“Fantasy Island Is Rated PG-13 (& Why That’s Bad)”
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island, an upcoming horror reinvention of the classic TV series, is rated PG-13, and that’s likely to undercut its quality. Over the past decade, Blumhouse has become one of the go-to producers of theatrical horror films, with way more hits on their resume than misses. The company has gifted fans with the Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, and Happy Death Day franchises, as well as standalone success stories like Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out.
Blumhouse’s primary mission statement has been to produce horror films on small – by studio standards – budgets of less than $10 million, and then (hopefully) make many times their investment back in theaters. This has held true for dozens of their releases, but not even Blumhouse finds success 100 percent of the time, and has seen their fair share of flops, either commercially or in the opinion of horror fans. It’s too early to predict if February’s Fantasy Island will be a hit or a miss, but the trailers and marketing haven’t exactly looked terrific.
One big factor working against Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island is its PG-13 rating, which, as is true of basically every horror movie, drew groans from fans when it was announced. While a PG-13 rating doesn’t mean a horror movie has to be bad, it does inherently limit the content that can be included, and that probably won’t be a good thing for Fantasy Island.
As much as some hardcore horror fans might disagree, horror movies don’t always need R-rated levels of gore, nudity, sexual content, and bad language to be enjoyable. This is most often seen in movies about ghosts or hauntings, where random sex and gory kills wouldn’t usually make much sense thematically. However, considering Fantasy Island‘s premise, as laid out by its trailer, a PG-13 rating will likely hold the movie back. For one, while there’s an evil twist, each guest at the island is there to live out a fantasy. Statistically, it’s incredibly likely some of these fantasies would involve R-rated gore and/or sexual debauchery.
For example, the most prominent fantasy scenario spotlighted in the trailer involves Lucy Hale’s character Melanie getting revenge on a childhood bully. This seems to take the form of a Hostel-esque torturer maiming (and presumably killing) this person. While Melanie reacts in shock and regret, what’s actually done to the bully will likely be mostly offscreen. One would need only look back at Blumhouse’s recent PG-13 remake of Black Christmas to see how offscreen death scenes lessen the impact of what happens to characters in a horror film. Granted, Black Christmas had lots of other problems too, but its bloodless kills were a big issue. One can hope that being rated PG-13 won’t dull this trip to Fantasy Island too much, but it wouldn’t be too surprising to see that happen.
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