Fantasy Island parents guide

Fantasy Island Parent Guide

Absurd plot, flat characters - if that weren't bad enough, this horror movie's violent content isn't scary. Just violent.

Overall D

When a group of strangers arrive at the mysterious Mr. Roarke's secluded island paradise for a relaxing vacation, they find that their host can make their dreams come true... but is it their dreams he's manifesting?

Release date February 14, 2020

Violence D
Sexual Content B
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Fantasy Island rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Fantasy Island PG-13 for violence, terror, drug content, suggestive material and brief strong language.

Run Time: 110 minutes

Parent Movie Review

When Melanie (Lucy Hale), Gwen (Maggie Q), Patrick (Austin Stowell), Brax (Jimmy O. Yang), and JD (Ryan Hansen) step off the plane on Fantasy Island, they have little idea what awaits on this tropical paradise. The mysterious Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) informs them that their fantasies will begin shortly but cautions that they must see their fantasies to their final conclusion, whatever that may be. Duly warned, each visitor begins their fantasy, only to discover that they might not be getting quite what they wished for…

This movie comes with some significant flaws. At the most basic level, it isn’t even vaguely frightening, which is a significant problem for a horror movie. Now, if it had a focused aesthetic, or fun screenwriting, you could get around that issue, but Fantasy Island has neither. The plot dawdles around for about half an hour longer than it needs to before presenting you with its absurd conclusion.

Another issue is the characters, or the profound lack thereof. I’ve seen more three-dimensional characters in a toddler’s pop-up book. Every single “person” on this island is just a handful of bad tropes masquerading in a trench coat like a bunch of kids trying to see an R-rated movie. Now, this can work in a good slasher movie, where the satisfaction comes from rooting for the “villain” as he picks off the aggravating youngsters in comedically brutal fashion. Not here. I would have paid double my ticket price if Jason from Friday the Thirteenth had shown up and whacked half the cast with a machete.

That said, there’s more violence here than most parents would be comfortable with for teen viewing. With two separate depictions of torture, a number of stabbings, shootings, and a child beating her father to death with a rock, there’s plenty her to make parents think twice. Or three times.

All in all, I can think of better ways to spend nearly two hours of your life. Like, for example, playing in traffic. Or bungee jumping into a woodchipper. The real bonus with those options is that they’re unlikely to last for two hours, freeing up some time to do other things. If the movie had managed to work in the late great Ricardo Montalbán (host of the original TV series), I would have at least given it some nostalgia points, but without him, any fantasy of cheesy fun is dead on arrival.

Directed by Jeff Wadlow. Starring Michael Pena, Maggie Q, and Lucy Hale.. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release February 14, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island
Rating & Content Info

Why is Fantasy Island rated PG-13? Fantasy Island is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, terror, drug content, suggestive material and brief strong language.

Violence: A person is shown bleeding from the nose and coughing blood. There are two instances in which people are tortured. Someone is shown with their mouth stapled shut. Multiple people are shot and stabbed. A character falls to their death. An individual is beaten to death with a rock. Someone is drowned. The body of a person who died in a fire is shown repeatedly. There are scenes of frightening transformations that might alarm some viewers.
Sexual Content:   Several male and female characters are shown in revealing swimwear. There is a non-graphic depiction of adultery.
Profanity: There are nine uses of scatological profanity and one extreme profanity. There are also around half a dozen mild profanities and about a dozen terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are frequently shown drinking and smoking marijuana in a party atmosphere.

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