Dreams come true as if by magic at a mysterious island resort, thanks to its charming host Mr. Roarke. But in this Fantasy Island remake, those dreams come with deadly strings attached.
The Fantasy Island movie loosely based on the hit TV series that aired from 1978 to 1984. In the original series, guests asked for elaborate dreams -- like a love affair with a vampire. Each episode started off innocently enough but ended with a twist that made the guests rethink what really made them happy.
Blumhouse Productions, best known for horror hits like Paranormal Activity and Get Out, has reimagined Fantasy Island, but with a bloodier take on "be careful what you wish for." Unfortunately, the confusing plot and silly characters make this reimagining feel more like a pointless parody.
The movie is directed by Jeff Wadlow (Truth or Dare), and features an impressive cast that includes Michael Pena ( ), Maggie Q (Divergent), Lucy Hale (Truth or Dare), and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy).
Much like the campy TV show, these guests fit every imaginable character trope -- career woman who regrets not having a family; promiscuous girl who wants revenge on a childhood bully; two bros who want the ultimate hedonistic party; and a wannabe soldier who wants to see some action.
Each fantasy that takes place on the island feels real in every way -- the other people in the fantasy aren't holograms or-like robots, but real people. But once these fantasies are in full swing, guests begin to find out they might be in danger.
Mr. Roarke, played by Michael Pena in the signature all-white suit, is all smiles in the beginning, but his constant reminders that "the fantasy must play out to its logical conclusion" hints at trouble ahead.
And that's roughly where the movie stops making sense. Once the guests realize their fantasies are more like nightmares, they try to warn each other. But instead of terror and tension, the movie turns into a parody of horror tropes.
The film tries too hard to make the audience scream with jump scares and gory deaths, and loses impact due to an overcomplicated plot, one-dimensional characters, and a needless onslaught of pop culture references.
There are evil henchmen, zombie-like killers, a mysterious stranger warning guests of danger, an all-powerful mystical crystal, deadly snakes, creepy caves and the list keeps growing. The last half of the film feels more like a bad Saw, Lost, The Hangover, Sliding Doors, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Tropic Thunder.episode mixed with the plots of
Originally published Feb. 14.