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Five Nights at Freddy’s

Five Nights at Freddy's October HorrorFest
Quite successful at recreating the atmosphere of the video games, including the series trademark of in-your-face jump scares, though the added plot filler is give or take.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Release Date: October 27, 2023
Runtime: 01:50
Synopsis:
A troubled security guard begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. During his first night on the job, he realizes that the night shift won’t be so easy to get through. Pretty soon he will unveil what actually happened at Freddy’s.

The popular series of survival horror video games hit the big screen with Five Nights at Freddy's. Mike () is a troubled man who desperately needs a job, or else he will lose the guardianship of his ten-year-old sister Abby () to his cruel aunt Jane (). Career counsellor Steve Raglan () offers Mike a night gig as a security guard at the dilapidated theme restaurant Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria, known for its animatronic mascots Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy. Throughout the next five nights, Mike learns the tragic history of Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria from local police officer Vanessa Shelly (), including the fact that the animatronics are possessed by the ghosts of children who went missing in the 1980s.

Five Nights at Freddy's Synopsis

Five Nights at Freddy's is an adaptation of the popular series of point-and-click survival horror video games co-written and directed by Emma Tammi (The Wind). The film stars Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) as Mike, the new nighttime security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria. The first few days are relatively uneventful, though Mike has realistic dreams about when his younger brother Garrett was kidnapped. Midway through the week, Mike's sister Abby's babysitter, Max (), goes MIA, forcing Mike to take Abby along. Mike soon finds that his sister has a connection with the possessed animatronics of the pizzeria, though they might have sinister intentions.

My Thoughts on Five Nights at Freddy's

The original Five Nights at Freddy's video game was released in 2014 and the game and its multiple sequels gained an immense cult following. While plans for a film adaptation were still in development, several films that seemed to borrow from the premise were released. This includes 2019's The Banana Splits Movie and 2021's , starring Willy's Wonderland.

Now, nearly a decade after the release of the original video game, Five Nights at Freddy's has officially hit the big screen. The animatronic characters from the games are brought to life through life-sized puppets created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, with the video game series creator Scott Cawthon acting as an on-set consultant. Indeed, Five Nights at Freddy's is quite successful at recreating the atmosphere of the video games, which includes the series trademark of in-your-face jump scares.

However, those who have never played the games might not fully understand the concept of the film or the Easter Eggs left for the audience. Also, Mike's backstory about his kidnapped brother and his seeing ghost children in dreams comes across as an unnecessary plot filler. Also coming across as filler is Mike's with his cartoonishly evil Aunt Jane, which includes her hiring thugs to break into Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria, a scene that's only present in the film to up the, surprisingly gory at times, body count.

In some ways, the very concept of the Five Nights at Freddy's games is difficult to bring to the big screen, as evidenced by how most of the five nights of the film go by relatively uneventfully. In fact, the aforementioned break-in scene happens during the DAY. However, things do ramp up greatly on the fifth night, including a big reveal that will make the most hardcore Five Nights at Freddy's fans extremely happy.

Another positive note about Five Nights at Freddy's is the scene-stealing performance by Matthew Lillard (Scream) as Steve Raglan. As the exposition provider, Raglan is the anonymous phone caller who gives you instructions during the game. While Matthew Lillard's role in Five Nights at Freddy's is relatively brief compared with the rest of the leads, he leaves a lasting impression.

Ultimately, despite its flaws, Fight Nights at Freddy's is a film that should satisfy the hardcore fans of the video game series. Everyone else can probably give or take what is happening here.

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Trailer for Five Nights at Freddy's

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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