Five Nights at Freddy’s: A Return to Our Childhood

Nostalgia plagues the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” film trying to appease fans and the audience; but is it enough?
Bonnie, Freddy, and Chica; all made by Jim Hensons Creature Shop, line the center stage for their debut film
Bonnie, Freddy, and Chica; all made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, line the center stage for their debut film
Universal/Blumhouse studios

Since the franchise’s debut in 2014, the famous video game; “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” has circulated Hollywood with hopes of being a movie– until now. 

Though many of the featured characters and big reveals are familiar to the audience, the movie is almost impressively confusing; unless you have previous knowledge. 

For those unaware, the very first game was released on August 8, 2014, by Scott Cawthon, who oversaw the franchise going forward. 

The concept behind the first game; which became a mainstay going forward, was that you were a security guard in a rundown restaurant trying to survive until 6 A.M with murderous animatronics on the loose.

The animatronics consist of Freddy, Chica, Bonnie, and Foxy; they all seem like adorable animals when in actuality, they are quite the opposite towards the protagonist(s). 

At the time, it was very much a first-person indie game. Then, popular YouTuber Mark Fishbach, also known as Markiplier, published a “Let’s Play” video and popularized the game.

Beacon reporter Bryce Keller stands in front of the official promotional poster for “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” (Matt Henze)

From there, the franchise sprawled into 13 games, only 8 of them being officially canon to the timeline. In addition, 28 books and novels were made to expand the ever-growing lore. 

When it comes to the movie, film production was greenlit on February 1, 2023. 

Once it was shot, Blumhouse announced that it would be released on October 27, 2023; which purposely made it concurrent with Halloween.

The premise of the film largely followed the same idea of the first game but with a twist of inclusion of guilt and family drama as themes.

Mike (Josh Hutcherson) is hired as a security guard for the abandoned restaurant known as “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Place.” He has to face his trauma while protecting those that he loves and uncovering the haunting mystery of the pizzeria’s past.

It was widely anticipated that this movie would be playing out the “lore” of the first FNAF game in a more comprehensible way. Involving blood, guts, gore, and more.

When the movie was released, the FNAF fanbase rallied to theaters to watch it all unfold. Many fans walked out disappointed with the portrayal of the franchise. 

As people familiar with the multitudes of games and books made that led to this moment, we were somewhat disappointed too.

However, the unfamiliarity of some aspects; such as how the animatronics acted and parts of the familial storyline gave the movie originality, made it refreshing to witness. 

The animatronics were portrayed as mysterious and violent at first. Later on, they were friendly and naive when interacting with the main characters.

It was an amazing movie, but not an amazing FNAF movie.

— JD Prelich, 10th Grade

This is used as a reminder that the children’s spirits possessing the animatronics are likely to still enjoy childish things; which made it feel like there was a more sentimental side of FNAF being acknowledged. 

Unfortunately, the new perspective didn’t help shadow that people were upset with the lack of fear induced by the film.

With Blumhouse being known for releasing horror movies that captivate their audience with plot, characters, and overall eeriness, people generally had higher hopes for scarier elements.

Despite mature themes being difficult to create with the PG-13 rating, the cast and crew made great strives to enhance the movie’s atmosphere with effective sound design, silhouettes, and shadows.

Overall, we didn’t think the worst of the movie, but due to our high hopes being let down drastically, we give the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie a 6/10.

The general audience’s reaction, including ours, did not stop the success of the film as it made 78 million dollars in its opening weekend; even with Universal’s streaming service “Peacock” releasing it the same day as theaters.

Studio partners Blumhouse and Universal have plans to make FNAF into a trilogy of films, meaning that this certainly won’t be the last time we will see this franchise. 

Which Original Five Nights At Freddy's Character Are You?


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