June 12, 2021

‘Fantasy Island’ gets a horror reboot, but it’s not a trip worth taking

A horror version of “Fantasy Island,” frankly, sounds more interesting than a conventional reboot, which explains why Sony would hand the keys to Blumhouse, the reigning maestro of that genre, and let them run with it. That seed of potential, however, sails away on a tide of numbing stupidity.

A frantic woman races through the jungle as the movie begins, serving notice that this isn’t grandma’s “Fantasy Island,” the escapist TV show that premiered in 1978.
That tease is followed by more familiar images, as a handful of contest winners land on an idyllic island (played by Fiji, incidentally), before being ushered in to meet their host, the mysterious Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena), who walks them through the rules.
Their fantasy, he explains, will be “as real as you make it,” in a locale where “anything and everything is possible.” But they must see each experience through to its conclusion, setting them on disparate adventures, which — barring the odd moment of creepiness — start promisingly enough, before becoming increasingly fantastic and eventually, deadly.

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