Geek Review: Fantasy Island

What would you do if you were given the chance to live out one fantasy of your choice? Anything’s possible, you just have to say the word and it will come true. This is the opportunity our fellow protagonists are given when they are invited by the mysterious Mr Roake (Michael Pena) and flown to the mysterious Fantasy Island. 

On the island, each of our main characters are given the chance to live out their fantasy of choice. Brothers Brax (Jimmy Yang) and JD (Ryan Hansen) choose to live out their fantasy of being filthy rich, complete with pool parties and all the women (and men) that they could ever want. It even comes with a house fitted with a panic room to hide in, in case of emergencies. Then we have Patrick (Austin Stowell) who chooses to serve in the army for his fantasy, only to end up meeting someone who looks a little too similar to someone he is all too familiar with. 

On the other hand, we have Melanie (Lucy Hale) whose fantasy of choice is to get back at a high school bully Sloane (Portia Doubleday) whose bullying left her scarred for life, and Grace (Maggie Q) who choose to ‘redo’ her ex-boyfriend Alan’s (Robbie Jones) proposal, choosing this time to accept his marriage proposal instead of rejecting it like she originally did five years ago.

Based on the ‘70s TV series of the same name, this Blumhouse update is decidedly more gruesome in its depiction, so audience will walk in knowing what to expect. The catch on Fantasy Island is that, regardless of the fantasy, it has to be played out to its natural conclusion, which means that no matter what happens in your fantasy, be it good or bad, you have to see it through. Which is the situation our main characters find themselves in, after they realise that getting the opportunity to live out a fantasy of their choice is too good to be true. 

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Evil is afoot on Fantasy Island and it is up to our five main characters to find a way out.

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Despite having so many main characters in the movie, from the five who were invited to Fantasy Island to Mr Roarke himself, almost none of the characters fall into the trap of being a bland cookie-cutter character. They each have their motivations and reasons for wanting to be on Fantasy Island, aside from the brothers who are purely on the island to have fun, and it gets explored fairly well in the movie’s runtime. Even Sloane, Melanie’s high school bully receives a redemption arc of her own, getting to face off against her own demons by the third act.

For horror fans, be prepared to enjoy the Fantasy Island filled with narrative twists that serve to mess up your mind. Some might go into the movie expecting the same old Blumhouse movie but instead, Fantasy Island is a film filled with multiple twists and turns, enough to keep you on the edge of your seats as our main characters scramble around the island trying to figure a way out.

As someone who loves picking apart the movie as we watch it to try and guess the ending, all the twists were highly appreciated as it left us wondering what other curveballs they could throw our way. 

But if you are a horror/fantasy flick aficionado, the final twist (no spoilers here) can actually be guessed if you pay close attention to the movie and the actions of the main characters. 

The movie is also fond of taking its time to tell its story, not in the sense of it being slow-paced but more along the lines of you thinking you have the full story, you know what’s making all the main characters tick, only to realise later on that you actually do not know the full story yet, and that there’s actually a more sinister reason for everyone’s attendance on Fantasy Island.

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As the movie unfolds, you also quickly realise that despite each fantasy seemingly happening in very different locations, everyone is still very much on Fantasy Island and that is made all the more apparent when elements of each fantasy slowly spill over into a different person’s fantasy.

Despite being billed as a horror movie, the film more a psychological thriller with big dashes of horror and the supernatural sprinkled throughout the film. Despite that, Fantasy Island still manages to get what scares it has right, with little to none of the jumpscares being gratuitous and put in just for the sake of it.

By the end of the movie, our main characters (or what’s left of them) have successfully fought off the big bad of the movie and have earned the right to leave the island. But despite all they’ve done, the island still stands, waiting for its next round of guests. It just feels a little unsatisfactory, considering the journey they have been put through by the island.

All in all, Fantasy Island is a great psychological thriller for those who looking for a film filled with enough plot twists to rival an M. Night Shyamalan movie, fans of Blumhouse movies, or for couples looking for a movie to watch on Valentine’s Day. Yes, Fantasy Island does release in theatres around Singapore around 14 February, making it a bona fide love story. 

GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Overall
7.9/10
7.9/10
  • Story - 8/10
    8/10
  • Direction - 8/10
    8/10
  • Characterisation - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 8/10
    8/10
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User Review
2 (1 vote)


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