The Five Nights At Freddy’s games are popular for a reason; theme park animatronics are often creepy as heck to anyone older than 12. While we still haven’t gotten an official movie adaptation yet, Willy’s Wonderland is here to scratch that itch. However, this movie isn’t the same as those games, and it’s basically just a silent Nicolas Cage beating up a bunch of evil animatronics for an hour and a half.
One Night At Willy’s
If you’re expecting a more traditional horror movie or something closer to the jump scares of the games, Willy’s Wonderland isn’t that. The premise of the movie isn’t much and I won’t spoil the barebones plot in my review. Nicolas Cage plays a silent character named simply as The Janitor in the credits. He’s not actually a janitor, but rather, circumstances lead him to have to spend one night cleaning up a Chuck E. Cheese-like attraction called Willy’s Wonderland.
There’s also a bunch of teenagers led by Emily Tosta’s Liv Hawthorne, who mostly just acts as fodder for the evil animatronics and to rack up the kills in this movie. Directed by Kevin Lewis, Willy’s Wonderland looks sort of drab as well, honing in on that low-budget horror aesthetic.
The movie doesn’t even bother with logic or details, so don’t expect any of that. You should just expect a shlocky hamfest with a surprisingly good soundtrack composed by Émoi.
It’s structured sort of like a video game as well, with Nicolas Cage’s The Janitor moving from one area to the next in Willy’s Wonderland (after finishing his cleaning duties) and encountering the animatronic characters one-by-one. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t flesh out these murderous animatronics much so they’re just there to be violently beaten up by Cage’s character. They might seem scary at first glance, but Cage’s character dispatches them with such ease that we’re left wondering; what makes these animatronics so deadly in the first place?
It’s oddly satisfying to see Nicolas Cage cleaning and destroying animatronic beasties. Plus, horror movies rarely have me checking out their soundtracks after watching them, but Willy’s Wonderland did that for me. It’s got an entirely original soundtrack (which is available on Spotify) with several great tracks in there, including the titular Willy’s Wonderland (which you can check out below). It has this retro 80s vibe to it that fits the cheesy low-budget horror quality of the movie.
For Your Entertainment
If you’re a horror fan, you should probably check Willy’s Wonderland for its bizarre premise and cheesy violence. If you’re a fan of Nicolas Cage, he delivers another eccentric performance here without uttering a single line or word for the entire duration of the movie (yeah, his character doesn’t speak at all). If you’re fine with all of that, you’ll probably enjoy this entertaining slaughter-fest for what it is.
If not, Willy’s Wonderland doesn’t really offer anything new or unique to hook in viewers. It’s best enjoyed as you kick and relax with little to no expectations except for one thing and one thing alone; Nicolas Cage kicking the crap out of creepy animatronic mascots.
Oh, and here’s a fun fact: The visual effects in Willy’s Wonderland are produced by Malaysian studio Base FX, the same one behind some of the special effects seen in The Mandalorian.
FINAL SCORE: 50/100