“Fantasy Island” Lacks Imagination

Portia Doubleday and Lucy Hale in "Fantasy Island"

Fantasy Island is Blumhouse’s first major flop in a while.

In recent years, Blumhouse has brought us the likes of The Purge, Get Out, Split, and The Invisible Man. Although each of these movies has their flaws (except for Get Out – we have nothing bad to say about anything from Jordan Peele), they can all be praised for their imagination and commitment to their concepts. Fantasy Island, on the other hand, lacks imagination and fails to fully commit to its concept.

The film is based on the camp 1970s show of the same name. Instead of building on the series, Blumhouse has taken out some of the best characters and stripped the film of its darker and more frightening concepts. What is meant to be a “thriller” instead shapes up to be a weak fantasy with some tacky jump scares thrown in for 13-year-old boys.

The concept of the film is a simple one. A group of hedonists arrive on an island and are told that they can live out their fantasies. When characters begin to indulge in their vengeful side, they discover that things are in fact far more real than they had initially thought. This concept is interesting in itself, only Blumhouse somehow manages to butcher it. What is meant to be an island of fantasies is so boring that the whole time we are watching it, we’re thinking about how we would rather be on Alex Garland’s The Beach.

Part of Blumhouse’s fail comes down to the fact that they did not pick a key audience. At times, the movie feels like a tribute to the original while at other times, it feels like it is aimed at twelve-year-olds having a sleepover. And yet it is not artistic enough to appeal to the former nor scary enough to appeal to the later. Fantasy Island is a film that is made for no one.

Unfortunately, Fantasy Island can thus be disregarded as a total flop. The critics and the general public seem to be in mutual agreement that the most fantastical thought one can have when watching the Blumhouse feature is to go home and watch something else.