Video game turned movie: FNAF review

“Five Nights at Freddy’s’” has been a widely loved horror game video franchise for many years since its release in 2014 . The new “Five Nights at Freddy’s’” movie that came out this past month on Oct. 27 brought a whole new community to the “FNAF” franchise, including myself.

To summarize, the movie follows the life of Mike Schmidt, played by Josh Hutcherson, as he struggles to find a job in order to raise his younger sister, Abby, played by Piper Rubio. In doing so, Mike lands a job as security guard at an abandoned kids’ restaurant with haunted animatronics, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria.

The “FNAF” movie was, to me, fantastic, although I will say that though I have been playing video games a long time, I have only dabbled once or twice in the “FNAF” series. Friends of mine who are longtime fans, however, seem to agree with me on this take.

From the animatronic designs to the character portrayals themselves, I thought that the delivery of this movie was very well done considering how difficult it is to recreate a video game. I also believe that the actors that were cast fit their roles well. According to one of my friends who knows more of the complex game history and lore, while the movie altered some aspects of the game’s backstory, it was done tastefully.

Another aspect of the film that appeals to longtime fans were the easter eggs sprinkled throughout. For example, according to a recent article by Collider, the host of the Youtube series “Game Theory,” known online as MatPat, who has made many videos on the “FNAF” series, appeared briefly as an actor in the movie. Considering one of my friends started screaming when he came on screen, the directors seemed to know their audience well.

One of the key criticisms I have heard about the film is that the animatronics were too childlike and many expected the movie to be more in the horror genre. I will admit that I too was expecting more frightening scenes, though the movie does certainly have its moments of horror.

After learning more about the game’s lore however, both through the movie and afterward through “FNAF”-expert friends, I think that the animatronics’ personalities were done justice. After all, the dark concept behind the animatronics is that the souls and bodies of murdered children are stuck in the machines, being controlled by a man, the ‘yellow bunny.’ So, it is no surprise that when they are not being controlled, the animatronics resort back to more childlike behaviors as they are, after all, still kids.

While I really enjoyed the film itself, I believe what made it even more memorable was the experience of seeing it in the theater. Particularly as I saw it with a group of friends on opening night, the crowd was engaging and cracking jokes throughout the movie. While typically I like my theater experiences to be silent, this fit my expectations considering the franchise’s target audience.

Overall I would rate this adaptation of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise into a movie as a 8.5/10. While I agree with the character adaptations, I would have liked there to be a bit more horror, as well as for the lore to have been more accurate, as per my friend’s criticisms.

The end of the film did leave open the option for a sequel, however, so these missing aspects may come with time. Considering the attention the film has gotten since its release as well and the new fans it has brought to the franchise, I sense a sequel as probable in the future.