Fantasy Island could have been a great horror movie


Image © Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures

In Fantasy Island (2020), five people are brought to a magical island where all of their dreams can come true. The island can do anything you want, and it can even bring people back from the dead. What the visitors don’t know, however, is that the island always makes the fantasies blow up in their faces. 

Now, the premise of your dreams turning out to be a nightmare isn’t a very original horror movie concept. What needs to happen in the horror genre is a better use of other genres. I didn’t watch the trailers for Fantasy Island, but I’m sure they had a cheesy tagline. It was probably something like, “What happens when our fantasies become our nightmares?”

My favorite fantasy of the movie was the smallest one. One of the guys brought to the island only wanted to smoke weed with hot guys. That was it; that was his fantasy.  That, compared to the woman who wished to see her husband and child again, or the man who wished to see his father who died in the military, seemed out of place. 

My fantasy would be to be able to explore the coral reefs when they were at full health, but I’m sure the island would just drown me or impale me on coral. That’s beside the point, but still. 

For the guy who just wanted to smoke weed with hot guys, he’s a different exception, but are the fantasies really fantasies if they can happen? The movie doesn’t seem to think so.

In the woman’s case, even in the movie, she realizes halfway through the film that not only is the fantasy not real, but she also doesn’t deserve it because she originally told her husband no when he asked to propose. That’s about the scariest part of this movie, and after that, it starts to fall flat with not too much going for it.

Jordan Peele is the only person who can make original horror movies anymore. However, by improving the comedy or romance in other horror films, they can possibly get better. This movie was a horror no doubt, but it made me laugh. The comic relief was there, particularly in one character with his line, “Your haircut is racist.”

Horror movies are always improved when there is more to the story than just a man murdering people.  Fantasy Island had so much potential with an amazing comic relief character, the owner of the island’s dramatic relationship with his wife and amazing action scenes following a military raid.

The plot of this movie was fine. They should have left it where it was and let it do its thing. Fantasy Island really missed the mark on showing off the other genres that were so naturally built into its plot.