A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Willy's Wonderland is an action-horror comedy starring Nicolas Cage. He plays a man who gets stranded in a small town and needs to work off his needed car repairs. The town authorities point him to Willy's Wonderland, a defunct children's play place for birthday parties and events full of broken-down animatronic characters that include a turtle, a bird, a knight, a pixie fairy, and a weasel. They tell him that if he cleans the place up, his car will be ready in the morning. But little does the man know that these characters have the spirits of serial killers inside them, come alive, and devour people. Expect lots of grisly but ridiculous violence, death, and gore, and lots of blood throughout -- both animatronic and human. Many scenes show Cage going wild with "Cage Rage" on these animatronic creatures, beating them up, ripping them apart, and killing them in brutal and creative ways with a steady methodical ease. Plenty of other scenes show humans dying, getting stabbed, impaled, decapitated, clawed to death, eaten alive, disemboweled, cleaved in half, and burned to death. Two clothed teens have sex on the floor in a private room. The girl is shirtless, wears a bra, and shows some cleavage. There are some light sexual jokes and drug reference jokes about marijuana. Teens smoke marijuana and adults smoke cigars. Strong language throughout includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "damn," "pr--k," "p---y," "hell," "balls," and "fatty."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In WILLY'S WONDERLAND, a man's (Nicolas Cage) car breaks down just outside a small town. The town authorities say that they never got the internet and there's no cell phone service, so would the man mind working it off? The man agrees to clean up an old family fun play place, the kind with animatronic creatures that sing and dance. If the man cleans up the place, they assure him that his car will be ready in the morning. Unfortunately, the man doesn't know that the animatronic creatures are inhabited by the dead evil spirits of serial killers. But what they don't know about the man might be more terrifying than anything.
Is it any good?
The unserious but seriously played drama in this horror-comedy is paced quickly, revels in its violence, and showcases Nicolas Cage's "rage" in notably fun and playful ways. While it's not a great movie by any means, Willy's Wonderland takes advantage of a novel concept and delivers straightforward, goofy, gory action. Thematically, this film closely resembles the Five Nights at Freddy's video game series, except here, Willy (a weasel) is the leader of the terrifying and homicidal animatronic bunch of creatures instead of Freddy (a bear). The main character, the Janitor (Cage), doesn't even speak a word, which mirrors how video game main characters often don't speak themselves in video games. Even further, Cage's character methodically and mechanically takes breaks at dedicated intervals, just like a video game might do. These nods are for fans of the genre, and many will appreciate the silly parallels.
But of course, there are logical flaws, and questions mount throughout like, "Why is he locked in the building?" and "Why don't these teens just fight back?" and "Why is Janitor not thrown at all by animatronic creatures coming to life?" Indeed, the Janitor simply goes about his work, cleaning up the place, hilariously killing murderous animatronic monsters along the way. This movie is definitely not for everyone, but some older teens may be amused.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in horror movies. How would you characterize the violence in Willy's Wonderland? How does the violence compare to the violence in other movies you've seen that are similar?
Why do you think the character of the Janitor didn't speak? Do you think this was a good decision? What would this movie look like if the Janitor spoke?
What do you think of the sheriff and her actions? Do you think she deserves her end, or something else? Why?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love horror
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch