'Fantasy Island' Director Says One Test Screening Convinced Him To Change Film's R-Rating To PG-13

When a horror film fails, there are always those trying to look for answers. In the case of a PG-13 horror film, such as the recent “Fantasy Island,” there will be some that look at the terrible reviews and tepid box office and wonder if an R-rating would have been better, allowing for a bit more gore and terror. Well, according to “Fantasy Island” director Jeff Wadlow, his film was originally conceived as a rated-R film, but that was changed during post-production.

READ MORE: Blumhouse’s ‘Fantasy Island’ Is (Somehow) Worse Than It Sounds [Review]

Speaking to CinemaBlend, the director was asked about whether “Fantasy Island” was ever thought to be an R-rated film. And somewhat surprisingly, it appears that Wadlow wanted it to carry the adult rating but an audience screening changed everything.

“Upfront I said, ‘Jason Blum, the movie has to be rated R.’ And it’s not,” said Wadlow. “That’s great example of having to change and kind of go with the flow. I felt that it had to be R, and I thought I shot an R movie, but then when we showed it to an audience we were like, ‘Well, it’s not really that R.’ And just a couple of trims and it was a PG-13.”

Jason Blum, head of the Blumhouse production company, is normally a pretty savvy guy when it comes to how to promote the films his company releases. Of course, Blumhouse isn’t bulletproof, but it’s interesting that a reaction at one screening changed the course of “Fantasy Island” for good.

READ MORE: ‘Fantasy Island’ Trailer: Be Careful What You Wish For In The Latest Blumhouse Horror

Maybe Blum saw that the film wasn’t going to work with older audiences and needed to target teens? We’ll never know. Obviously, older folks would be the only ones that know the horror film’s soapy TV roots. Whatever the reason, reviews were not kind to the film, with our own calling the movie “terrible.”

As for whether or not we’ll ever see the R-rated cut of the film, Wadlow is optimistic.

“There’ll be a slightly edgier cut that will be available later on,” the director teased. “But the movie works, it’s much more about character and emotion, and it doesn’t matter if a movie’s PG-13 or R – those things come through when you have great actors like we have in our film.”

Whether or not it works, you can find out for yourself, as “Fantasy Island” is in theaters now. Or just take our review’s word for it, “Both artistically and intellectually, it’s an absolutely bankrupt enterprise.”