In case you didn’t know, the movie Five Nights at Freddy’s is doing incredibly well. The film punched above its weight with the biggest opening weekend for a video game adaptation, grossing $130 million despite its $20 million budget. But like in life, movies aren’t just about money. Despite its financial success, the film tore fans in two and left critics shaking their heads.
To understand why, some background information is required. Five Nights at Freddy’s is currently a horror institution. There are several popular games under its umbrella with a huge fanbase of young horror fanatics clamoring for everything FNAF. What matters is that all of this is built on a real foundation scary games. Jump scares for sure, but really good ones.
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Here comes the first crack in the reception. The film Five Nights at Freddy’s is a PG-13, and although it was sold in trailers as being just as shocking a film as the games, it didn’t lean too heavily into horror. This is especially true of the animatronics themselves, whose characterization has fallen short for many.
“Their story in both games and books was about how they completely lost their humanity,” writes MichalTygrys on Reddit. “’The Loss of Innocence’ is a real quote from Henry about her. According to Charlie, they are like animals behaving like real children.”
It’s a combination of this lack of genuine horror and a lack of standalone value that draws the ire of critics. Kevin Mayer of The Times believes the film is “like Teletubbies with chainsaws or knife-wielding Fimbles”, it’s absurd animatronic killing, many won’t get their money’s worth.
But there are also those who love the film and are largely in the camp of long-time FNAF fans who are excited to see the IP on the big screen. Online community hubs are flooded with fans sharing their favorite scenes from the film and discussing the similarities between the film and the games. Then there’s a cameo from a certain YouTuber closely associated with the FNAF franchise, which apparently became a hit.
It’s a tricky matter. One has to wonder why they didn’t venture into horror considering the first game came out back in 2014… But then again, the IP has evolved too. Recent games have focused more on the humans than the animatronics, which is also reflected in the film. However, it opens the door for a new wave of fans curious about Freddy and the gang. You’ll have a lot of catching up to do!
Let us know what you think of the film below. Did you like it? Let us know!