The Gorefest That is Willy's Wonderland
Animatronics, fun world, kids… it all sounds fun until it isn’t. Director Kevin Lewis frames this unexpected action comedy horror for fans in 2021. Willy’s Wonderland makes its mark in a world of films vying for viewers.
In The Beginning
This film starts off bloody and attention-grabbing from the jump. While it is apparent that this was not the average film and was cheesy, it manages to arrest enough attention to hook its viewers.
Nicholas Cage A Feature
The film features Nicholas Cage as fans have never seen him. While there have been iterations of this character type in Ghost Rider (2007), this role stands out. He gives off Terminator vibes from his introduction and barely utters a word the entire film. This is close to seeing Cage in full action mode in the vein of Charlie Chaplin.
The Core of the Reactor
The core of Willy’s Wonderland is set in a small town that could be anywhere. We are talking backwoods — no wonder the events that seem to occur never make it past the city line. Even stranger, the action occurs in a children’s entertainment center resemblant to Chucky Cheese. The jolly caricatures aren’t so cheerful; they are downright evil. And their supposed leader, Willy, is the reactor blowing the town apart.
Cage finds himself in this backwoods town. Unfortunately, car trouble strands him there. As luck would have it, he found a job in the exact place where evil lives. Of course, it is not of his choosing but he complies to take on the role of the incumbent janitor of Willy’s Wonderland.
Caricatures not Quite for Amusement
As if life-size alien-looking figures aren’t scary enough, these have a life of their own. Cages’ character finds out rather quickly this gaggle of the animatronics isn’t the friendly kind. He is attacked by one within his first hour on the job. One thing was explicit early: Cage might not talk much, but he could fight. He doesn’t assume things and goes straight to work taking care of business. He beats the mess out of the animatronic that dares to take him to the task.
Drilling Down to the Foundation
The background is quite interesting from the lips of a primary character Liv (Emily Tosta), who relays the tale of serial killers, hellish rituals, and happy places for kids aren’t a good mix. The further we get into the story, it turns out the town is full of insanity. Everyone who is anyone knows you can’t make a deal with the devil (or in this case, evil animatronics) and expect it to stick. Unfortunately, they learn the hard way.
All About the Janitor
Cage as the main character is as tough as nails. He plays the part of a silent warrior with such panache. It is like the party of his existence is to kick butt and take names. We can’t help but laugh at how he decimates the creatures and then sits down to a PUNCH or files his nails. One might almost think the energy drink was his super fuel. Think spinach to Popeye. And it turns out there is much more to him than anyone expects.
Willy’s Wonderland is a good watch because it’s good-hearted fun. Of course, it has its corny parts but that can be forgiven. In addition, the characters are believably unbelievable. If you like your horror campy, a little bit corny, or an excellent gaggle, check out Willy’s Wonderland streaming on Hulu.
Willy’s Wonderland (2021) Official Trailer