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The student news site of Blaine High School.

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Movie Review: Five Nights at Freddy’s, is it actually good?

Five+Nights+at+Freddys+movie+poster+from+imbd.com
“Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie poster from imbd.com
 

A story spanning over 9 years in the making, going through 9 official games, 4 challenge games, 28 different books and graphic novels, and dozens of hidden easter eggs. 5 missing children, 5 animatronics, 5 nights of survival, 1 killer. All coming together for this one monumental event in history. The “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie.

 

[Warning, this review will contain spoilers to the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie. Be warned before reading.]

 

Just a couple weeks ago on October 27th, 2023, the highly anticipated “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie officially released into theaters and streaming services alike. Directed by director Emma Tammi and produced by renowned horror studio Blumhouse Production, many people were hyped to see if a FNAF movie was even possible to make. But not just making the movie, but making the movie actually good as well. Well with a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of a whopping 29%, prospects did not look good. But when general audiences were finally able to view the film, they gave almost all positive reviews, giving the movie an audience score of 88%. So what’s the true answer then? Is the movie just soulless garbage made to appease fans with small easter eggs and fanservice? Or are the critics simply out of touch with what the general audience truly wants out of a FNAF film? The answer: a mix of both.

 

When I went out to watch the film, I had basically no expectations whatsoever on what I was going to experience. I didn’t know if it was going to lean more heavily on the horror game aspect of FNAF. Or if it was going to lean more on the actual lore of the series to make an interesting and compelling story. But to my absolute surprise, the film was in fact, neither of these things. It follows our main character Mike Schmidt, a man haunted by the kidnapping of his younger brother Garrett. Every night he relives the same dream over and over again, desperately trying to remember the face of the man that took him. In the present, mike works on-and-off jobs to stay afloat and keep custody of his little sister Abby. His aunt Jane however, wants to gain custody of Abby instead as she wants the monthly paycheck given to her because of it. Without a Job, Mike consults with career counselor Steve Raglan, where he gives him a job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzaria. As the nights progress he slowly begins to learn the dark history of Freddy’s, and how it all eventually ties right back to him.

 

The major difference between the film and the source material of FNAF, are the drastic changes done to the lore and story. The film has multiple memorable characters from the original story such as William Afton, Vanessa, the animatronics, and of course Mike Schmidt. But anyone versed with the lore would know that Mike Schmidt, our main protagonist, is actually in fact Michael Afton, son of William Afton. Vanessa instead is now the daughter of William Afton in his place. Michael’s younger sister Abby is the movies stand-in to Elizabeth Afton, the younger sister in the games. Mike also has a younger brother named Garrett who is completely original to the story and is the way Mike ties back to the story in the first place. In the movie we find out that the person that kidnapped and killed Garrett was William Afton, which is why William gave him the job at Freddy’s because he wanted to finish the job. In lore Michael is obviously connected to William Afton because he’s his son. The film makes a lot of creative decisions that differ away from the games, either because of storyboard limitations, or because of choices made by the creator themselves.

 

Another area where it deviates from the games is how it presents the horror elements of the series. FNAF is historically known for its rapid use of jumpscares to shock the player. Having the fear that if you make even one mistake, an animatronic could be right in your face at any moment. The deathly silence hearing only the sounds of your buttons as you click through every single camera, trying your best to keep track on where these horrors are. And the scream of fear when you find out you were too late. Well the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie doesn’t have any of that. There was basically no jumpscares whatsoever which really surprised me because I believed the movie would just be filled with them. And I feel like this movie was one of the rare times where cheap and quick jumpscares were actually the way to go. Now don’t get me wrong the movie still has horror elements to them, with lots of moments where I genuinely felt unnerved. But there were also a lot of times where the horror just didn’t work for me at all.

 

The “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie is an interesting film. As a standalone film I feel like it doesn’t do a lot of things great. The horror wasn’t too strong for it to be considered a true horror movie. The plot and characters didn’t feel that deep or emotional. To someone that has not already been exposed to the larger lore and community of the games themselves, the movie is very confusing and mediocre. But to the people that do understand it all, the fans that have watched the community grow and grow throughout the years. I would say to them that this movie is a very fun and enjoyable watch. It’s a film made for the fans, a thank you gift from the creator to the audience that let him grow to where he is now. It’s not supposed to be a film where you expect a grand a monumental ending, a modern masterpiece of sorts. But a movie you watch with your friends as you point out all the fun little references and cameos. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. But was it enjoyable enough to where I was almost smiling the whole time I was looking at the screen? 100%.

6/10

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