Friday, March 19, 2021

Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

Streaming Services: Cheapest Option: Google Play - $9.99
Movie Name/Year: Willy’s Wonderland (2021)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: JD Entertainment, Landafar Entertainment, Landmark Studio Group, Saturn Films, Movie Cloud, Pegasus Co., Blitz, Eagle Pictures, Foresight Unlimited, Madman Entertainment, Myndform, Nos Lusomundo Audiovisuais, SF Norge A/S, Screen Media Films, Signature Entertainment, Splendid Film, VVS Films
Director: Kevin Lewis
Writer: G.O. Parsons
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz, Chris Warner, Kai Kadlec, Caylee Cowan, Jonathan Mercedes, Terayle Hill, Christian Delgrosso, David Sheftell, Jiri Stanek, Jessica Graves Davis, Taylor Towery, Chris Schmidt Jr., Christopher Bradley, Duke Jackson, Billy Bussey, BJ Guyer, Émoi, Mark Gagliardi, Abel Arias, Madisun Leigh, Kamia Arrington
Blurb from IMDb: A quiet drifter is tricked into a janitorial job at the now condemned Willy's Wonderland. The mundane tasks suddenly become an all-out fight for survival against wave after wave of demonic animatronics. Fists fly, kicks land, titans clash -- and only one side will make it out alive.

Selina’s Point of View:
There isn’t a gamer alive that didn’t think of Five Nights At Freddy’s when they saw the trailer for Willy’s Wonderland. This is not, however, and adaptation of that. In fact, there’s a Five Nights at Freddy’s adaptation in the works – with Chris Columbus at the helm.
Still, the stories are extremely similar. Talking about Willy’s Wonderland to friends, I would describe it with a ‘what if’:
What if the protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy’s was a mute psychopath with a military background?
If you take that question at face value, you will expect exactly what you get.

Nicolas Cage (The Humanity Bureau, Color Out of Space, The Croods: A New Age) is in rare form here. He’s over-the-top, but manages to express a lot in his performance without speaking a single word. I didn’t even need most of the other characters. A couple of them did serve a purpose… but the production team could have saved some money by cutting the rest.
Willy’s Wonderland was ridiculous and brutal, which is exactly what I wanted from it. I didn’t need a movie to make me think or a super in-depth story. Just a lot of bloody B-movie fun.
It was the perfect mood boost for a rough week.

Cat’s Point of View:
Animatronics never cease to be creepy for me.
My daughter and I have been waiting with bated breath for the Five Nights at Freddy's (2014- ) video game to be adapted. While we pine for Freddy Fazbear’s eerie laughter, Willy’s Wonderland seemed like it would be a great warm-up for the main event. Seriously, you can’t ignore the similarities between the FNAF property’s general plot and what transpires at Willy’s.
This was one of the very rare and few horror movies that my teen actually wanted to watch with me. She doesn’t typically like the genre. She absolutely adores the FNAF games, however.
Unfortunately, this didn’t add up to her expectations and she was rather disappointed – only because she felt it paled in comparison to the FNAF plot. She doesn’t play the game much – it freaks her out – but she does watch quite a lot of YouTube streamers playing it and is well versed in all of the lore.
I guess the take-away for hardcore fans of the Fazbear is that you can’t expect this to be an early version of your beloved game story. This film is decidedly different, in spite of all the similarities. If you watch with carbon-copy expectations, there’s no way you’ll avoid disappointment. Let’s face it – this production likely wouldn’t have made it to the screen if that were even the case. They’d likely be stuck in litigation over copyright infringement.

What it boiled down to for me was a simple question – was I entertained? The answer was, ultimately, yes.
The production value was decent. One of the characters was clearly a person wearing a head-piece, however. That was a little distracting, but the performer did their best to be a robot. The janitor character, played by Nicolas Cage, was quite interesting. In spite of his total lack of dialogue, Cage effectively conveyed enough about his character to get a gist of what made him tick.
I laughed a lot. Horror comedy is my favorite subgenre. It wasn’t as gory as I expected it to be. That might have been a factor that helped my daughter make it all the way through. Blood and oil were everywhere, but the lighting and environmental effects kept the grisly bits harder to see. It left a bit more to the imagination.
There were a few hokey parts, but that’s to be expected from a story like this. There were also a few horror tropes regarding teens that I think they could have done without.
In the end, though, Willy’s Wonderland was a solid experience. I feel that it will likely get overshadowed as soon as the FNAF film is released, but it was effective in heightening my anticipation for that next film.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 75%
Metascore – 44/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.9/10
IMDB Score – 5.6/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment