At some point in the production of every horror movie, a choice must be made. Things can move in an R-rated direction, allowing for maximum on-screen carnage, and for characters to scream obscenities as they are being terrorized; or things can lean PG-13, resulting in the reins being pulled back on content in hopes of inviting a large audience to buy tickets. For most features, this is a decision that is made during the early phases of development, as it can have a major impact on the way things are orchestrated on set, but in the case of Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island, that direction was apparently not finalized until after a first edit was presented to a test audience.
I learned this bit of behind-the-scenes trivia early last week when I had the opportunity to sit down with director Jeff Wadlow and talk with him about the making of the new feature film adaptation of the classic television show. I specifically asked about the rating of the movie and the conversations that led to Fantasy Island going for PG-13, and he explained that it was an element of the production that changed over time: