Please Take a Seat and Enjoy Your Stay At Willy’s Wonderland


Vinson de Guzman, Writer

Every person has gone to Chuck E. Cheese at one time or another during their childhood. You remember the smell of pizza, the taste of fruit punch, and the sounds of the games and the ticket muncher. Most important of all, people remember Chuck E. Cheese himself and his cast of characters who played alongside him. Of course, some kids loved these mascots, but not all. Some were deathly afraid of them, bawling their eyes out or just being completely cautious around them. What if I told you that there was a movie that brings this irrational fear to life? 

Willy’s Wonderland is a movie about a quiet loner (played by Nicolas Cage) who settled in a remote town because his car broke down nearby. Unable to pay for his car repairs, the handyman that towed his car offered him a job to pay back the debt. All he had to do was clean an abandoned family restaurant named “Willy’s Wonderland” over the night. It was a family fun center that had animatronic mascots on a stage in front of the dining tables. However, this easy job was too easy to be true. The loner finds himself trapped in “Willy’s Wonderland” fighting against the animatronics, who are looking to consume his flesh. To survive and pay his debt, he must fight these mascots, clean the restaurant, and survive the night. 

The highlight of this movie was, of course, Nicolas Cage and the people that played the mascots. Although he had no actual dialogue, Nicolas Cage plays the silent bad*ss, as if he was the one doing the stalking and killing. Among the animatronics, Arty the Alligator and Gus the Gorilla are the highlights of this film, especially Arty’s “fun room” scene, and Gus’s bathroom scene. I’d give an honorable mention to Tito the Turtle, who had minimal screen time but still had some fun scenes.

The lowlights for this movie were the teenagers in this film. They just felt like B-rated horror movie characters written to bloat the kill count. Their personalities were cliche and boring, and they didn’t bring much to the table. Among the animatronics, Siren Sara was an incredible letdown. She didn’t have any memorable scenes, and her last scene was confusing and unnecessary. There was also Knighty Knight, who had the majority of the kills, Cammy the Chameleon, who had the dumbest kill in the movie, and Ozzie the Ostrich, who was Nicolas Cage’s first victim.

The best scenes in the movie are all Nicolas Cage’s fights against animatronics. They were all one-sided beatdowns that saw each mascot getting a Mortal Kombat-Esque fatality. The best one would be Gus the Gorilla’s sneak attack against Nicolas Cage in the bathroom and Willy’s western-style staredown at the climax. There were also all the times Nicolas Cage would change his “Willy’s Wonderland” t-shirt and drink his energy drink while playing a pinball machine in the kitchen. These scenes just became enjoyable gags meant as a little intermission between the gore. The worst scenes were whenever the scenes focused on the teenagers. These scenes were boring and just served as horror movie cliches and deaths outside of the animatronics. 

There honestly isn’t much of a moral to the story because of the fun and wacky nature of the movie. If there was something you could make out of it would be to always finish what you start, and to be careful when making a deal with the devil. 

This movie is targeted towards young adults and parody horror movie lovers that provide more thrill and gore instead of the jumpscares. It is definitely a movie I would rewatch, but I would recommend watching it with a group of friends as it makes the experience 10x better. This is rated-R so you would need to be of age or under supervision. Overall, this is a fun movie that I would rate an 8.5/10.