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Fantasy Island Reviews

Fantasy Island is a classic ‘be careful what you wish for’ tale about a group of people who believe they’ve lucked out in getting to make their dreams come true on Fantasy Island, only to discover there’s a darker side to their fantasies. Separate plots intertwine when the guests realize there’s something very sinister about the deeper truth behind the island itself. A smattering of beautiful, athletic young people comes to Fantasy Island, where it’s promised that they will be able to live out their reveries. As they take in the stunning scenery of this remote island, they begin to sink into the reality of what ominous happenings could occur there.  Melanie (Lucy Hale) has always wished revenge on her high school tormentor. But when she realizes that the girl upon whom she’s finally enacting her sweet vengeance is actually her high school bully in the flesh, she has a change of heart. Similarly, when Elena (Maggie Q) finds that her deceased child has seemingly come back to life, the family reunion is nowhere near as sweet as she had imagined. In fact, not only is something off, but there are dark forces behind it all. That’s only the tip of the iceberg, as new threats emerge, and the possibility of joy dissolves into abject terror. Fantasy Island owner Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) could be a granter of wishes and allow all of these people to truly find their happy place once more. Or he may have something more mischievous in mind, with no genuine offer to fulfill these fantasies. As the guests’ private terrors begin to overlap, there’s much more than meets the eye at work on the island. Director Jeff Wadlow (True Memoirs of an International Assassin, Kick-Ass 2) mines some dark laughs in this grisly mess. Tonally consistent and scary without taking himself too seriously, while still steering clear of campiness, he manages to drag Fantasy Island through the mud while still holding onto the bigger picture. Writers Jillian Jacobs (Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare) and Christopher Roach (Non-Stop) draw some connections between what people really want and how that can all go awry. Jump scares, organic terrifying situations, and cheap shots are all brought together fairly evenly throughout the film. There is a definitely a twist that brings all the storylines together and enhances everything. The PG-13 rating is pushed to its scary limit here. Horror fans will rejoice that Fantasy Island seemingly combines genre favorites such as Cabin in the Woods, Saw, and Panic Room into a digital blend along with weapons, a mystery to solve, and plenty of mayhem. The laughs lighten the mood while there are scares aplenty, and beautiful people to fill the screen.