Sony has released a trailer for its Blumhouse horror movie re-imagining of Fantasy Island. After years of making their name with original thrillers and horror franchises, Blumhouse tried their hand at a legacy sequel with last year's Halloween. The film was a success across the board for the studio, and currently has a pair of followups in the works for release in 2020 and 2021. It also helped pave the way for similar upcoming Blumhouse reboots like Black Christmas and The Invisible Man, in addition to their Fantasy Island feature adaptation.
A big screen take on the TV series that aired from 1977-84 (and was briefly revived in the '90s), Fantasy Island revolves around a mysterious tropical resort that promises to make its guests' wildest dreams come true, but is secretly a living nightmare. The film was written and directed by Jeff Wadlow (Truth or Dare) and has been described as a cross between Westworld and Cabin in the Woods in early reports. Now, Sony has begun to pull the curtain back on the movie.
The Fantasy Island trailer made its premiere in theaters with Doctor Strange, but has since been released online. You can check it out below.
For the most part, the Fantasy Island trailer focuses on introducing the film's leads and its horrifying twist on the TV show's setup. Among those highlighted here are Michael Peña as Mr. Roarke, the island's host and a character who was played by Ricardo Montalbán on the '70s series (with Malcolm McDowell taking over the role in the '90s revival). Meanwhile, on the less sinister side of things, there's Maggie Q and Wadlow's Truth or Dare star, Lucy Hale, as two of the guests staying at Fantasy Island. As they soon realize, the resort does, in fact, bring their dreams to life, but in shocking and disturbing ways. Guests' fantasies rarely played out as expected on the TV series either (usually, as a way for Roarke to teach them a moral or lesson). Even so, the film is definitely taking that idea in a darker direction.
The comparisons to Westworld and Cabin in the Woods make more sense now. Fantasy Island, like the former, revolves around a setting that allows its guests to live out their fantasies, but with a horrific twist. And much like the characters in Cabin in the Woods, it appears the guests on Fantasy Island are, in reality, unwitting participants in some kind of bigger experiment or ritual. It's an intriguing premise overall, and the trailer does a pretty decent job of setting it up. Then again, Wadlow and Blumhouse's Truth or Dare also had a creative premise, but the actual movie was fairly uninspired in execution. We will see if Fantasy Island plays out differently when it opens next year.
- Fantasy Island (2020) release date: Feb 14, 2020