Blumhouse's Fantasy Island

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
Blumhouse's Fantasy Island Movie Poster Image
Horror reboot of '70s TV series is violent, cheesy fun.
  • PG-13
  • 2020
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Not a message movie, but there's a theme of overcoming regret through forgiveness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cast/characters are diverse, but few positive role models to be noted in terms of behavior/choices.

Violence

People are shot, stabbed, blown up, fall from high locations, drown, etc. A character is tortured; the threat of it feels heightened/intense, but little actually happens. Characters are in severe peril. Creepy zombie-type creatures. Bullying.

Sex

Frequent innuendo. A woman comes on to a man. One fantasy includes male and female models in skimpy swimsuits. A woman is shown in bed with her husband; she's seen waking up, bare-shouldered, under the covers. 

Language

Occasional strong language includes "a--hole," "holy s--t," "son of a bitch," and "suck." The middle finger is lifted in a comical way.

Consumerism

Land Rover vehicle; a character refers to the game Call of Duty. Two of the characters want their fantasy to be "to have it all," which is demonstrated by partying at a huge house with all the trappings of wealth.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character's fantasy includes drugs -- both smoking pot and a reference to taking cocaine. Cocktails are used to welcome the guests and to indicate a fun time.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blumhouse's Fantasy Island is a horror take on the classic 1970s-'80s TV series. Just like on the show, characters' fantasies never go as expected -- but in this slasher-like version, that means tons of violence and blood. Scenes of fun and contentment turn into intense peril, and people are killed in a variety of ways: They're gunned down, stabbed, and blown up. There are also scenes of torture and some with frightening, zombie-like creatures. Expect to see lots of flashy partying early on, with barely clad people, a lavish house, free-flowing cocktails, and mentions of drug use (one main character is shown lighting a bong). Sexual innuendo gets fairly racy, but it's mostly talk. Speaking of talk, expect to hear a few swear words ("a--hole," "s--t," etc.). The movie deals with themes of regret, forgiveness, bullying, and loss. The diverse cast includes Michael PenaLucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday, and Jimmy Yang.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThe movie reviewer February 16, 2020

No ones Fantasy

I’m just going to say right now it wasn’t a horrible movie I was just expecting a horror movie and it turns out to be a thriller. There are to many twists that... Continue reading
Adult Written byk_wride February 15, 2020

Common Sense Missed a Couple of Things

My teen girls looked up the CSM review before going and said there was an F word and also a bunch of gay guys in speedos that weren't mentioned in the rev... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 23, 2020

Feels more like a R rated film

Not to brag but this is movie is pretty violent. While the original tv series was pretty nice and people were hyped to see this remake. It couldn’t keep up with... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJonny135 February 27, 2020

Good. Not bad for kids.

It is very funny and not very scary I highly recommend this to kids around 13 or older. It was really good

What's the story?

When a group of attractive young guests is invited to FANTASY ISLAND by Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena), they initially think it's a dream come true. But all too soon, their fantasies turn on them, and they must find a way to escape what quickly becomes a nightmare. 

Is it any good?

Making the twisty, turny TV series into a suspenseful horror film is logical fun, and its cornball/eye-roll moments are, as Mr. Roarke would say, a part of the adaptation's natural conclusion. In this take on the concept, the island's guests won their trip in a promotional contest and will get their wish fulfilled during their visit. They arrive with a healthy amount of skepticism: Some want something shallow, others are looking for deep and emotional. The series always left the source of the island's powers -- and the details of Roarke's involvement -- a mystery. In Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, some of those answers are revealed. 

At times, characters' choices lack common sense, or something happens that's never really explained. You're probably meant to brush those moments off as "well, you know, the island," but once your brain has acknowledged that the story has gone off the rails, it's too late. Some modern-day horror elements pop up, more to make your stomach knot up than because they have a place in the plot. Really, the whole scenario is nightmare fulfillment (rather than wish fulfillment), but while younger viewers might carry some of the film's scarier images away with them, because the story is clearly in the land of pretend, lingering impact seems unlikely. What might stick better is an awareness of consequences. Bottom line? This is an enjoyable, fresh angle on horror, but it's not terribly memorable. Roarke himself tells the visitors that their experience on the island will be like a dream: They won't remember what happened as much as they recall the feeling it gave them. That could just as easily define this film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the theme of regret and consequences in Blumhouse's Fantasy Island. Is there anything in the film you can really take away and apply to real life?

  • How does this film compare to other scary movies you've seen? Why is it sometimes fun to be scared? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • This film takes an established entertainment property and reshapes it into a horror film. What other movies and series could you flip into a horror film?

  • Discuss the diversity of the cast. Why is representation important in the media?

Movie details

  • In theaters: February 14, 2020
  • On DVD or streaming: April 14, 2020
  • Cast: Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Michael Pena
  • Director: Jeff Wadlow
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 110 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: violence, terror, drug content, suggestive material and brief strong language
  • Last updated: May 7, 2020

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