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The New Horror Remake of 70s TV Show 'Fantasy Island' Turns a Tropical Getaway Into a Nightmare

It's definitely worlds away from the mild-mannered television fantasy that aired until the mid-80s.
By Sarah Ward
November 30, 2019
By Sarah Ward
November 30, 2019

Imagine flying to a mysterious and remote spot in the middle of the ocean, and not only enjoying the incredibly scenic surroundings, but also getting to live out your wildest dreams. From the late 70s until the mid 80s, that was the premise of TV series Fantasy Island — and while the fantasies came with a price, the show definitely didn't fall into the horror genre.

Thanks to prolific producer Jason Blum, now that premise comes with bumps, jumps, thrills and scares. Already remade for television in the late 90s, Fantasy Island is getting another do-over — for the big screen, and as a horror movie. The setup is the same, with folks zipping into an idyllic locale ready to live out their fantasy of choice. The cost, though, now lingers firmly in nightmarish territory.

Yes, it's basically a case of turning everyone's mum's advice — "be careful what you wish for" — into a scary movie set in luxurious surroundings. And, yes, it jumps on the eerie island trend that Netflix series The I-Land also leaned into a few months back.

The original series was famous for the character of Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban), who was in charge of making guests's dreams come true — as well as his diminutive assistant Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize). Based on the just-released trailer for the remake, it seems that only Roarke has made the leap to the movie. Here, he's played by Michael Peña (Ant-Man and the Wasp).

Cast-wise, Fantasy Island circa 2020 also features Maggie Q (Designated Survivor), Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Austin Stowell (12 Strong), Portia Doubleday (Mr Robot), Jimmy O. Yang (Crazy Rich Asians), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars) and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) — and behind the camera, Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) is in the director's chair. The filmmaker has played in high-concept horror territory before with 2018's Truth or Dare, although that didn't turn out so well. If you're a fan of unsettling flicks with a clear-cut gimmick, cross your fingers that history doesn't repeat itself.

Check out the trailer below:

Fantasy Island releases in Australian cinemas on February 13, 2020.

Published on November 30, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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