WILLY’S WONDERLAND (2020) Reviews and overview

 

Willy’s Wonderland will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 13, 2021. Special Features include:

Featurette: The Making of Willy’s Wonderland
Set Tour with Christian DelGrosso
Colourful Darkness and The Demon-Atrons
The production design of Willy’s Wonderland
Teaser Character Artwork Gallery
Character Posters Graphics Gallery
Production Design Gallery
Theatrical Trailer

‘Let playtime begin’

Willy’s Wonderland is a 2020 American horror film about a janitor that must fight off demonic animatronics in a disused amusement park.

Directed by Kevin Lewis (The Drop; Downward Spiral) from a screenplay written by G.O. Parsons, the movie stars Nicolas Cage (Color Out of Space; Mandy; Mom and Dad; et al), Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz and Chris Warner.

Plot:

A quiet drifter (Nicolas Cage) is tricked into a janitorial job at the now condemned Wally’s Wonderland. The mundane tasks suddenly become an all-out fight for survival against wave after wave of demonic animatronics. Only one side will make it out alive…

Reviews:

Willy’s Wonderland is the kind of film that takes you on a lucid trip of madness and mayhem and whilst you’ll question what on earth you’re watching every step of the way your eyes will remain hypnotically fixed on the screen in this utterly bonkers yet utterly brilliant and severely addictive animatronic mayhem feature.” Back to the Movies

“The concept is simple enough but it could have done with a bit more energy from behind the camera, Kevin Lewis’ directing feeling a little lethargic for long periods until the frenetic fight scenes that are scattered throughout. The saving grace of Willy’s Wonderland, rather expectedly, is Nicolas Cage bringing his iconic brand of Cage-Rage to proceedings.” Barton Reviews

Willy’s Wonderland sounds like a great idea on paper, but its execution falls flat. Worse, it can be extremely repetitive. Watch the Janitor clean, get attacked, rip the thing to shreds, then clean up that mess. Rinse and repeat […] With a briskly paced runtime, Cage running amok, and buckets of blood spilled, there’s some entertainment to be found within Willy’s Wonderland, but it’s all surprisingly empty and forgettable.” Bloody Disgusting

“Writer G.O. Parsons doesn’t come armed with an ambitious screenplay, but he does an inventive job fiddling around with genre ideas, while director Kevin Lewis attempts to transform the feature into a surreal nightmare of caffeine-fueled violence and menacing robots. Willy’s Wonderland doesn’t offer anything more than it initially delivers, and that’s enough to keep Cage busy and viewers amused with this oddball bloodbath.” Blu-ray.com

Willy’s Wonderland should have been a free-for-all of nutty fiction and outrageous FX, not a bunch of backyard wrestling and black goo caking straightforward kills. Who knew the tantalizing prospect of Nic Cage carving his way through homicidal pizza mascots would prove to be so disappointingly dull?” Culture Crypt

“This bizarre little movie plunders, in no particular order, Meet the Feebles (1989) and a couple of recent reboots from 2019, Lars Klevberg’s Child’s Play and The Banana Splits Movie by Daniella Esterhazy. As those influences suggest it’s a film best seen with a crowd and while it’s a lot of fun, it misses opportunities to send up commercialism and/or small-town politics which would give it a bit of an extra dimension.” Dark Eyes of London

” …Willy’s Wonderland plays like a videogame itself. Cage cleans. Has himself what might as well be a “boss fight”. Cleans some more. His character—and the film—are so committed to this routine, that Cage even stops in the middle of fights to go take his scheduled breaks. For a film under ninety minutes, Willy’s Wonderland begins to play itself out and feel much longer than it should, and the other characters don’t do much to help.” Killer Horror Critic

“Willy’s Wonderland is carried by the ridiculous novelty of its premise […] The downside that rapidly becomes apparent in watching the film is that that is all it consists of […] there is nothing more to the film than the basic premise of watching Nic dish it out and beat several scraggly looking anthropomorphic animatronics into junk amid black spurts of oil as they die.” Moria

“It never gets needlessly bogged down in plot, and when the backstory is revealed, it’s done so in an entertaining flashback that doesn’t slow down the action. Even if the execution renders much of Willy’s Wonderland a missed opportunity on the action front, you certainly get what you pay for here, and the filmmakers should thank their lucky stars they managed to get Cage onboard…” The Movie Waffler

Willy’s Wonderland does stall with the introduction of a teenage squad who break in to help The Janitor fend off the mascots during the climax, however, their real purpose as bodies to be axed in grotesque, often satisfying methods won’t be lost on anyone with a brain. Speaking of brains, check yours at the door or else the film’s zany sense of humor and grungy B-movie mayhem will eat away at your sanity.” The Only Critic

“Cage pushes himself to his limits and tears through hoards of animatronics which is a delight to watch! At times, the acting is fairly bad but the action is filled with so much energy that it was impossible to not enjoy. The hyper-violent action is what makes the movie so much fun!” Screen Entertainment

Willy’s Wonderland could have been a fun bit of tongue in cheek survival horror, and I suspect Cage’s more rabid fans will still enjoy it. But […] this feels like a bad rip off of The Banana Splits Movie and the Five Nights at Freddy’s video game franchise that inspired it.” Voices from the Balcony

Willy’s Wonderland is a B-movie at it’s best, with a bloody brilliant central thrill ride steered by a bonkers Cage. This will undoubtedly become an amusing cult classic, it’s just a shame there’s so many questions left unanswered once the credits roll.” We Have a Hulk

Scroll down for loads more reviews via YouTube

Release:

Willy’s Wonderland was released on video-on-demand (VOD) on February 12, 2021, by Screen Media Films.

Cast and characters:

Nicolas Cage … Janitor
Emily Tosta … Liv
Beth Grant … Sheriff Lund
Chris Warner … Jed Love
Caylee Cowan … Kathy
Grant Cramer … Jerry Wallace
Terayle Hill … Bob
Christian Delgrosso … Aaron
David Sheftell … Evan
Ric Reitz … Tex Macadoo
Duke Jackson … Knighty Knight
Taylor Towery … Cammy Chameleon
Kai Kadlec … Chris
Jessica Graves … Siren Sara
Olga Cramer … Judy

Technical details:

88 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1

Working title:

Wally’s World

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

MOVIES and MANIA comment and rating:

Willy’s Wonderland cynically tries to be a cult film in the making but Nicolas Cage’s stoic janitor character never lives up to the promise of the hype. Watching him repeatedly cleaning and taking breaks in the action just becomes tiresome rather than clever. Amongst some annoying teen characters, Emily Tosta stands out as the young heroine. Reasonably entertaining with some cool animatronics and set designs yet also fairly vapid.

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