Friday 10 July 2020

Fantasy Island (2020)

"Fantastic Horror Fun"

Bearing the full title of BLUMHOUSE'S FANTASY ISLAND if you prefer, this being that studio's interesting horror take on a TV series from the 1970s that many people (and very likely this film's target audience) will either have forgotten or never heard of in the first place. Not that any of that matters because FANTASY ISLAND is rollicking good horror fun in its own right, and it's now getting a Download, Blu-ray & DVD release from Sony.

Five people win a competition and find themselves on 'Fantasy Island', a place where your dreams come true. Each of them has a fantasy they would like fulfilled and the idea is that the island will allow this to happen. So far so much like the TV series, where every week Ricardo Montalban's Mr Roarke would fulfil the fantasies of guests only for said guests to realise they should have been careful what they wished for. 

In this version Michael Pena is Roarke, playing him as a cross between a linen-suited Amicus-style anthology horror host in the vein of Dr Terror / Dr Diablo / The Crypt Keeper, etc, and the tropical island mad doctor portrayals of Charles Laughton and Lionel Atwill, all courtesy and decorum while harbouring horrible secrets just beneath the surface. 

  And yes, the fantasies he helps realise all turn pretty horrible pretty quickly but rather than just going the anthology route all the stories criss cross one another and develop into a different story again. The climax piles incident on incident to the point where the plot becomes quite ludicrous and anyone still watching wouldn't want it any other way, except perhaps even crazier. It's tremendous fun and hopefully there'll be a sequel. 

Sony's disc contains nine minutes of deleted scenes. You also get the option to play the theatrical version or the unrated cut, which is a full 18 seconds longer. The unrated version also comes with a commentary track from director Jeff Wadlow and most of the cast including Pena, Portia Doubleday, Lucy Hale, Jimmy O. Yang, Maggie Q (on the phone) and Ryan Hansen. 

BLUMHOUSE'S FANTASY ISLAND is out on Blu-ray and DVD from Sony on Monday 13th July 2020 preceded by its Download release on Monday 29th June 2020

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