Lauren Sellman, Arts & Entertainment Editor
“Five Nights at Freddy’s” Movie Promotional Poster. Photo// FNAF.watch
For horror video game enthusiasts, the highly-anticipated “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie has been a long time coming. Released on Oct. 27, 2023, this movie has had the highest opening weekend sales for horror films this year, estimated to reach $78 million.
The original “Five Nights at Freddy’s” game, developed by Scott Cawthon, made its debut in 2014. What began as a simple, yet terrifying, point-and-click horror game about surviving a night shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria evolved into an iconic phenomenon.
The game’s devoted fanbase and the expansion of its lore resulted in the release of nine main games within the franchise, along with four additional spinoff games. With each new installment, the franchise dives deeper into the dark and mysterious universe, captivating players with its intricate storyline.
The game franchise gained notoriety, particularly through popular “Let’s Play” videos on YouTube in 2015, which sparked fans’ desire to see the nightmarish animatronic world of Freddy Fazbear on the big screen.
The inspiration for the game came from family pizza chains like Chuck E. Cheese. In the world of FNAF, players take on the role of a security guard, trying to survive the night shift at Freddy’s pizzeria. The first night on the job slowly spirals into a realization that something is going on – the hostile animatronics become active at night and seem to have minds of their own.
The FNAF movie brings this beloved gaming franchise to life in a way that honors its origins. Directed by Emma Tammi, the film stars Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt, a young man financially struggling to support his sister and maintain their home. Desperate for a job, Mike takes a security position at Freddy’s. However, his employment quickly takes a dark turn as he grapples with the terrifying homicidal animatronics and the threat of his little sister being taken from his care.
One of the key challenges of adapting the game to theater screens was transitioning from the game’s distinctive, creepy and cartoonish style to a live-action format. But the film succeeded in maintaining the eerie atmosphere and classic jump scares without venturing into cheesy horror territory.
What sets FNAF apart from many other horror films is its ability to maintain a balance between its horror genre while also keeping its young audience in mind. The movie’s PG-13 rating is a well-considered choice. While it delivers enough scares and suspense to keep adults entertained, it remains accessible to a younger audience, avoiding diving into excessive gore or overly dark explanations. This balance broadens the movie’s appeal, making it suitable for a wider range of viewers.
The film leaves several questions unanswered and mysteries unresolved, hinting at the potential for future films based on deeper aspects of the franchise’s storyline, setting the stage for what could become a thrilling cinematic series in the future. With a commendable rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Google, the movie successfully transports its audience back to the eerie and nostalgic world of Freddy and his frightening friends.
With its meticulous attention to detail and seamless adaptation of the original beloved video game, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is definitely worth the watch, regardless of prior video game knowledge.