Willy’s Wonderland 4K UHD Review: Nicolas Cage Brings a Whole Lot of Fun

Kevin Lewis’s Willy’s Wonderland stars Nicolas Cage, a possibly mute, probably just super quiet, nameless drifter driving the backroads, who accidentally runs his car over tire strips meant to lure in unsuspecting nameless drifters. The car repairs run up to one-thousand dollars and they only take cash up front. Fortunately for Nicolas Cage (here on out known as the Janitor), he is instantly offered one-thousand dollars cash to spend the night locked inside Willy’s Wonderland, a once glamorous children’s entertainment starring eight animatronic characters who have long since gone to rot and ruin.

Buy Willy’s Wonderland Collector’s Edition 4K Ultra HD

The town’s children know that Willy’s is a satanic hub for possessed animatronics and plan to destroy the building as soon as they can extricate the Janitor. The few remaining adults in town made a deal many years ago for the animatronics if they would take the occasional sacrifice instead of killing random townsfolk. Ever since, the town sheriff, the auto mechanic, and the owner of Willy’s Wonderland, have slowly murdered drifter after drifter, supposedly to help the town.

The high point here is absolutely Nicolas Cage. Without uttering a word, he cleans Willy’s Wonderland, takes breaks to have a can of soda and play the Willy’s Wonderland pinball machine, gets attacked by a random animatronic, and then kicks its ass. At no point does he appear to be in any danger: the animatronics are very careful to only attack the Janitor one at a time to make certain there is never any real worry for our wordless hero. Cage is funny and smart here. He knows it is a farcical b-movie, but plays it straight for lots of laughs.

Is Willy’s Wonderland a rip-off of Five Nights at Freddy’s? They both take place in old children’s entertainment establishments. In both, a man is hired to watch the building for the night (or five). In Willy’s, the Janitor keeps running into animatronics on a murderous rampage while attempting to clean. In Five Nights, the security guard keeps running into animatronics on a murderous rampage while attempting to secure. However, the first Five Nights game came out five years before Willy’s Wonderland became a script. All this would probably be fine – they are both fun ideas – if everybody in the special features wouldn’t keep saying they’d never seen anything like Willy’s Wonderland before anywhere. It just comes off as awfully hard to believe.

Collector’s Edition Special Features:

Disc One (4K UHD):

  • Feature Film in Dolby Vision

Disc Two (Blu-ray):

  • “Inside Fun” Featurette
  • Set Tour with Actor Christian Del Grosso
  • “Fresh Meat” Featurette
  • “Colorful Darkness and the Demon-Atrons Featurette
  • Trailer
  • Image Galleries

Recommendation: Is it basically a rip-off? Well, yes, but it is a smart rip-off. Get a copy, turn the lights low, and watch Nicolas Cage remind us what makes him an action hero. Also available as a 4K UHD + Blu-ray Limited Edition SteelBook.

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Greg Hammond

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