CULT FACTION

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Fantasy Island (2020)

Directed by Jeff Wadlow, this reinvention of the 1970’s classic television show Fantasy Island puts more of a horror spin on proceedings with Michael Pena playing the “keeper” of the island Mr. Roarke with his assistant Julia (Parisa Fitz-Henley).

The island is visited by competition winners Gwen Olsen (Maggie Q) a businesswoman, former police officer Patrick Sullivan (Austin Stowell), stepbrothers JD (Ryan Hansen) and Brax Weaver (Jimmy O. Yang), and Melanie Cole (Lucy Hale). These competition winners are looking forward to their wild fantasies coming true. Although Mr. Roarke does warn them that they MUST see their fantasies through to their conclusions.

First to get their fantasy are JD and Brax who are taken to a crazy rave party at a huge mansion are where they can start “having it all.” The following morning Patrick’s to enlist in the war in honour of his fallen father, Melanie gets to have her revenge on a childhood bully, and Gwen will get to accept a marriage proposal she turned down years earlier.

Like the Fantasy Island TV show the film dabbles with the be careful what you wish for idea and takes it a step further with some additional supernatural elements. There are some genuinely good plot twists and turns in this movie on paper but in execution it comes across like an MTV Spring Break TV special on speed. Pena is always reliable as are Kim Coates and Michael Rooker (who pop up during the proceeds) but something just doesn’t flow right in the overall presentation of the movie.

Verdict: 5/10. Within the script is a great movie plot that somehow got manipulated into a presentation that more resembles Love Island than Fantasy Island.

 

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