed Truth or Dare?, I think it’s safe to say we knew exactly what we were going to get here and it’s another case of people in the movie industry failing upwards against any sort of logic or reason.
Overall, Blumhouse usually has a gem or two that come out at some point throughout the year, but they’ve started out 2020 with a complete dud. I have a hard time believing they’ll be able to rebound from this as there aren’t a lot of strong options on their release schedule, but hopefully things change for them. Fantasy Island was a complete joke from start to finish and it stuns me that Blumhouse movies continue to make a profit. Fantasy Island will surely go down as one of the worst movies of the year, but as long as Blumhouse movies make money they won’t change a thing.
Overall Score: 2/10