Hi. We at IndieGala had a great Idea. A scary October for all the horror fans, with The Survivalists kicking of the horror fun. What’s so scary in October you might ask? Well, it’s a weekly horror review of a horror movie (classic or contemporary regardless) just for you. Since October is a filled with 5 Saturdays, and Halloween falls on the last Saturday of the month… It was logical for us to do a Spooktober initiative. And it’s not like this is my first attempt at writing about survival horror. No, for more horror inspiration check out some of my earlier work. You’re welcome.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d kick start the Spooktober initiative with a movie of my choice. And for the next 4 Saturdays, I’d let you pick the movie for review. As with this particular pick, all of the remaining movies will be inspired by video games that are available for purchase on IndieGala. Because, what would IndieGala’s blog be without games?
The Survivalists Led Me To Fantasy Island
However, the first pick (and my pick) for the first Spooktober movie is Fantasy Island. The latest 2020 fantasy island movie, not the 70’s TV show. Just to be clear. And as you can probably tell, the inspiration behind Fantasy Island is the one and only… The Survivalists. Yes, they are all scary, they all involve survival on a remote island and of course, they complement each other perfectly. Well, except there are monkeys on the island as well, so if you suffer of pithecophobia (fear of apes), yes, you could label this game with psychological horror. Pretty much everything is more or less similar. Yay!
And, yes, I know this game isn’t labeled as horror, but getting stranded on an island, alone, in uncharted land with scary animals and what not is the real horror. Indeed the horror that you will have to survive in this game. And it spells horror in my book. So, yeah. I’m putting it in Spooktober Movie Picks. That goes for Fantasy Island. As someone who’s scared easily this is spookey, and I’m not ashamed of admitting it. But I am stepping up my game with my next movie picks, so there’s that.
Oh, and don’t let me forget. We currently have The Survivalists on pre-purchase offer here at IndieGala. But don’t wait and let offer to end before you make your purchase. Hurry up.
But What Is The Survivalists All About?
Developed and published by Team 17, The Survivalists is an action-adventure sandbox game where the island is alive! The island on which you’re operating of course.
And thus your newfound home will change with day/night cycles as you explore and uncover its secrets. So, hunt or be hunted is the motto of the game. Animals, food and an array of mythical enemies can be found on the island as well. And they aren’t necessarily pleased to see you But you get to receive quests from a Mysterious Stranger or find them washed up on the shore.
Indeed, the secret to survival is to make the most of the resources around you. Whether that’s piecing together a primitive axe or mixing up a refreshing fruit smoothie. You can discover recipes and well, survive. But that won’t be an easy task. Are you ready?
Great Cast In Fantasy Island
Bloomhouse’s Fantasy Island arrived in our lives just before disaster struck. Somewhere in February when the planet was still in denial (and in somewhat of apprehension) about the impending pandemic. The movie theaters were still open and the world still had some hope and joy. But is the movie actually good? No. Let me explain. For a late night indulgence it will pass with a B- for sure. For a guilty pleasure not so much. But for the most time, it’s a perfectly wasted opportunity to make an existing franchise even better.
But, the movie has an array of fantastic actors on the roster. Staring with Michael Pena in the role of Mr. Roarke, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Kim Coates and the one and only Michael Rooker. And much like the title of the movie would suggest, the plot is rather simple. A group of people visit a luxury resort on a mysterious yet idyllic tropical island. The island is run by Mr. Roarke, and the lucky guests will have their deep dark fantasies come to life there. But with terrible nightmarish ordeals along the way. However, when the group starts to live their fantasies, they’ll start to understand that there’s a twisted and sinister reality to them.
Wasted Opportunity To Play On The Source Material
Yes, the movie’s runtime is 109 minutes long, but it somehow feels a lot longer than that. And I do have some theories about that. First and foremost, I believe it’s because of the very nature of the fantasies. Some are more romantic in nature (like Gwen’s for instance), while some are more on the horror side (like the one Melanie has). Others are heroic, some silly and ostentatious. But another reason for boredom on my part is the unequal time spent on those fantasies. And their development I might add. Yes, some of the story-lines drag on forever and get a decent development in the process (again Gen’s fantasy). But others are cut short and rely on the actor’s likability (Brax and JD’s hilarious banters).
Some Wasted Actors Too
And you know what else is a total waste here? Perfectly good actors in one of the most cliche/ridiculous roles. Legends like Michael Rooker who takes care of the exposition in the movie, or Kim Coates who doesn’t do much except don a ridiculous Spanish accent. Michael Pena has a rather wooden and underwhelming role as well, I might add. This is a potentially layered role, and with a proper script, he should have shown us a wide range of emotions. He should be tormented, conflicted, scheming, grieving and ambiguous. Or at the very least his character Mr. Rourke. But there’s barely any trace of any of that.
However, the Fiji based island is beautiful, despite being shown in a few scenes. The rest of the 90 minutes are perfect set pieces that are inspiring much like the actor’s performances. And for a horror/thriller movie, Fantasy Island does little of that. Nor it scares, nor it thrills. It barely entertains. Even the cheap thrills like jump scares are minuscule. And those small intertwined efforts of having psychological and even supernatural moments are bling and you’ll miss them moments that don’t elevate the story. They don’t make any progress, and they’re not there to guide you to an AHA moment in the end. They’re just there to annoy you with the superficiality and general lazy writing. And the movie has 3 credited screen-writers! Go figure!
Do you like The Survivalists?
How about Fantasy Island? Tell us what you think about both of them. We’d love to know all about them. Don’t be shy. Hit that comment section and let us know.
Suggestions for the next 4 Saturdays
1. Peninsula – inspired by Dying Light
2. In The Mouth Of Madness – Inspired by The Evil Within
3. The Lost Highway – inspired by Alan Wake
4. Color Out Of Space – inspired by Call Of Cthulu