One of the biggest horror titles of the year is the director Emma Tammi’s (The Wind, Blood Moon) adaptation of the iconic genre game Five Nights at Freddy’s. Like everyone else and their brother, when I saw the trailer, I knew I had to watch it. And now I have.
The movie centers on Mike, a troubled security guard who begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. A place long shut down due to rumors and missing children. Mike’s new job goes from bad to worse when he realizes that the animatronics come to life at night.
Josh Hutcherson stars as the security guard who is raising his little sister as he struggles with his role in his little brother’s disappearance. Determined to find answers, Mike may finally get answers from a surprising place. Huterson does a fine job with his role; his suffering and frustration come across as believable, making you really want to cheer for him.
The villain, Steve, played by Scream’s Matthew Lillard, is only in the movie briefly, and we don’t really get to know him besides the fact that he is an evil man. Rumor has it we’ll see him again soon in the sequel. But that hasn’t officially been announced yet.
The two secondary characters are Mike’s little sister (Piper Rubio), who is freaking adorable. And Vanessa, who befriends Mike and his sister. She is hiding a deep, dark secret throughout the movie that is heartbreaking all on its own.
The animatronics in the movie are killer in more than one way. They look creepy as shit and may induce nightmares for some viewers. They look fantastic. The SFX team did an absolutely amazing job. The brutal deaths in the movie also look great.
As for the movie vs. the game, I have to confess I have never played it. Games give me seizures, so that’s out. What I can judge is the movie itself. It’s entertaining and twisted, and there are several surprises. The story gets dark, I mean really dark. That’s to be expected when it comes to horror movies about kids. The story is interesting and will keep you on your toes, and we are given multiple characters that can be empathized with. Of course, there are a few scares. And I did feel my stomach drop a couple of times, which is a plus.
In summary, Five Nights at Freddy’s balances horror, both psychological and sacres, in a great way. I would totally recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. Luckily, you don’t have to wait. It’s streaming now on Peacock and will come to digital and Blu-ray on December 12, 2023.