Exceptional Things to Look Out for When Revisiting Fantasy Island.
Jeff Wadlow’s Fantasy Island adopts a darker, more horror-tinged approach to the classic television series, as Michael Peña takes over from Ricardo Montalbán as the enigmatic Mr. Roarke, overseer of an island resort that makes guests’ deepest desires come true.
However, in this Blumhouse version, fantasies quickly turn into nightmares, leaving the guests facing life-or-death situations in order to solve the island’s mystery and escape. The big twist, however, comes in the final act, when the truth about all these fantasies comes out, and we discover who’s masterminding everything.
THE GANG’S ALL HERE
At first glance, the folks who arrived think they won a vacation. But as their fantasies play out, it’s hard to suss out who’s a hero and who’s a villain. It doesn’t help that the mystical island makes everyone’s memory from the real world hazy.
It turns out Melanie (Lucy Hale) is there to torture the kidnapped Sonja (Portia Doubleday), all to exact revenge for being bullied in high school, although she quickly reneges as she didn’t know it would have been the real Sonja. She thought it’d have been a hologram or robot.
As for the others, Elena (Maggie Q) is there to live out the fantasy of having a family, while Patrick (Austin Stowell) is trying to play a soldier in the forest to meet his dead army dad. J.D. (Ryan Hansen) and Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) are simply there, however, to live like a millionaire for one weekend filled with booze, drugs and hot models.
Little do we know these fantasies aren’t isolated, they’re in fact all connected. However, it takes a lot of bloodshed for everyone to realize they’re all intertwined and someone’s pulling the strings.
WHEN FANTASIES GO WRONG
Elena the first to decipher something’s off as she meets her ex, Rocklin, and her fantasy gives her a marriage and five-year-old kid. She recants on this and tries to save a guy named Nick who died in an apartment fire in her complex years before but when she fails, she realizes she’s been brought here to suffer.
With her change of heart, Melanie rescues Sonja from a mutant doctor who’s torturing her and they find the investigator known as Damon (Michael Rooker) who tells them there’s a dark overlord playing games. They think it’s Roarke, but when Damon dies and they rush back, it goes way deeper than the hotel boss.
Chaos keeps enveloping the island as Patrick loses his dad, and when assassins come after JD and Brax at their villa, JD dies too. Brax, Elena, Patrick, Sonja and Melanie end up finding the cave where the gem that powers the island’s magic is and here, we see the guy who died in the fire, Nick, manifest. They’re all linked to this accident and it seems he’s the person who brought them here for revenge.
However, he’s dead so it can’t be him. The crew then points fingers towards Roarke’s assistant, Julia (Parisa Fitz-Henley), but just as they’re about to destroy the gem (a boulder-sized diamond), Patrick’s stabbed by the real culprit, Melanie.
THE ULTIMATE REVENGE
It turns out they’re all in Melanie’s fantasy as she’s the one who wants them to pay for Nick’s death. Melanie couldn’t find a boyfriend due to her personal issues all her life and after one date, she thought Nick was the one. However, he couldn’t attend their next date as Maggie left a kettle on in the building, which caused the fire that killed him. J.D. and Brax were Nick’s roommates but they fled, thinking he was out with a girl, not knowing they left him behind.
Patrick was the cowardly cop who refused to go back into the building and so, Melanie, after extensive detective work, decided to use the island to carry out her fantasy. She conjured up a game that brought them all here under the pretense of a vacation, with Sonja being reeled in for the fun of it. Melanie’s fragile mental state stemmed from Sonja’s bullying so she wants to knock off two birds with one stone. Melanie helped her initially just to show Sonja she was always a badass.
Melanie’s clearly disturbed and wants everyone to pay after she lost the love of her life. Roarke has no choice but to abide, after all, if he doesn’t run her game, he’ll be disobeying the island’s one rule of granting everyone’s fantasy once they drink from the water that the gem enchants.
Melanie drank from it to orchestrate this ruse and seeing as it’s her fantasy, Roarke has to execute her plan because it’s the only way he could keep his fantasy going — keeping an amnesiac Julia alive as she’s really his dead wife. It’s quite deranged but Melanie makes it clear her fantasy is vengeance through murder.
Directed by Jeff Waldow, Fantasy Island stars Michael Peña, Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Michael Rooker and Ryan Hansen.