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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Not a message movie, but there's a theme of overcoming regret through forgiveness.
Positive Role Models
Cast/characters are diverse, but few positive role models to be noted in terms of behavior/choices.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Occasional strong language includes "a--hole," "holy s--t," "son of a bitch," and "suck." The middle finger is lifted in a comical way.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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 Pena, Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday, and Jimmy Yang. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.