Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ★★★★½

Film #1 of my March 2016 Scavenger Hunt
Task #9: Original

Whether you've seen this for the first time as an adult or the millionth time as a child, the strange, bizarre, psychedelic, creepy, yet delightful, enchanting, mesmerizing, and amazing world of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory still remains a timeless classic for families of young and old. Disguised as a horror movie, the film stars Gene Wilder as that crazy candy maker who invites five lucky children into his mysterious factory as part of an elaborate plot to purge the spoiled nature of the young generation into extreme punishment and death. It's subtle, but Wonka's a deranged killer! He may look nice with all his delicious candy and wondrous set-pieces, but dang it, he clearly meant to teach children a lesson in behaving in the most cruel way. Even the kid who's supposed to be perfect, Charlie, falls into one of his death traps at one point! This is how to make a strange movie well! Make the dark stuff really subtle, take it for what it is, and enjoy the heck out of it. Francis Ford Coppola, take notes for Captain EO...

This isn't the most perfect movie out there, and there are some minor problems; the production designs are dated at times but I think it fits the 70's charm, I feel like the rush for the Golden Tickets feel a bit rushed with those awkward edits showing the crazies using desperate measures to find these trinkets (if they took their time with it I would have loved to have seen the consequences), and I'm not a big fan of some of the songs. Sure, "Pure Imagination", "I Want it Now" and "I've Got a Golden Ticket" are great, but while the Oompa Loompa songs are OK, they can be a tad annoying. I honestly prefer the versions Danny Elfman gave us in the remake. I also found "The Candy Man" (which would have been great if Sammy Davis played the candy store guy instead of that generic white guy) and "Cheer Up Charlie" really boring. But in spite of that, I still really love Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder's excellent in his whimsical, psychotic iconic role, the kids play their parts well, the production is good for the times in spite of its limited budget, and getting through all the crazy stuff, the message of hope and perseverance is well-worth it. It's a simple family flick that's scary as crap in many places but richly rewarding in the end! Highly recommended for all who wish to ride a crazy boat ride filled with the craziest imagery you will ever find, such as bugs, creepy old men, and a decapitated chicken! You know.... FOR KIDS!!!

"The suspense is terrible... I hope it'll last."

Direction: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Cast and characters: 10/10
Production values: 8/10
Cinematography: 8/10
Editing: 9/10
Depth: 10/10
Music: 7/10
Rewatchable: 10/10
Overall: 9/10


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