Arts and Entertainment Editor
Major spoilers follow for the Five Nights At Freddy’s film.
After nine years of anticipation, Five Nights At Freddy’s fans finally got what they wanted: a movie. On October 27, 2023, Universal Pictures released the movie, Five Nights At Freddy’s. For some of us, this date has felt like an eternity away, but now, it’s here.
For some background for those not familiar with the franchise, Five Nights at Freddy’s is a popular and influential horror video game franchise created by Scott Cawthon. It first debuted in 2014 and quickly gained a massive following due to its blend of jump scares, tension, and a disturbingly creepy setting. The franchise has expanded beyond video games to include books, merchandise, and now a movie adaptation.
After mall security guard Mike Schmidt gets fired once again, Mike is sent to a career counselor to help him find a job so he can support his younger sister. The career counselor, Steve Raglan, offers Mike a job at an abandoned pizzeria, Freddy’s, as a night-shift security guard. After careful consideration and reluctance, Mike realized that without a job, he could lose the guardian rights to his sister, so he took the job and started right away.
On the first night, Mike has a vivid dream about his younger brother, who was kidnapped when he was a child, and sees five other children who had witnessed the kidnapping. On the second night, Mike attempts to approach these children in his dream and gets attacked by one of them, leaving him with a gash on his arm. Shortly after, police officer Vanessa Shelley shows up at the pizzeria and takes care of Mike’s injury, and offers him some background information? of the building.
As Mike leaves his second shift, his aunt, who is trying to take custody of Mike’s sister, Abby, hires a group led by Mike’s babysitter to break in and trash the pizzeria in an attempt to get Mike fired. As the group trashes the building, the animatronics “come alive” and begin to brutally murder each vandal one by one. Since Mike’s babysitter is one of the vandals who gets murdered, Mike is forced to bring his younger sister Abby to work the next night.
On the third night, while Mike is asleep, Abby is awoken by the animatronics and ultimately befriends them, but the animatronics are still skeptical of Mike. On the fourth night, Mike and Vanessa bond with the animatronics in a pretty cheesy but cute scene of them all building a pillow fort. Abby accidentally gets electrocuted after touching one of the animatronic’s instruments. While she recovers, Vanessa realizes Mike is trying to find his brother’s kidnapper while he’s here by talking to the five children in his dreams. After learning this, Vanessa is adamant that Mike never brings Abby back to the pizzeria.
On the fifth night, Mike calls his aunt to babysit Abby while he goes to work in an attempt to finally find out who took his brother. The five children in his dream offer him fond visions of his brother from their childhood in exchange for Abby. Mike agrees but soon realizes he made a mistake and wants Abby instead. Back at the house, one of the animatronics shows up, kills the aunt, and brings Abby back to the pizzeria to ultimately kill her and stuff her body into an animatronic suit, making her like them.
Mike is repeatedly attacked in his dream, and the animatronics attempt to kill him, but Vanessa finds him and takes him to the police station, where she patches him up. After a major plot twist, Mike rushes back to the pizzeria to save Abby. After disabling the animatronics, Mike encounters the owner of the pizzeria, following multiple major plot twists.
While most of the critic’s reviews of this movie are negative, calling it cheesy and confusing, the audience reviews are favorable for the most part. This is a movie that was made for the fans. Understandably, harsh critics won’t necessarily enjoy this movie solely because it was made for those who know the lore of the Five Nights at Freddy’s games and those who have waited over nine years for a movie adaptation.
Five Nights at Freddy’s was a rollercoaster of a movie; if you’re a long-time fan (myself included), then you’ll likely love this movie. The cast is almost perfect. Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt is an excellent casting decision. There are also countless easter eggs for the fans to look for and some surprise guests that will definitely shock the fans.
Long story short, if you aren’t a Five Nights at Freddy’s fan or someone looking to get into the story, it’s understandable if this movie isn’t for you because it can be confusing and odd at times. But for those of you who are Five Nights at Freddy’s fans, this movie will meet your expectations.