The Five Nights at Freddy’s video game first came out in 2014. It was praised for using tension and jump scares to scare players. But the new Five Nights at Freddy’s movie does not do as good of a job scaring people.
The movie does try to stick to the original game’s story. Scott Cawthon, who created the game, worked on the movie too. Like the first game, the movie is about a new night security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria.
The guard is named Mike Schmidt. He is played by Josh Hutcherson. Mike is having a hard time in life and needs a job. That leads him to start working at the haunted pizza place.
In the original Five Nights at Freddy’s game, we don’t know much about Mike Schmidt. But in the movie, they gave him more of a backstory and personality. They wanted to make him more of a human character for the movie. So they came up with a sad backstory for Mike that is not in the game.
Five Nights at Freddy’s game trailer
In the movie, Mike gets upset and punches a man because he reminds Mike of when his younger brother was kidnapped from their campsite as kids.
Of course, Mike gets fired for punching the guy with the kid there. Now Mike is worried about finding a new job. He needs money to keep custody of his younger sister Abby.
He is fighting with his mean aunt, who only wants custody of Abby for the monthly check she would get. This side story with the aunt is not very interesting. The movie should focus more on the creepy animatronics.
The Freddy Fazbear pizza place does look cool when we finally see it. Since you mostly just hide in the office in the games, it’s neat to see the themed decor and arcade games come to life. But the movie doesn’t spend enough time there. We keep jumping to other places, which ruins the experience. This type of movie should stick to one location.
If you want scary scenes of Mike desperately hiding from the animatronics, you’ll be let down. There aren’t really jump scares with the security cameras or animatronics attacking when the power goes out, like in the games. Most of the scares are cheap and silly instead of scary.
— FNAF Movie Updates (@FNAFMovieUpdate) October 26, 2023
Even little references to the games can’t save this movie. And it misses big moments from the games like The Bite of ’87 that fans would know. The character Phone Guy is also not in it, making it feel more like a knock-off than a real Five Nights at Freddy’s adaptation.
But there are some good things. The animatronic costumes look great. Getting their look right was very important, and the Jim Henson Creature Shop nailed it. We just don’t get to see the animatronics in action enough.
Matthew Lillard is also good, like he usually is in spooky roles. He seems to carry the other actors at times.
Maybe I was too hopeful since I love the games, but the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is a letdown. It’s nothing like the trailers made it seem. There’s no tension or truly scary moments. Not much to get excited about.
Newcomers who haven’t played the games probably won’t like it either. It doesn’t explain enough of the story and features that make the games great.
If you want a good scare this Halloween, stay home and play the original Five Nights at Freddy’s game. You’ll have more fun.
Where to watch Five Nights at Freddy’s?
Five Nights at Freddy’s was released in cinemas globally on October 25, 2023, and will be streaming on Peacock from October 27, in the USA. Here is how to watch it in Canada.