Fantasy Island – Film Review

If you had the opportunity to make one fantasy come true without a question, would you go for dazzle and wealth, or maybe to repeat a time in your life for a different outcome, or possibly something darker with inflicting pain upon another?

Fantasy Island is the place where dreams come true, but not all dreams have a pleasant outcome. A small group of competition winners win a luxurious trip of a lifetime to a remote island where the weather is perfect, the seawater is clear, and not to forget, the endless amount of cocktails.

Arriving on the island by a private plane, we get a quick introduction of the characters as they climb off the plane; Melanie Cole (Lucy Hale) who is first to step off the plane, the handsome Patrick Sullivan (Austin Stowell) who lends a helping hand to Maggie Q (Gwen Olsen) and step brothers J.D. Weaver (Ryan Hansen) and Brax Weaver (Jimmy O. Yang). Getting a good look at the clueless guests, I instantly begin to make my quick judgements on who will be killed off first and who will make it through to the end. There’s always got to be that first death and an end survivor.

Later in the evening, everyone regroups at the bar and meet the man in charge, Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) as he explains the two rules of Fantasy Island; one fantasy per guest and that each guest must see their fantasy through. Sounding simple and exciting, the journey for each guest begins and their fantasies soon become a nightmare as they face dangerous and life threatening situations.

Before going into the film, I hadn’t seen any of the popular TV show, also titled Fantasy Island, which aired between 1978 and 1984. The film follows a similar storyline but goes down a more darker path with the horror genre, and that’s thanks to Jason Blum, a king to the world of horror films who also worked with Lucy Hale in Truth or Dare.

At times I felt the movie dragged on bit as it would continuously flick between multiple fantasies, making it hard to build a connection with the characters before the scene changed to another scenario, and you’re back at step one with learning another characters backstory.

I believe that if there were less competition winners in the storyline, the film could have cut out half the small talk and we could have been given more scenes on the horror side. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I go into horror film I want to be scared within the first 15 minutes and not have to wait for an hour.

I must give credit to Lucy Hale as I was a little worried hearing she was starring in another horror after she did so terrible in Truth or Dare, but she was actually really enjoyable in this film and delivered a solid performance.

Make sure to go check out Fantasy Island, showing in cinemas across Australia today.

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