Fantasy Island is an unimaginative production that fails to choose an audience and subsequently captures no one.
Given that it is based on the hit US TV show of the same name from the late 70s, we had some hope that Fantasy Island would be an entertaining thriller that explores some interesting concepts. Unfortunately, Blumhouse tries to do too much with the idea and end up creating a movie that is a mish-mash of genres and fails to properly captivate anybody watching.
At times, it seems like the film is attempting to imitate the mystery of the comedy horror The Cabin in the Woods. Other times, it throws in jump-scare tropes and Annihilation sci-fi only to resort back to less-than-gripping generic drama. Fantasy Island is a film that doesn’t really seem to know what it wants to be and thus appeals to such a minute niche that most viewers will likely end up disappointed.
Furthermore, the film lacks any true horror or suspense. There are times when the mystery is almost thrilling, only the mystery never quite takes off. In terms of the plot, the film feels so contrived in places that it seems as if a dozen writers had a shot at writing the script and then compiled them into one muddled story. There’s no real world-building, just a sub-par script that creates its own rules and then flimsily bends them when deemed necessary.
Fans of the 1970s show might find some enjoyment in the film’s reimagining of Fantasy Island, only without the character favorites Tattoo and Mr. Roarke, a lot of the charm is lost. Instead of building on the original series, the movie rips it off and mutates it into something less imaginative and far less entertaining.
Unfortunately, there are not really any redeeming features of this Blumhouse fail. There are a couple of interesting twists only ultimately, the movie takes itself far too seriously for audiences to have any fun with it. Perhaps if it had chosen its target market and embraced one or two genres, we might have been able to walk away with a feeling other than utter disappointment.