Who on Earth would want these fantasies?
Sony released the terrorizing trailer for “Fantasy Island,” a retooling of the 1970s show starring Ricardo Montalbán as island host and fantasy-enabler Mr. Roarke, and Hervé Villechaize as his assistant, Tattoo. The preview twists the classic series into full-on horror. Think “The Twilight Zone” meets “The Purge.”
In the original series, produced by Aaron Spelling, visitors to a remote island shell out big bucks to live out a particular fantasy — without realizing that unexpected consequences could ensue. Those consequences are amped up for the reboot — “People die here,” a voice says in the trailer for the new movie by horror masters Blumhouse Productions, known for “Get Out,” “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge.”
The official synopsis says that Mr. Roarke (played by Michael Peña) will still seek out the “secret dreams” of his island resort guests, including young Melanie (played by Lucy Hale). But after the visitors are treated to an over-the-top party with half-naked hotties, free-flowing booze and pyrotechnics, their “fantasies turn into nightmares” — and they will have to find a way to escape while they can still breathe.
Central to the story is Hale’s Melanie, who is initially horrified to discover there’s no cellphone service; that turns out to be the least of the horrors she’ll face. Seeking “revenge on a childhood bully,” she is led to a torture chamber where she sees a hologram of her tormentor, crying, gagged and bound to a chair. Except, of course, it’s not a digital dopplegänger; it’s really her.
“Roarke, this is not what I meant!” Melanie yells at her host over the phone.
“We weren’t brought here to have our own fantasies,” another suddenly aware guest intones in voiceover. “We were brought here to be a part of someone else’s.”
While the film doesn’t have a specific Tattoo character, Parisa Fitz-Henley (“Midnight, Texas”) appears to take on the island greeter role of Julie. The movie also stars Maggie Q, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen and Michael Rooker.
“Fantasy Island” — which is unrated, for now — will premiere Feb. 14, 2020. Sounds like a lovely date night film for Valentine’s Day.