Five Nights at Freddy’s – Review


I would like to start by stating that I did have a moral quandary going to see this movie, but it was heavily requested by many individuals, and I felt that I should do this review out of respect for them. However, I will stress that I do not agree with Scott Cawthon’s politics or whom he donates money to.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is an adaptation of the game and is directed by Emma Tammi. This is the first movie I’ve seen that she has directed, but she also has a screenplay credit along with Scott Cawthon and Seth Cuddeback, who has also written a lot of films that I haven’t watched. The film boasts a very interesting cast including Josh Hutcherson, Matthew Lillard and Mary Stuart Masterson.

If you know the Five Nights at Freddy’s formula, it actually adapts it pretty faithfully. Josh Hutcherson plays the new security guard for the pizzeria, a sort of knock-off/parody of Chuck E. Cheese that got shut down in the 80s after a series of child murders. Of course, the animatronics start coming to life and killing the intruders. This movie doesn’t really do the extended cast, it’s still the core group of Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy for the most part. They did bring in Chica’s Cupcake, which wasn’t in the first game, and there are also references to Balloon Boy from the second game.

Despite what I said earlier, while I have fallen off the recent games, due in part to the aforementioned politics of the creator, I have played the first four games and I did enjoy the storyline that was hinted at throughout them, which were told in rather cryptic ways. It definitely drove the fan community wild at the time.

This film is a little less cryptic, which is probably for the best considering that audiences probably wouldn’t take too well to that style of storytelling. I did like the fact that they found a good reason for the security to stay on, despite all of the weird and scary stuff happening: Josh Hutcherson’s character is the sole guardian for his little sister after their parents died, and he is now in a custody dispute with their Aunt (Mary Stuart Masterson), and he needs the job to look good for the court.

I did find it interesting that it explicitly states what the nature of the animatronics is, which is one of many reasons why I really found this film dull. I don’t mind the film being very jump scare heavy- the film was built off of them. But it was really a by-the-numbers horror film that doesn’t entirely work. I kind of like the idea of the toys befriending the little sister so they have a new friend to join them, but I also felt that it kind of took away a lot of the fear of the animatronics.

This might sound weird, but we see them moving way too much! They didn’t move so much in the games but that was due to the low budgets, and maybe that wouldn’t work too well in the movie, but they could have tried it. There are only a few sequences where the security cameras play a role… you know, the most iconic aspect of the franchise?

It does make me wonder how much Scott had in terms of input in the screenplay, considering it seems like he missed the point of his own creation.

I will say that the animatronics look great. Many times, they are CGI, but a lot of the time they are practical effects. They have been made to look excellent, with some good work on the design front. They basically managed to recreate the video game characters verbatim.

That being said, I did have other issues with this film. It’s not too well-paced, they have to put in a lot of effort to put in a body count in this movie, but it’s also the fact that I’m really getting bored of the whole ‘let’s do 80s nostalgia’ thing that Stranger Things kicked off. FNAF really feels like it could take place in the Stranger Things universe.

They tried to add a subplot about Josh Hutcherson trying to use his dreams to find out who abducted his little brother when he was younger, which is obviously trying to tie into some of the weirder elements that happen in between nights in the games like the Monster Soap Opera in Sister Location or some of the other weird broadcasts that you could hear, but it comes off as a little convoluted.

I thought that some of the plot twists that they added to it were a bit out of nowhere. Maybe if I could stomach a rewatch of this, it might improve my understanding of the twists, but it felt so random during my watch and was just to introduce another popular character.

The film does try to connect with the fans, but I think it doesn’t quite succeed entirely. There are some interesting spots and cameos, but for the most part, it feels like it was just playing to the internet forums that got into the series. While there was a plan to get some of the YouTubers that made the game popular, it hasn’t been entirely successful. Markiplier was supposed to make it, but couldn’t due to scheduling conflicts, which I think is a shame. MattPat does get a cameo, and as much as I like the guy, his joke was groan-inducing.

The acting was a bit all over the place. They switch between over-acting and under-acting. However, none of the performances were terrible.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is a valiant attempt to recapture the spirit of the video games, but I think it falls apart on the big screen, and so I felt it was dull and convoluted. I don’t think that this is a hidden gem that the critics underrated. I think they gave it a dramatically low score, but I don’t think that audience score was made because this film was a love-letter to the fanbase, I think it was more a group of people review-bombing the score.

It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s not a very good one, either. It’s almost certainly going to get a sequel because of the strong box office numbers.
Calvin – Nerd Consultant

Share This Post:
Posted in Film Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Next Axia29th May 2024
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Calvins Tweets

    Sorry, no Tweets were found.

Choose Category

Submit Guest Content

Submit your own "Reviews" or "Guest Content" by clicking on the icon, or click here.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Round-up

Get in Touch

To find out more, ask a question or book a consultation, get started by filling out the short form below:

Follow Us

If you are experiencing difficulties with the functionality of our website, please let us know by clicking the image above.