“10 Films Set On A Remote Island To Watch Before Fantasy Island (Horror Or Otherwise)”
The upcoming horror film adaptation of the 70s TV show, Fantasy Island, follows a group of young people that visit a remote magical island where its mysterious owner turns the fantasies of their guests into reality, for a price. The unsuspecting guests soon find out that their fantasies will turn into nightmares as they scramble to leave the island alive.
The film is brought to us by Blumhouse Productions, who have been tearing up the horror-movie circuit in the past few years, often releasing big hits on minuscule budgets. It’s set on a luxurious resort on a remote tropical island – a setting that’s fairly common amongst Hollywood feature films – and the list below covers 10 films across various genres, all set on remote islands (or the like), that you should check out leading up to the release of Fantasy Island.
10 Enter the Dragon (1973)
Martial arts legend Bruce Lee’s final film before his untimely death in 1973, Enter the Dragon follows Lee’s character enter a martial arts tournament on a remote island where his task is to infiltrate and uncover the secrets of the island and its shady owner’s criminal dealings. Being a Bruce Lee film, he’ll have to fight his way through to find answers.
Enter the Dragon is one of the most iconic martial arts films of all time and one of Lee’s best films. It’s Lee at the height of his power and features some excellent fight choreography, colorful characters, and an engaging story. The film has hit legendary status and was a lot of people’s introduction to Bruce Lee, who himself went on to enter the pop-culture collective consciousness as one of the world’s most influential martial artists, changing the lives of many fans in the process.
9 Long Weekend (1978)
This little-known Australian exploitation film from 1978 finds a couple on vacation on a remote beach in an attempt to rekindle their marriage. The friction between the couple and their lack of respect for the environment causes a sense of unease amongst the local wildlife, who then begin to attack the couple, forcing them to fight for their lives.
The film has a lot to say about man’s destruction and disrespect of the environment, and the consequences that come with it. Its powerful message sits behind a thrilling story that’s equal parts suspenseful and hilarious, due to its low budget and exploitative style. Long Weekend takes the idea of Australian animals being deadly to the next level.
8 Lord of the Flies (1990)
Based on the classic 1954 book of the same name by British author William Golding, Lord of the Flies sees a large group of boys become stranded on a remote island following a plane crash, as they attempt to build a governing body with a set of rules, that ends in disaster.
Full of profound themes, Lord of the Flies is a powerful interpretation of opposing ideologies and the dangers that can come with a lack of structure or too much structure. The film’s story is thought-provoking and one that’s still prevalent to this day, making for some intriguing viewing.
7 The Condemned (2007)
A remote island movie list can’t be complete without at least one entry involving a movie where a bunch of people are forced to fight to the death on said remote island. Such is the case with the former WWE wrestler, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s surprisingly entertaining action film, The Condemned.
The Condemned was Austin’s first leading-man role and in it, he plays a death-row inmate who’s been sent to an island to square off against 9 other convicted killers in a battle to the death, with the winner regaining their freedom. The film is gloriously violent and features some excellent combat scenes, with Steve Austin turning in an excellent performance for a wrestler trying their hand at feature-film acting.
6 Shutter Island (2010)
One of Martin Scorsese’s more underrated films, Shutter Island stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a US Marshall sent to uncover a mystery at a hospital for the criminally insane, where a patient has recently disappeared from. As he begins to unravel the secrets, he’ll realize that things aren’t as they seem, causing him to question what’s real and what isn’t.
This mystery-thriller film is one that’s full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing all throughout. DiCaprio turns in an amazing performance alongside equally impressive co-stars Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams. The film’s atmospheric 1950s setting and overall production design make for a tension-filled viewing experience and its final twist will shock you.
5 Piranha 3D (2010)
A spiritual remake of the 1978 horror-comedy film, Piranha, its 2010 counterpart from director Alexandre Aja, Piranha 3D, follows a group of residents and holidaymakers fight for their lives when a small earthquake unleashes a swarm of deadly piranhas on their lakeside town. Not quite a remote island, but the characters in this film are certainly made to feel as though they’re trapped on one as they succumb to the flesh-eating underwater menaces.
Piranha 3D is an utterly bonkers horror-comedy film that doesn’t take itself seriously and features a great cast with some excellent production design. The film’s main goal is to titillate, and it succeeds perfectly on that front. It’s full of gory violence and scantily-clad performers, paying tribute to horror exploitation films of the past.
4 The Red Turtle (2016)
The Red Turtle is a French animated film that finds its protagonist stuck on a remote island with no means of escape. Alone and desperate, the man attempts to build a raft and sail off in search of help, however, the island and the forces of nature have other ideas for him.
The film is one of an introspective nature, as our lead character must battle his own emotional and mental state after suffering several setbacks, causing the audience to reflect on their own lives while on this journey with him. There’s no dialogue in the film, however, the creative team behind The Red Turtle has managed to convey their message about life’s struggles splendidly without it. Co-produced by the creative minds at Studio Ghibli, The Red Turtle will no doubt pull at your heartstrings.
3 Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Movies featuring or based on the king of the apes, Kong, have come out in abundance since the character’s introduction in 1933. The latest rendition of the gigantic movie monster comes from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts with 2017’s action-adventure film, Kong: Skull Island.
Featuring an all-star cast, Kong: Skull Island is a thrilling monster movie that has some amazing use of CGI as well as gorgeous cinematography. It captures King Kong in a light we’ve yet to see before while keeping true to the original mythology of the character. But really, it’s the monster battles that are the highlight of this film, and they’re glorious to behold.
2 Serenity (2019)
Matthew McConaughey plays a fishing boat captain with a complicated past who’s trying to get by day-to-day in peace. When his ex-wife enters the picture asking for an awkward favor, the captain reluctantly obliges, returning him to a life he’s been trying so hard to leave behind.
A film that seemed to have everything going for it, from its intriguing premise to its A-list cast led by Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, Serenity was, sadly, shunned by critics and audiences. It does, however, have some redeeming qualities in that it has some clever ideas that lacked the proper execution, especially with a plot twist that most audiences would not have seen coming.
1 The Lighthouse (2019)
Director Robert Eggers’ follow-up to his harrowing horror film The Witch sees Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play two lighthouse keepers who, after being tasked with running a lighthouse on a remote island, begin to go mad once they become stranded there, with only each others company to pass the time.
The Lighthouse is the type of horror film that doesn’t come around very often. It’s rare in its ability to provide a grim and gloomy story that’s often funny in parts, as we get to know these two characters and their peculiarities. The actors portray their character’s descent into madness exceptionally well and we, as the audience, become increasingly perturbed along the way.
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