Fantasy Island (film)

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Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeff Wadlow
Written by
  • Jeff Wadlow
  • Chris Roach
  • Jillian Jacobs
Based onFantasy Island
by Gene Levitt
Produced by
CinematographyToby Oliver
Edited bySean Albertson
Music byBear McCreary
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • February 14, 2020 (2020-02-14)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7 million[1]
Box office$49 million[1]

Fantasy Island, also known as Blumhouse's Fantasy Island,[2] is a 2020 American supernatural horror film directed and co-written by Jeff Wadlow. Serving both as a horror reimagining and a prequel to ABC's 1977 television series of the same name, it stars Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, Portia Doubleday, and Michael Rooker and follows a group of people who, while visiting the eponymous island, discover that their dream fantasies brought to life begin to turn into horrific living nightmares and they must try to survive.[3]

Fantasy Island was theatrically released in the United States on February 14, 2020 by Sony Pictures Releasing to generally negative reviews from critics. Despite this, the film was a box office success, grossing $49 million worldwide against its $7 million production budget.


Businesswoman Gwen Olsen, former police officer Patrick Sullivan, step-brothers J. D. and Brax Weaver, and Melanie Cole arrive at Fantasy Island, a tropical resort where fantasies apparently come true. Upon arrival, island proprietor Mr. Roarke guides the guests to their fantasies: Patrick is enlisted in a war in honor of his late father; the Weavers become honor guests at a mansion rave; Melanie takes revenge on her childhood bully Sloane Maddison; and Gwen accepts her ex-boyfriend Allen Chambers' marriage proposal, which she rejected many years ago.

Melanie learns that Sloane was kidnapped and brought to Fantasy Island against her will. She saves her from a masked surgeon and both run away. Meanwhile, Patrick is captured by a military platoon and taken to their commander, Lieutenant Sullivan, whom Patrick recognizes as his father. As night falls, the surgeon attacks Melanie and Sloane again before Damon, a private investigator, kills him. Damon reveals that Roarke offered him to see his deceased daughter again. However, his fantasy turned into a nightmare that trapped him on the island. He also explains that the fantasies are created by spring water under a glowing rock in a cave. The trio collect some spring water and heads to the resort for help. Gwen wakes up the next morning to find she has a daughter with Allen and becomes dissatisfied. When Roarke explains that the fantasies must be fulfilled so that his own fantasy of being with his deceased wife can continue, Gwen convinces him to give her the fantasy she really wanted: to save a neighbour who died in a fire.

Unknown to the guests, Fantasy Island begins to turn the fantasies into living nightmares as the Weavers are taken hostage by a drug cartel associated with the mansion's owner, and Gwen is taken to the night she accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor Nick Taylor. She finds out that the other guests, except Melanie, were also there and attempts to save Nick, fails and is rescued by Roarke's assistant, Julia. Elsewhere, Sullivan's soldiers are summoned to rescue the Weavers. After being shot dead, the cartel reanimate as zombies who attack the soldiers. In the ensuing gunfight, J. D. is fatally shot and Sullivan sacrifices himself so Patrick and Brax can escape.

Melanie and Sloane are ambushed by the zombified surgeon until Damon leaps over a cliff with him, saving them at the cost of his own life. The remaining guests regroup at the resort, but are cornered by Roarke, who reveals that they are in a fantasy in which they are all killed. Realizing that everyone was involved in Nick's death (Melanie says that Nick asked her out that night and she turned him down, which is the reason he was in the apartment), the guests assume it is Julia's fantasy as they believe that Julia was Nick's mother. The guests escape to the dock to be rescued by a plane sent by Damon's associates, but it is shot down. In response, the guests run to the cave to destroy the glowing rock with a grenade Patrick is carrying. Suddenly, Melanie stabs Patrick and takes Sloane hostage, revealing that it is her true fantasy. She orchestrated their arrival to seek revenge on them for Nick's death, with whom she had a date and was convinced was her soulmate. Julia is revealed to be Roarke's wife, brought back by the power of the island dying of a terminal disease she was suffering from when she met Roarke, and convinces him to help the guests before disappearing.

Sloane remembers the spring water she collected before and wishes Melanie "to be" forever with Nick. As a result, a zombified Nick attacks Melanie and drags her into the water. Before drowning, Melanie detonates the grenade, but Patrick sacrifices himself and falls on it to protect the others. As the fantasy concludes, Gwen, Sloane, and Brax wake up at the resort, where Roarke agrees to let them go. While the guests board a plane to leave the now-purified Fantasy Island, Brax wishes for J. D. to come back to life but Roarke explains Brax must stay on the island for his fantasy to come true. After Gwen, Sloane, and a resurrected J. D. depart, Roarke asks Brax to become his new assistant. Remembering a nickname J. D. gave him, Brax chooses to rename himself "Tattoo", initiating the events of the 1977 television series.





In July 2018, it was announced that a horror film adaptation of the Fantasy Island television series was being developed at Blumhouse Productions and Sony Pictures. It was described as "a mix of Westworld and The Cabin in the Woods". Jeff Wadlow was set to direct as well as co-write the screenplay, and co-produce.[4]

In October 2018, Michael Peña, Jimmy O. Yang, Dave Bautista, and Lucy Hale joined the cast.[5][6][7][8] In November 2018, during an interview, Wadlow disclosed that Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday, and Ryan Hansen were added as well, though Bautista was no longer to appear in the film.[9] Michael Rooker, Charlotte McKinney, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Austin Stowell, and Mike Vogel were cast in January 2019.[10]

Filming locations[edit]

Most filming was in Viani Bay, Fiji.[11] Minor scenes were filmed in New York and Mississippi.


On February 14, 2020, Madison Gate Records released the score soundtrack for the film composed by Bear McCreary.[12] Jared Lee performed a track titled "Don’t Wish Your Life Away", which appeared in the film's end credits and was released as a single on January 31, 2020.[13]

All tracks are written by McCreary.

1."You Are One of My Guests"1:37
3."Regret Is a Disease"2:26
4."Your Fantasy Begins Now"5:47
5."No Soldier"5:45
6."The Life You Wanted"2:51
7."Panic Room"2:30
8."Dog Tags"3:26
9."Brax Makes His Move"2:44
10."You Deserve It"2:04
11."The Heart of the Island"4:38
13."A Devil, a Pig and a Clown"6:36
14."Not My Fantasy"2:58
15."The Island’s Secret"8:49
16."In the Cave"4:24
17."Hate in My Heart"3:05
18."Every Guest Gets a Fantasy"6:01
19."What Happens Now"2:40
Total length:1:11:01


Fantasy Island was released on February 14, 2020.[14][15] It originally was scheduled to open on February 28, 2020, before being moved up, with another Blumhouse production, The Invisible Man, being set for its original date.[2]

Home media[edit]

Fantasy Island was released on digital on April 14, 2020.[16] Later, the film released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 12, 2020.[17]


Box office[edit]

Fantasy Island grossed $27.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $21.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $49 million, against a production budget of $7 million.[1]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Sonic the Hedgehog, The Photograph and Downhill, and was projected to gross $13–20 million from 2,770 theaters in its opening weekend.[18] It made $5.7 million on its first day, and went on to debut to $12.6 million for its first three days, and a total $14 million over four, finishing third at the box office.[19]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film had an approval rating of 8% based on 110 critics, with an average rating of 3.4/10. The site's critics consensus read: "Fantasy Island tries to show audiences the dark side of wish fulfillment, but mainly serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of exhuming long-dead franchises."[20] On Metacritic, the film had a score of 22 out of 100 based on 29 critic reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C−" on an A+ to F scale.[22]

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "inane" and "contrived," and wrote that "it feels like someone planted about a half-dozen different scripts all over this Fantasy Island."[23] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film zero out of five stars, writing, "If crimes against cinema merited prosecution, Blumhouse's Fantasy Island would go directly to death row...The only genuine, blood-curdling scream incited by this stupefyingly dull time- and money-waster comes at the end, when the notion dawns that [the film] is meant to spawn sequels. Stop it now, before it kills again."[24] Peter Sobczynski of wrote that the film "contains less raw terror in its entirety than Sonic the Hedgehog during any five minutes of its running time," calling it "utterly boring" and "no sane person's fantasy of a half-decent movie."[25] Benjamin Lee of The Guardian gave the film 2/5 stars, describing it as "an odd attempt at genre-surfing that ends up well out of its depth".[26]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2021 Golden Raspberry Awards[27][28][29] Worst Picture Jason Blum, Marc Toberoff and Jeff Wadlow Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Lucy Hale Nominated
Maggie Q Nominated
Worst Screenplay Jeff Wadlow & Chris Roach & Jillian Jacobs;
Based on the television series created by Gene Levitt
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel Fantasy Island Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "Fantasy Island (2020)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Miska, Brad (December 1, 2018). "Sony and Blumhouse's 'Fantasy Island' is a Horror Film; Set for Release in 2020!". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on December 3, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (December 1, 2018). "Michael Pena's 'Fantasy Island' Movie Lands 2020 Release". Variety. Archived from the original on December 2, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "'Fantasy Island' Movie in the Works at Blumhouse". The Hollywood Reporter. July 31, 2018. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  5. ^ "Michael Pena to Star as Mr. Roarke in 'Fantasy Island'". The Hollywood Reporter. October 8, 2018. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "Jimmy O. Yang Joins Blumhouse's 'Fantasy Island' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. October 9, 2018. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  7. ^ "Dave Bautista in Talks to Join Michael Pena in 'Fantasy Island' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. October 10, 2018. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  8. ^ "Lucy Hale Boards 'Fantasy Island' for Blumhouse and Sony". TheWrap. October 12, 2018. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  9. ^ The Mutuals Interviews - Jeff Wadlow, archived from the original on March 9, 2020, retrieved February 13, 2020
  10. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (January 18, 2019). "'Fantasy Island' Welcomes Michael Rooker, Charlotte McKinney, Parisa Fitz-Henley & Austin Stowell". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 31, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  11. ^ "Lucy Hale on Instagram: "Fantasy freaking Island. Here we go."". Instagram. January 14, 2019. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  12. ^ "'Blumhouse's Fantasy Island' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. February 13, 2020. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  13. ^ "Jared Lee's Original Song 'Don't Wish Your Life Away' from 'Fantasy Island' Released". Film Music Reporter. January 31, 2020. Archived from the original on January 31, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  14. ^ Squires, John (August 22, 2019). "Blumhouse's 'Fantasy Island' Horror Movie Gets a New Release Date". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on August 22, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 22, 2019). "Blumhouse-Sony's 'Fantasy Island' Moves Up Two Weeks – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 22, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Konrad, Jeremy (March 30, 2020). "Fantasy Island Hits Digital April 14th, on Blu-ray May 12th". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  17. ^ Miska, Brad (March 30, 2020). "'Fantasy Island' Gets Unrated Release With Commentary and Deleted Scenes". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on March 31, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  18. ^ Rebecca Rubin (February 12, 2020). "'Sonic' to Speed Past 'Birds of Prey,' 'Fantasy Island' at Box Office". Variety. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 15, 2020). "'Sonic The Hedgehog' Runs Up $3M In Thursday Night Previews". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  20. ^ "Blumhouse's Fantasy Island (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  21. ^ "Blumhouse's Fantasy Island Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  22. ^ Mendelson, Scott (February 16, 2020). "Box Office: 'Downhill' Flops, But 'Parasite' Gets A Huge Oscar Boost". Forbes. earned a C- from CinemaScore, so it's not long for this world.
  23. ^ Roeper, Richard (February 14, 2020). "Blumhouse's inane 'Fantasy Island' not worth the trek to the multiplex". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 14, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  24. ^ Travers, Peter (February 14, 2020). "'Fantasy Island' Review: A Nightmare of a Reboot". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  25. ^ Sobczynski, Peter (February 14, 2020). "Fantasy Island movie review & film summary (2020)". Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  26. ^ Lee, Benjamin (March 6, 2020). "Fantasy Island review – Blumhouse's schlock horror lacks imagination". The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  27. ^ Razzie nomiantions 2021: Adam Sandler, Rudy Giuliani make 'worst' list – USA Today
  28. ^ 'Dolittle', Sia's 'Music', '365 Days' Lead 2021 Razzie Awards Nominees – Rolling Stone
  29. ^ 2021 Razzie Award nominations: Robert Downey Jr, Glenn Close, Anne Hathaway|

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