As a 90s kid who used to be creeped out by Charlie Chalks restaurants (UK peeps will know what I mean here!) for no legitimate reason other than **creepy kids characters**, Nick Cage’s latest nutty b-movie Willy’s Wonderland really resonated with me.
Okay, okay, Charlie Chalks never tried to murder me (please don’t sue me, Charlie!) like in Cage’s new film, where an abandoned family restaurant featuring Willy (a singing animal) and his band of fellow children’s characters come to life and murder people – but my history with Chalks adds to the creepiness for me.
Other than raising memories from my childhood I wanted to suppress, I got a real kick out of Willy’s Wonderland. The whole demonic vibe – particularly surrounding a theme so innocent – peaked my interest, but when you have Nick revving up the Cage-ness to 11 it just makes it the more watchable.
For no apparent reason, Cage’s character – forced to clean up the restaurant to get his broken down car fixed – doesn’t speak: and it totally adds to the craziness. Throw into the mixer he’s a bearded, sunglasses-wearing kick ass with a fast car… He isn’t going to take murdorous children’s characters lying down.
I also loved the aesthetics behind the movie. The Willy-themed tunes hauntingly playing in the background, the grungy feel and the small-town vibes that you get later on made Willy’s Wonderland even more effective. Yes, it’s daft, silly and all those other adjectives you’ll probably get by just watching the trailer – but I had a blast.