“Fantasy Island” may surprise you with how it tries to be more than a horror movie and address the trauma of the guests on the island.
|Screenplay By||Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach, Jeff Wadlow|
|Date Released (Theatrical)||2/14/2020|
|Genre(s)||Fantasy, Horror, Adventure|
|Duration||1 Hour, 50 Minutes|
|Mr. Roarke||Michael Pena|
|Brax||Jimmy O. Yang|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Plot Summary/ Review (Ending Spoilers & Sequel Potential on the 2nd Page)
At Fantasy Island, Mr. Roarke, alongside his assistant Julia, help their guests, Gwen, Melanie, Patrick, Brax, and JD get acclimated to their inclusive resort. One which allows each person to live out a fantasy. For Gwen, it is to roll back the clock and accept the proposal from a man named Allen. Melanie? Oh, she wants to torture her 8th-grade bully, Sloane, and ruin her life. Patrick? Well, he wants to experience what it is like to be a soldier, like his dad was, and as for Brax and JD? They just want to live the high life.
But, as Mr. Roarke makes clear, while the island does bestow the fantasy people want, how it ultimately plays out may not be what is expected. And for the guest, they learn why the saying, “Be careful what you wish for” is tried and true.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What were the fantasies of all the members of Mr. Roarke’s staff?
- Do dreams or those who died on the island power it?
There Is A Surprising Emotional Element
When it comes to Patrick and Gwen’s fantasies, which deal with the loss of a loved one, and what could have been, despite this primarily being a horror movie, you may find yourself in your feelings a bit. For with Gwen experiencing the life she could have had with Allen, Q presents us with a romantic drama about a woman who questions what she deserves. Then with Patrick, who wanted to be a soldier, his encounter with his father, days before his untimely death, makes it so those two feel like they are in their own film separate from “Fantasy Island.”
Which isn’t to say they don’t eventually come together and meld with the other storylines, but while the other fantasies are shallow, or borderline ridiculous at times, these two have heart.
The Occasional Funny Moments/ Jump Scares
Between JD and Brax, and the occasional smart remark from Melanie, there are a handful of comical one-liners. Not necessary enough to say this movie is funny, but it knows how to mix things up so that if you aren’t enjoying one person’s fantasy, you can at least say this person’s or that person gave you what you needed. Then, in terms of scares, while only 3 jump scares got me, depending on how skittish you might be, there is the potential for you to get the fright you are looking for on a consistent basis.
On The Fence
How Everyone’s Story Ties Together
The ending, spoken on page 2, makes sense but also unravels some of the good things you’d say about “Fantasy Island” since it is cliché. Much less, the person who is at the center of the twist gets erratic to the point you may laugh or roll your eyes – depending on your sense of humor.
Would Watch Again? – One and Done
Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
While by no means the best horror film in recent memory, what makes this worth seeing is that it continues to push Blumhouse as a brand that wants to go beyond the usual expectations when it comes to thrillers/horrors. And with “Fantasy Island,” while it ultimately gives in to the negative expectations that horror movies inspire, with how it handles Gwen and Patrick’s characters, you are reminded this is the same company behind “Get Out” as well as “Sharp Objects.”
So if you want a one and done horror movie to see, just for fun, you might want to check out “Fantasy Island.”
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Fantasy Island Ending Spoilers
What we learn is that, in the end, everyone was experiencing a micro-fantasy which was under Melanie’s fantasy. One which dealt with revenge. She wanted revenge on Sloane for bullying her in middle school and high school to the point of needing therapy. And then for the rest? She wanted to make them suffer for taking away Nick from her.
Now, who is Nick? Some guy she had one date with that was JD and Brax’s roommate, who died in a fire caused by Gwen, and despite being a cop, Patrick didn’t rescue. And because of her fantasy JD dies, and also Patrick who, as his father did, uses his body to dispel the damage that could be done by a grenade. One that Melanie throws, after Sloane creates a fantasy of Melanie and the charred up Nick getting to be together, which leads to her being drowned. But, to truly show how close Brax and JD were, he gives himself over to the island to revive his brother who, somehow, gets to leave despite us clearly seeing him die.
But, considering how limited the information is on what powers the island, and if the fantasy can truly extend beyond space, time, and the island itself, JD’s rebirth might end once beyond the realm of the island. Making it so the only thing we know for sure is Gwen and Sloane left without magic being involved. Also, Mr. Roarke, who sacrificed his wife, Julia, to keep them alive, says they are likely not to remember most of what happened beyond the more euphoric moments.
Is A Sequel Possible?
There is honestly nothing stopping this from having a sequel, but one isn’t built in. Plus, one would assume, in a sequel, they’d have to avoid repeating what we saw in having a bunch of people who seem to be strangers be connected by someone unexpected and not named until it is convenient.
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