“Five Nights at Freddy’s,” a horror game, took the internet by storm in 2014, when it first debuted. The game has the player posing as a security guard checking on cameras and doors in order to keep anthropomorphic animatronic animal mascots from attacking the guard. Taking inspiration from the popular Chuck E. Cheese franchise, the game preys upon those with a fear of animatronics and liminal spaces, a blend of uneasiness yet real world semblance crafted into a perfectly creepy atmosphere. With the original announcement of a movie back in 2015, the wait for a “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie has been long and grueling, but it’s finally here.
If you look at the movie from a purely box office perspective, it was great. The PG-13 rating made it so the game’s younger audience could watch their favorite series on the big screen, yet the older fans who grew up with the game could still enjoy the film. The opening weekend for the movie surpassed its budget by four times and made a total of $80 million dollars. Revenue-wise the movie was on track to be a success. From a fan of the game’s perspective, it was amazing. The subtle easter eggs that only hardcore fans would understand, clear references to certain plot points in the games story, and iconic cameos from influencers and creators who helped cement the game into internet history, made the movie extremely nostalgic for the mid-2010’s. Watching the movie felt like the younger me who loved the games was coming out and experiencing it with me.
If you look at the movie from the perspective of someone who hasn’t ever heard of the franchise or played the games, the movie was mediocre. With more cute than threatening animatronics, limited gore, and a story that felt like an exposition dump at times, it was okay but didn’t feel like a horror movie at times. With a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 5.5/10 from IMDb, the reviewers consensus is that it was bad. Though the movie was well-received by pre-existing fans of the franchise, those new to “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and its lore may have been excluded from the full viewing experience without prior knowledge. As someone who enjoyed the games when I was younger, I’ll rate “Five Nights at Freddy’s” a 6.3/10.
Five Nights at Freddy’s Promotional Photo [Image Credit: NBCUniversal]