“Five Nights at Freddy’s” Film Divides Viewers

Five Nights at Freddys Film Divides Viewers
FNAF: Hated It
FNAF: Hated It

The word “adaptation” reasonably strikes fear into content consumers’ hearts.

Having your favorite piece of media converted to the film format should be exciting. However, more often than not film adaptations of games or animated shows leave much to be desired. The “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie that was released in October was unfortunately not an exception.

The first red flag regarding the quality of this film was reflected in the PG-13 rating.

Although the game’s primary fanbase may be on the younger side, it is definitely not kid friendly. Its story is based around homicidal animatronics that have been possessed by the ghosts of the children that were shoved inside them. It is most known for the jump scares and extensive body horror that is depicted throughout the whole film. A piece of media such as this, which has been defined by the gore within its content cannot be properly translated into a PG-13 movie.

And…it wasn’t.

The content rating resulted in a movie that severely lacked the horrific moments that thrill-seekers were looking forward to near Halloween. In the nearly two-hour run time, there are only two kill sequences. The first doesn’t take place until after an excruciatingly long 40 minutes of exposition.

With so few moments of actual carnage, there is also no excuse for most of the action taking place off-screen. Practically every moment when a character is about to face a brutal end is cut off, leaving viewers not with feelings of terror but disappointment.

Another critical hit to the movie’s scare factor was the humanization of the animatronics. I don’t have a problem with emphasizing that there are children who possess these monsters. But, in my opinion, it was taken too far.

In the film, the animatronics are seen having dance parties, building a fort, and maintaining a friendship with the child character Abby. This montage significantly lowers the stakes of the movie by delegitimizing the supposed-to-be fear-inducing animatronics.

And this is not something that occurs in the game itself, making it a creative choice that completely rips the audience out of the immersive horror experience for which they bought tickets.

The culmination of this issue was seen in the final parts of the movie where the character William Afton comes toe-to-toe with death. This is a crucial moment in the game’s lore, where he is crushed by the mechanics of the suit he is wearing in a sickeningly mutilating event of bloodshed.

Or it was supposed to be. Because instead, to maintain that PG-13 rating, the body horror was minimal. Even seasoned actor Matthew Lillard’s delivery of Afton’s final words was lackluster, making this epic climax seem like just another part of the film.

As a horror lover first and a Five Nights at Freddy’s game fan second, I was heavily dissatisfied with the movie. It is shocking that Blumhouse somehow managed to make this terrifying game with such a rich backstory boring. With a budget of $25.1 million, this movie had every opportunity to be a modern cult classic.

But as it is, the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie will remain amongst all the other bad adaptations in the mediocre movie graveyard.

FNAF: Loved It
FNAF: Loved It

To put all nostalgic feelings aside… I loved the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie!

This was just a love letter to the fans; you can feel it in each passing second of the film. And not just with the cameos, but with the care you can see that was put into the production.

The animatronics were astonishing, and you can tell how much they wanted to get the designs right. There is also the set design and how they built an entire pizzeria even if we didn’t see a good portion of it in the film.

Scott Cawthon, the creator of the games, was a big part of creating the movie and even helped write the screenplay. And Cawthon built on things that a lot of fans wanted to see in the games in the past.

This means that they were only making the movie for existing fans, they had no intention of making new fans. The main intention was keeping the already large fanbase, which is a bold move. That decision could have easily backfired.

But, in my opinion, it didn’t. And many viewers agree since the audience scores of the film are spectacular.

But for the critics, not so much! Their reviews are valid; however, the film wasn’t made for them.

Now, I can’t talk about the film without talking about the cast. The cast was one of the biggest reasons why I loved the film.

I thought Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt was a great choice. He gave the role so much depth and really made me feel the hurt and the trauma that Mike carries with him everywhere he goes. In his performance you can just see the hurt in his eyes 24/7. A nice touch is also the fact that Mike doesn’t smile in the movie until the very end when he gets closure.

Another actor who stole the show was Piper Rubio, who portrayed Abby, Mike’s little sister. She was absolutely brilliant in this role, which surprised me a bit given her age. But the moments with her and the animatronics were absolutely breathtaking.

However, what got to me personally were the scenes with her and Mike. You can feel a real sibling bond between the two, and the love that they share for each other.

Now let’s talk about Matthew Lillard, who plays two roles, but still has limited screentime. Even so, he stole the show when he was on screen, perfectly balancing psychopath and charismatic man. And this wasn’t the first time we have seen him portray that dichotomy. The biggest example would be 1996’s “Scream,” where he played Stu.

This was the first film I have seen from director Emma Tammi and she didn’t disappoint. Her unique camera angles and transitions kept me interested in the movie all the way through. I really loved the bland colors outside of Freddy’s and then the popping colors when we were inside.

I do hope that she continues to direct the series – yes, I think it will be a series of films – because she was absolutely fabulous.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All ICE Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *