Why Nic Cage does not speak in Willys Wonderland

Nicolas Cage’s Willy’s Wonderland character, Janitor, says nothing throughout the film, but his actions speak louder than words.

Nicolas Cage does not speak Willys Wonderland. Cage plays the caretaker, a protagonist who does not utter a word at all during its entire duration – which is actually perfect for the slasher movie. Something inspired by the video game Five Nights at Freddy’s, Willys Wonderland sees Cage’s character tasked with cleaning up the abandoned, titular restaurant, where the animatronics come to life and kill the one trapped inside. Meanwhile, a group of teenagers led by Liv (Emily Tosta) try to end the animatronic terror regime once and for all.

The caretaker in Willys Wonderland is a mysterious character that the audience gets to know very little about. Except Nic Cage is not speaking Willys Wonderland, he also has no background story and viewers can only extrapolate his story. It is known that he drives a nice car, consumes many energy drinks, is a cleaner’s miracle maker and is apparently undisturbed by the existence of murderous animatronics.

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It’s an interesting choice for Cage to be dumb in Willys Wonderland, and author GO Parsons originally wrote the script without dialogue for the character when he envisioned a budget-free version in which he would play the role. Still, the Nicolas Cage horror film draws on two main inspirations, the first being the archetypal wanderer and the second being the main character in the silent video game. The hiker travels from city to city and gets into trouble and solves the local’s problems before riding out into the sunset again. Notable genre examples include Akira Kurosawa Yojimbo or westerns like Sergio Leone’s “Man with No Name” trilogy starring Clint Eastwood.

Why Nic Cage does not speak in Willys Wonderland

The beginning of Willys Wonderland borrows heavily from Western aesthetics. The town of Hayesville, Nevada is small, isolated and run-down. The outdoor scenes are sun-baked, and those who run the city are quirky. Like most western heroes, Nic Cage’s character does not say much, but his actions speak loud and clear. He silently fulfills his completion of the purchase and cleans in the disgusting restaurant, showing his unique sense of honor. If he gets a task, he completes it, and he’s so focused on cleaning up Willys’ Wonderland that even murderous animatronics don’t stop him.

The silent hero archetype used for Nicolas Cage’s dumb character in Willys Wonderland is also smart subversion – made better by the daring actor in the role. Unlike the classic western characters who ride into a city and defeat the evil ones in a dramatic, epic way, Nic Cage’s silent character in Willys Wonderland is not a typical hero – he is a janitor. Although the end result was a mixed success – the film received mixed reviews, with many commenting that Nic Cage did not speak was a disappointment. Still, it was a brave creative choice.

How Willys Wonderland is Connected with Five Nights at Freddy’s

Nic Cage Willys Wonderland

The other likely inspiration for Nic Cage’s silent Janitor in Willys Wonderland is the protagonist of the silent video game. Willys Wonderland is strongly inspired by Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, which also features a silent character facing evil animatronics at a restaurant with a horrific story. For most of the industry’s history, video game protagonists have traditionally been silent (especially role-playing), even when encountering many talking NPCs (non-player characters). This is actually so common that it’s a recurring gag in South Park: The Stick of Truth. While some games make use of dialogue trees, and many newer games include recorded dialogue or clipped scenes, the philosophy behind most RPGs is that the main character does not speak, allowing the player to more easily project himself into that role.

There are lots of little nods to games throughout Willys Wonderland also; the opening text is 8-bit, and Cage’s regularly consumed cans of Punch Soda act as powerups. He always drinks them before he fights, and his pinball breaks are similar to the mini-games that can be played after dying in Five Nights at Freddy’s. Even without dialogue, Cage’s performance in Willys Wonderland is a pleasure. Cage may not be talking, but his blasé behavior is so bizarre that audiences can’t help but get sucked in.

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