Film Review: The Dark Days Of Fantasy Island

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Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island is a horror film that is based off the television series that began in 1977 and starred Ricardo Montalban.  Jeff Wadlow directed this film which he co-wrote with Chris Roach and Jillian Jacobs.  Gene Levitt created the original series in case anyone was interested.

The cast includes Maggie Q, Michael Pena, Lucy Hale, and Austin Stowell.  Michael Pena is cast as the enigmatic Mr. Roarke which was originally portrayed by the late Ricardo Montalban.

A group of seemingly unconnected people are invited to an island which will make their fantasies come to life.  There are rules though to this indulgence.  Of course, the fantasies are twisted into something much more malevolent by a mysterious presence.

Pena is a fine actor, but he does not quite capture the same enigmatic authority as Montalban could pull off with such ease.  I had a hard time caring about the rest of the cast.  There are these two brothers, where one of them is Asian and gay, while the other is a white overgrown frat guy or something.  Maggie Q plays a rather serious businesswoman who is wanting to pursue a second chance with her boyfriend.  There’s a young man who wants to fight in an war to honor his dead war hero father. All of these fantasies come to be in somewhat interesting ways.

There were some sparks of creativity when it came time to reveal the dark presence behind the fantasies going dangerously awry.  Unfortunately, the film still deserves the almost universal criticism from the professionals.  I could not bring myself to really care about most of the characters.  Actors such as Maggie Q and Michael Pena felt somewhat wasted.  Oh yes, Michael Rooker is in this one as well and does the best he can.  The other younger cast members seem to belong just fine and a substandard and unnecessary horror flick.

I found it to be not quite terrible but not even close to muster some kind of enthusiastic recommendation.

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