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‘Fantasy Island’ gets kinda scary

“Ze Plane, ze plane!” Those words always signaled the start of another episode of “Fantasy Island,” the TV show than ran on ABC-TV from 1977 to 1984.

That was 3-foot-11 Hervé Villechaize shouting to Ricardo Montalbán that this week’s guest stars were arriving, about to begin a warm-and-fuzzy adventure. Here on this palm-covered island in the middle of the Pacific, guests were granted their “fantasies” for a price.

Now Blumhouse Productions has turned the television show into a feature-length movie.

Keep in mind, Jason Blum has given us such shutter-worthy fare as “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” “Happy Death Day,” “Halloween,” “Get Out,” and “Us.” So don’t be surprised that “Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island” is a horror film.

Instead of friendly visitors like Georgia Engels or Ed Begley Jr. or Bernie Kopell, the island is now inhabited by more sinister characters.

Michael Peña takes on the role of Mr. Roarke, the enigmatic host. There is no Tattoo in this movie version.

Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, and Jimmy O. Yang are among the movie’s lesser-known cast.

The story is a simple frightfest: Mr. Roarke makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island’s mystery in order to escape with their lives.

Shot in Taveuni, Fiji, the setting is a real fantasy island.

But don’t go there if you don’t want a good scare.

As the movie’s trailer says, “I hope you’re ready.”

“When you watch the movie,” says Michael Peña, “it’s gonna be about a bunch of beautiful young smart people doing dumb things.”

In the TV series. Mr. Roarke would warn guests requesting a particularly risky fantasy that he was powerless to stop the adventure once it had begun and that they must allow the fantasy to play out until its ultimate conclusion.

Moviegoers, be warned.

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Shirrel Rhoades
Movie Reviewer Rhoades
Movie Reviewer

Shirrel Rhoades

Movie Reviewer

Shirrel Rhoades, a Wilkesboro native, is a former vice president of Marvel Comics and present owner of the publishing house Absolutely Amazing ebooks. He writes movies reviews from his home in Key West, Florida.



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