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Jeff Wadlow
Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale
Writing Credits:
Christopher Roach, Jillian Jacobs, Jeff Wadlow

When the owner and operator of a luxurious island invites a collection of guests to live out their most elaborate fantasies in relative seclusion, chaos quickly descends.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$12,310,420 on 2784 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13/Unrated

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
Czech Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Italian DTS-HD MA 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:
Chinese Simplified

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 5/12/2020

Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow and Actors Michael Peña, Portia Doubleday, Ryan Hansen, Lucy Hale, Jimmy O. Yang, Austin Stowell, and Maggie Q
• Both Theatrical and Unrated Cuts
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Fantasy Island [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 5, 2020)

Back in the 2000s, we saw a slew of TV series rebooted as movies. That trend seemed to fade in the 2010s, but 2020’s Fantasy Island brings back the concept with a vengeance.

Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) operates a resort called “Fantasy Island”. There he promises to make his guests’ personal dreams come true.

Five participants arrive at Fantasy Island primed for the most fun vacations of their lives. However, they find a dark side to these events.

Given that I was 10 when the original TV series debuted, I experienced it in real time. It offered a campy mix of melodrama and comedy that never became actual good TV, but it worked for what it wanted to deliver.

Whereas the 1970s show leaned toward the light side, the 2020 movie opts for a wholly different tone, as it brings a more traditional horror vibe. That doesn’t seem like the worst decision, as the shift to a dark tale could offer some clever thrills.

In theory, sure, but in reality, not so much. While not the worst horror flick I’ve seen, Island lacks much to make it a vivid experience.

Some of the problems stem from the telegraphed nature of the film. In a logical world, the movie would take advantage of audience awareness of the TV series and open in the same way, only to throw a curveball at us later.

However, the movie reveals its dark nature literally from the very first scene, so it does nothing to lull us. Because we always sense that the fantasies will go down unpleasant turns, the twist gets squandered.

Granted, one could argue that few audience members entered Island with the expectation they’d get the same light material of the TV series, as trailers clearly painted it as a horror tale. Still, I think the movie should work independent of the sales pitches, and an Island that surprises us with a change in tone would seem more engaging.

Even if we accept the thriller nature, Island lacks the subtlety it needs. The movie telegraphs every possible scare or dramatic notion, so it fails to provide a punch. I mind the lack of a twist less than I do the over the top, stale stabs at cliché terror.

On the positive side, the movie does enjoy an interesting concept. While I wish it would’ve toyed with audience expectations more, I still like the notion of a creepier Fantasy Island, so a better made film could’ve exploited the story elements well.

And even with all its flaws, Island possesses enough juice to keep us with it. While the choice to include so many “main characters” means none of them receive adequate exposition, it also ensures that we get a fast-paced tale with lots of action.

Still, the clumsy nature of the movie’s execution makes it a disappointment. Though not a terrible horror film, Island fails to really click.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Fantasy Island appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered pleasing visuals.

Sharpness worked fine. Some low-light shots could come across as a little soft, but most of the movie offered nice delineation,

I saw no shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes failed to appear. As for source flaws, the image lacked specks, marks or other issues.

Colors appeared fine for the desired palette. Despite the tropical setting, the film opted for the usual orange and teal. Within stylistic choices, these worked well.

Blacks looked dark and deep, and shadows were smooth. The image was good enough for a “B+“.

I also felt positive about the pretty good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Island. Given the various fantasies, we got a fair amount of action to add to the experience.

These elements filled out the speakers in a fairly involving manner. The movie didn’t enjoy enough of these to become a constant whiz-bang mix, but it leapt to life with reasonable frequency.

Audio quality was fine. Speech usually seemed natural and concise. Effects depicted the elements with acceptable accuracy and boasted pleasing low-end when necessary.

Music showed positive clarity and range, and they also packed solid bass response at times. This was a perfectly positive mix for the material.

This disc includes both the film’s theatrical version (1:49:06) and an unrated cut (1:09:24). Wow – a whopping additional 18 seconds of footage!

Obviously, no narrative or character elements receive expansion in the unrated cut. Instead, we just get a little more violence and some light nudity. There’s no reason not to pick the slightly longer version, but viewers shouldn’t expect much from it.

Only available alongside the unrated cut, we find an audio commentary from co-writer/director Jeff Wadlow and actors Michael Peña, Portia Doubleday, Ryan Hansen, Lucy Hale, Jimmy O. Yang, Austin Stowell, and Maggie Q. These come from three sessions.

One involves Wadlow with Peña, while another brings a literal phone call between Wadlow and Q. The other becomes a traditional track that combines Wadlow with the other actors. The Q track may not be running and screen-specific, but the other two work that way.

Across this commentary, we learn about story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, visual effects, stunts/action, editing, and connected scenes.

Though the track stems from three separate sessions, the disc’s producers blend them well – at least in the way it combines the large Wadlow/actors chat with Peña’s part. Because of the quality of the recording, it becomes obvious Q doesn’t join them, though even there, the producers sort of try to make it sound like she’s involved with everyone else.

In terms of content, this becomes a pretty good chat. It avoids the chaos that sometimes ensues with multi-participant discussions, and we get a fairly useful view of the movie. While not a great commentary, this one seems mostly engaging.

Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, 56 seconds. One of these seems interesting, as it expands on Melanie’s fantasy, but the rest provide fairly minor additions or expansions.

We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Jeff Wadlow. He tells us background for the clips and why they got the boot. Wadlow offers useful notes.

The disc opens with ads for The Grudge (2020), Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Bloodshot, Zombieland: Double Tap, Escape Room and Holly Slept Over. No trailer for Island appears here.

As an update of the campy 1970s TV series, Fantasy Island comes with some interesting twists. However, it suffers from clunky execution and seems too overwrought to really connect. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio as well as a smattering of bonus materials. Though not an awful horror experience, Island struggles to overcome its weaknesses.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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