Once upon a time in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the television series Fantasy Island tantalized Americans with the exploits of the well-to-do Mr. Roarke and his diminutive assistant Tattoo. Together, they were the proprietors of an exclusive getaway where those willing to pay up could live out their wildest fantasies, often emerging with some newly learned lesson or outlook on life.
The horror rumpelstiltskins over at Blumhouse recently acquired remake rights to the now-vintage TV series, and spun the property into B-movie gold. The newly released trailer teases an agreeably low-rent take on the material in which the “fantasies” turn out to be something far closer to nightmares.
Lucy Hale leads a pack of strangers whisked away to the remote island paradise for a shot at realizing their wildest dreams, but of course she gets far more than she bargained for. She would like to gain some closure on unresolved issues by finally getting even with her girlhood bully (Mr. Robot star and featured Her player Portia Doubleday), but she didn’t want to waterboard her former tormentor or anything.
Demented Monkey’s Paw scenarios play out left and right, all under the watchful eye of the new Roarke (Michael Peña, seemingly without any sidekick, short of stature or otherwise), with monsters and torture contraptions aplenty. Hale’s character suspects that the many seemingly impossible apparitions have been achieved via holograms, but could a more sinister force be at work on the island? (Yes, to take a wild guess.)
“Gritty horror reboot of kitschy ’70s TV classic” sounds like an easy punch line, but the tone of the trailer suggests that director Jeff Wadlow knew enough to lean into the goofiness of his premise. His last Blumhouse joint, the well-liked Truth or Dare, was an object lesson in negotiating the terrifying with the knowingly ridiculous.
Fantasy Island comes to cinemas in the UK and US on 14 February, 2020.
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