In Brief: If I had a fantasy horror movie, Fantasy Island wouldn’t be it.
Fantasy Island isn’t quite what older readers will remember. It’s loosely based on the TV series that ran from 1978 to 1984. Younger readers won’t remember the series but — truthfully — most older readers would just as soon forget Ricardo Montalban’s fantasy granting Mr. Rourke and his — the plane, the plane — diminutive sidekick Herve Villechaize who played Tattoo.
The key word in the last paragraph is the movie being “loosely” based on the TV show.
It’s important to note that the Blumhouse Productions version of Fantasy Island is a horror movie. Some of us found the TV series from antiquity a source of horror. Not traditional horror but horrifying in the fact that it was a terrible TV show that starred a long list of horrifyingly horrible Hollywood B-grade actors and actress plopped into very predictable predicaments.
This one stars Michael Pena as Mr. Rourke. His fantasy granting involves two best buddies who want to have hot women and men for a few nights. A lady wants to have a chance to change a poor decision. Another wants vengeance against a former high school classmate. A guy who was talked out of going into the military is looking to do combat.
Instead of being fun, these fantasies involve death, and the individuals doing what they can to survive. Rourke is more of a bad guy than a good guy and keeps reminding the participants that the fantasy once started cannot be stopped. Of course they take a much different view of things
This is a totally predictable horror flick with totally predictable performances from totally predictable and mostly unknown actors and actresses doing totally predictable horror movie movements. In other words, it’s terrible.
But it’s Blumhouse and you know going in that it’s going to be an awful movie. Even if director Jeff Wadlow (Truth or Dare, Kick-Ass 2) had done a redo of the original TV show, it would have been terrible. But instead, he and his writers chose to do a horror movie.
That leads to a fantasy of mine. I’m going to have a fantasy about a horror movie, this wouldn’t be it.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Stars: Michael Pena, Michael Rooker, Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday, Sonja
Charlotte McKinney, Ryan Hansen, Jimmy O. Yang, Robbie Jones, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Goran Kleut, Kim Coates, Austin Stowell
A little bit of humor could have helped this one. It’s pretty much a cut and paste of about every other horror movie you’ve seen these days. Give it a 1 on the Friday Flicks with Gary o t0 5 scale.
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Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.