Fantasy Island takes a nose-dive

Jack Kleeberger, Writer

Fantasy Island is a horror/thriller movie released on Feb. 14, 2019, directed and produced by Jeff Waldow. Fantasy Island grossed over $21 million worldwide in three days.

When a mysterious resort in Hawaii floats out an invite to host guests with the promise that the stakeholders would fulfill their wishes, a group of Americans quickly fill in the form and jump on the plan that will soon change their lives forever.

Hailing from different walks of life and with a very diverse set of desires waiting to be fulfilled, a bunch of hopefuls, Gwen (Maggie Q), Melanie (Lucy Hale), Sonja (Portia Doubleday), Bradley (Ryan Hansen), Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) and Patrick (Austin Stowell), embark on a journey of self-enlightenment in the hopes that all they have ever wanted would come true. But there is a catch, each person only gets to realize one dream and there is no stopping the cycle until the “fantasy reaches its conclusion.”

The concept of a modern-day genie living on the beautiful island of Hawaii, willing to reduce the burden of your regrets, sounds more than appealing in theory. The first 15 minutes do seem like Fantasy Island has all the making to be a promising horror/thriller movie. However, this initial curiosity is soon swept away and is replaced by perplexity and a sense of directionlessness. Junior Evan Little said, “The movie seemed cool at the beginning, but as time went on it completely lost its excitement.” This sort of audience reception seems to be a recurring theme.

Producer Jeff Waldow has tried to intertwine the lives and fantasies of all the characters, but the transitions are rough. This often leaves the audience in a state of utter confusion. Ryan Hansen and Jimmy O. Yang, as biracial half brothers, share a hilarious bromance on screen. These two characters are quite frankly the highlight of this otherwise lackluster film. Lucy Hale, as a bullied kid with some apparent newfound confidence, looks glamorous but fails to come across as a lonely teen stuck in high school. The rest of the characters play their respective parts well, but thanks to a lousy script, coupled with poor direction, Fantasy Island is beyond saving.