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Review: Fantasy Island (15)

Written by Film

Blumhouse Productions which has delivered perfected masterpieces such as Get OutMaThe PurgeInsidiousSplitParanormal Activity and Whiplash over the years has recently released Fantasy Island, directed by Jeff Wadlow. Contrary to its title, the trailer promises a spine-chilling mystery tale of a dream island gone wrong which the film, unfortunately, fails to deliver. 

Lacking the much-needed imaginative drive central to a mystery narrative, the island of the film becomes anything but a fantasy. Blumhouse films usually feature a modern horror theme, which plays on the familiar contemporary suburban setting and turns it into a nightmare, such as racial tension, capitalism and mental health. With a voyeuristic Hitchcockian flavour, Fantasy Island digs deep at contemporary tropes such as teen-trauma revenge, relationships, millionaires and lost childhood dreams, and twists it all into a bloodied mess. 

Oh gosh, I’m starting to think that this island is not so fantastic!

Melanie, JD, Brax, Gwen and Patrick land onto a private lush island owned by Mr. Roarke, after having won a contest. These people were previously asked to write about the fantasies they had wished would come true which Mr. Roarke promises to fulfil. Hoping to just have some good fun, these contestants soon realize that the vibrant colours of their fantasies are a façade and the continuation of their real lives depend upon seeing the consequences of their desire to its end. 

The hyped anticipation is never followed through

Fantasy Island starts off high with its postmodern nightmare which builds the tension by playing upon the obliviousness of its characters but never takes off due to its tedious narrative. The film presents the island itself as an omnipotent entity but omits important details which leave a significant vacant space ultimately birthing confusion. The hyped anticipation is never followed through which ultimately ties everything together with a very deficient ending. The acting is rather mediocre, with the exception of Michael Peña (Ant-Man, Narcos:Mexico) who might not be at his best but still keeps his humorous charm intact. 

Rating: 3/5

Last modified: 11th March 2020

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