Fantasy Island

I take it that Fantasy Island was a show once upon a time, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing about it. I can tell you a little more about the movie, available to rent on VOD.

2020’s Fantasy Island is luxurious and exclusive. Guests arrive on a private plane and the enigmatic Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena) is there to greet them. Mr. Roarke is there to facilitate fantasies, but it’s the island that fulfills them. For Gwen (Maggie Q), a second chance at happiness; for brothers Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) and J. D. (Ryan Hansen), it’s a pool full of models; for Patrick (Austin Stowell), a chance to play live-action Call of Duty; and for Melanie (Lucy Hale), some good old fashioned revenge.

But the island isn’t just some tropical paradise, it’s the physical embodiment of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Fantasies quickly turn into nightmares, and before long, the guests will either have to figure out the island’s sinister motives or pay with their lives.

It has been well-documented on this site that I am a chicken. I don’t usually elect to watch horror movies, but then again, I don’t usually elect to stay confined to my home for 9 weeks either. This pandemic has been an unprecedented time and I have been more willing to seek thrills outside my normal parameters. But if you’re an actual fan of horror movies, the truth is, you’re going to find this extremely mild. Even I wasn’t afraid!

I mean sure, people are being chased, tortured, gunned down, electrocuted. Bad guys bleed black, suffer eyeball bursts, and re-animate at inconvenient times.

But scary? Not exactly. The island is the bad guy. It’s evil, but not exactly subtle. Fire will try to burn you. Water will try to drown you. Men will drag you out from your hiding place, kicking and screaming. Everything bad that can happen will happen and so there’s no suspense or thrill.

Worst of all, no one opts for crazy sex stuff. Really? REALLY??? I wouldn’t mourn the lack of crazy sex stuff if anything else was entertaining me. As it is, Fantasy Island is just a so-so way to pass the time, and it’s best to temper your expectations.

9 thoughts on “Fantasy Island

  1. Liz A.

    Fantasy Island was one of my favorite TV shows. I haven’t seen it since it went off the air, and I was a kid, so I doubt the show aged well. But it sounds like this movie has the premise right. The stories were always “be careful what you wish for” as the fantasies never turned out as the guests expected. But they generally had an HEA. So, horror? Um, okay…

    (Not going to watch it, but at least now I know what those ads I’ve seen are about.)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. leendadll

    The best part about the tv show was Me Rourke’s assistant, Herbie Villache (a little person) saying, “de plane, de plane!”

    On the tv show, all fantasies ended in the people learning a lesson but also living happily ever after.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A. White

    Ricardo Montalbán played the first Mr. Roarke and Michael Pena couldn’t pull off the elegance of Mr. Roarke. Michael Pena maybe a great actor, I don’t know, but Mr. Roarke wasn’t a role he could bring to life. The island was similar to the Island in the series “Lost” it was situated in metaphysical or dimension as to why one could only reach it by ‘that’ particular plane. It was located in the lower level of Paradise. In the original show Mr. Roake and Tattoo were angels. I don’t know what they changed it to in later years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jay Post author

      I’m sure Michael Pena would be up to the task but that’s certainly not the character as this script writes him. Nothing angelic happening here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Widdershins

    I second what others have said here about the original series … it was charming, and people found what they needed, not what they said they wanted. (sometimes it was the same thing, but not often) It was an echo of a gentler time. 🙂 … we’ve got a bit longer to go in isolation, (not sure how things are over there, but may all assholes and asshole-adjacent people be safe and well) maybe see if you can watch a few of the original episodes, for comparison purposes only, of course. 🙂



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