Most of Gen Z remembers the thrill of watching their favorite gamers attempting to make it through the night at Freddy’s Pizzeria, or even playing the iconic horror game themselves — and delighting in its extensive lore and terrifying jump scares. The Oct. 27 film adaption of the game remixed series lore, giving the movie a fresh but still interesting plot, while its massive, murderous animatronics perfectly evoked the original’s fear.
The classic video game “Five Nights at Freddy’s” garnered a massive fanbase after its release in 2014, and fans dressed in casual cosplay flocked to theatres to watch the live action adaptation directed by Emma Tammi. “Five Nights at Freddy’s” the movie follows security guard Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson) who accepts a job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, a restaurant that has been abandoned since the ’80s. On his first day on the job, Mike quickly realizes that this security gig will not be as easy as he thought. Following the premise of the game, Mike discovers that the pizzeria’s animatronics come to life at night with a thirst for blood.
The FNaF movie made changes to the canon storyline which left hardcore fans of the video game disappointed. One thing the film did right by the lore was to make William Afton the antagonist and maintain the core of what makes FNaF terrifying — seemingly innocent animatronics hungry for children’s lives. Fans of the franchise know how complicated the timeline of the lore is, so director Tammi’s efforts to stay true to the original storyline is appreciated.
The changes in the original plot add a new level of emotion with the viewer’s connection to Mike Schmidt. As he tries to discover the fate of his younger brother, their relationship pulls at the audience’s heartstrings, knowing that no matter the outcome, his brother is never coming back from the dead. It is this injustice that brings the film’s story to life.
Animatronics Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy were the highlights of the movie due to their threatening, visceral realism. The movie uses actors in practical suits and some CGI to portray the characters, making them more menacing and lifelike, immersing viewers in the dark, claustrophobic environment of the pizzeria.
In the video game, the security guard must carefully watch security cameras and selectively shut doors to survive until 6 a.m. If the movie directly copied this setup, you might as well just watch a streamer play the game. Luckily, the film avoids a boring repeat by seamlessly blending new characters and plotlines with beloved lore to create a thrilling film that is intriguing to not only longtime fans but casual viewers as well. Some fans were saddened by the film’s PG-13 rating, despite the franchise primarily appealing to youths, but the rating was on par with the games, which rarely showed violence outright.
Despite the movie being rated PG-13, it included images of blood and a decapitated body, which was far gorier than what is expected of a movie with that rating. Although the movie had minor jump scares, the unnerving size of the animatronics and their ability to come to life is what made it truly terrifying. “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a wildly fun adventure that allows fans of the franchise to bask in the nostalgia of seeing their favorite horror characters in a new light. For devoted fans who want a film that captures the spirit of the lore with an original twist, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is now showing in theaters.