The Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise has been a hit since its inception in 2014. The suspenseful horror game has been a favorite among many gamers. With its creepy animatronics and jump scares, it was no wonder that a film adaptation was in the works.
The film follows a security guard as he starts his new job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The night shift proves to be more challenging than he ever anticipated, with the animatronics coming to life throughout the night. The premise sounds promising, but unfortunately, the execution falls short.
Five Nights at Freddy’s stars Josh Hutcherson with Elizabeth Lail, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Matthew Lillard appearing in supporting roles. The film was directed by Emma Tammi, who co-wrote the screenplay with the game’s creator Scott Cawthon and Seth Cuddeback, from a story by Cawthon, Chris Lee Hill, and Tyler MacIntyre.
One of the biggest issues with the movie is how convoluted the story is. The original game’s simplicity is lost in the film adaptation, with unnecessary subplots and characters that detract from the overall experience. It feels as though the writers reverse-engineered the story from the game, leading to a disjointed and confusing narrative.
Despite being marketed as a horror film, the scares fail to make a significant impact. While there are jump scares, they’re not particularly inventive or well-executed. The animatronics lack the same creepiness they had in the game, making them more cartoonish than frightening. Additionally, the film’s rating is PG-13, making it decidedly less scary than its source material.
One redeeming quality of the movie is how it captures the nostalgic innocence of childhood and sets it ablaze. The animatronics were designed to be entertaining and friendly, but when they come to life, they become menacing. It’s a terrifying concept that works well in the film. However, this aspect alone isn’t enough to save the overall experience.
The movie tries to incorporate humor, but it falls flat. The jokes aren’t clever or genuinely funny, making them feel forced. As a result, the film lacks any real tension or excitement, leaving the audience feeling underwhelmed.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is a missed opportunity. It fails to capture the same suspense, scares, and fun that the game provides. While not the worst horror film to be released, it certainly won’t be remembered as one of the best.
Five Nights at Freddy’s hit theaters and Peacock streaming on October 27, 2023.
This review is a Feature Review during the Capes and Tights Horror Week 2023.