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Five Nights at Freddy’s (A Movie Review)


Starring Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson, Matthew Lillard, Kat Conner Sterling, David Lind, Christian Stokes, Joseph Poliquin, Lucas Grant, Theodus Crane, CoryxKenshin, MatPat, Jophielle Love, Tadasay Young and the voices of Kevin Foster, Jade Kindar-Martin, Jessica Weiss and Roger Joseph Manning Jr.

Screenplay by Scott Cawthon, Seth Cuddeback and Emma Tammi.

Directed by Emma Tammi.

Distributed by Universal Pictures. 109 minutes. Rated PG-13.

As a longtime fan of this video game franchise, anyone could imagine how excited the Five Nights at Freddy’s community and I were for this upcoming movie. Now after seeing it myself, I have a deep appreciation for the heart and talent that went into this film. The movie itself is best described as a love letter to its fans, and the wonderful online creators and YouTube personalities who have promoted its development for nearly a decade.

This point is driven home by how the directors got as many of the aforementioned creators in the movie itself. From recognizable employee of the month photos on the wall, to actual cameos by Game Theory’s Matthew Patrick, (a.k.a. MatPat to his 40 million YouTube subscribers), and CoryxKenshin (Cory Williams) another popular YouTuber with nearly 18 million subscribers. There is also a very special musical appearance by The Living Tombstone whose music was loved by fans of the original FNAF games. It was very refreshing to see these individuals represented in a movie that truly valued those who had helped get it to this point.

Aside from the heartwarming inclusion of creators, the movie harbored wonderful acting talent. Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) took the lead as Mike Schmidt, the night shift security guard. Hutcherson’s performance gave the character a fitting personality that complimented the film’s busy story.

His performance was well complimented by horror movie veteran Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo, Scream), who portrayed the main antagonist of the story, William Afton. Both are accompanied by Elizabeth Lial (You, Once Upon A Time) took on the role as Officer Vennessa, and Piper Rubio as Abby, Mike’s younger sister. Overall, the cast portrayed their roles very well, and did everything in their power to reflect their videogame counterparts or add what would fit well.

Sharing the stage with their human cast, the incredible craftsmanship of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop brought to life the animatronic cast of the film. Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy captivated the screen with their incredible amounts of detail, well executed puppeteering, as well as suit acting. The personality that shone through their every moment truly gave them life.

The movie’s pace tended to be a bit slow at times, and it was a bit lacking in the gore that was referenced while the movie was in production. This decision was most likely made to allow for a larger demographic to enjoy the movie, which allows it to serve as a good horror movie for younger people. The film, from a strict horror perspective, leaves something to be desired, but this does not make it a bad scary movie. It balances some good scares, with a dash of heart, in an overarching mystery plot. The storyline from the games to the movie was rightfully adjusted a little in order to play out better in a movie.

I believe most critics will not understand Five Nights at Freddy’s, and that the fans who have long anticipated its release will walk away with the most from this film. Truly, it is a well-crafted movie from a production and acting perspective. Blumhouse, Scott Cawthon, and Emma Tammi did a wonderful job delivering a movie for the fans, with all the lore and countless references that we needed.

Would someone unfamiliar to the franchise be able to enjoy this movie? Of course, this all depends on what someone prefers in a movie. However, if a stranger to the concept gave it a shot, I believe that the story that was set up for the film is easy enough to follow. The visuals in the movie are captivating with a nostalgic feel, and overall, the humor seen in the movie is enough to make it an enjoyable experience. One just needs to be open to the experience first. I highly encourage FNAF fans to see this movie, and for strangers to the franchise to give it a chance to be a fun change of pace from regular horror movies.

Jordan Wagner

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: October 27, 2023.


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