Fantasy Island

Movie Information

The horror "reimagining" of the '80s TV show is awful yet has cult movie potential.
Genre: Horror/Comedy
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday
Rated: PG-13

Anyone who has fantasized about a feature-film remake of the 1980s TV show “Fantasy Island” will likely be disappointed by director Jeff Wadlow’s attempt. The movie’s beginning and end aim for some amusing allusions to the source material, in which people arrive by plane to a mysterious island where they can live out their fantasies, but the references are a stretch and will be meaningless to those unfamiliar with the show.

Wadlow (Truth or Dare) tries to reimagine Fantasy Island as a horror film, yet the best he can come up with is a series of derivative scenes from better movies, including elaborate torture scenarios, mindless slashers, zombies with oozing eyes and doppelgängers lurking nearby.

The premise of having fantasies fulfilled without considering the consequences brings a sense of dread to the story, yet any payoff gets lost amid repeated attempts to surprise the audience with a twist, which only creates more absurdity.

However, Michael Peña’s performance as Mr. Roarke, the head of Fantasy Island, might help this movie become a cult hit. He’s miscast in a role that requires dignity and authority, and his attempt to mimic Ricardo Montalban’s accent as the original Mr. Roarke will fuel many future drinking games: Take a shot every time Peña says “FAHN-tisy.” Viewers won’t make it to the end of the movie — which is the best fantasy Roarke could provide.

About Ian Casselberry
Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and Mountain Xpress, and hear him on WISE Sports Radio. He's written for Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.