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The Point

The Student News Site of Fitchburg State University

The Point

The Student News Site of Fitchburg State University

The Point

Five Nights at Freddy’s – A Nine Year Journey for Five Nights of Fun

Bonnie, Freddy and Chica standing on a stage, 2023, IMDb website, 10 November 2023,

Five Nights at Freddy’s is a small horror game by independent game developer Scott Cawthon that was released in 2014, and it went on to become an overnight sensation for horror game fans. Over the last nine years, the franchise has spawned almost a dozen games, over 30 books, countless pieces of merchandise and a movie that was initially announced eight years ago.

The story of the games is infamously cryptic and part of the series’ popularity is solving what is actually happening. Cawthon never could have predicted how massive Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) would become, so he would make up and alter the lore with each new installment. This revisionist form of storytelling has led to a convoluted timeline of events that only gets more complicated, but everyone loves a good puzzle to solve.
This is where the film has caused some problems among the FNAF community. Being one of the writers of the film, Cawthon was able to rework the story from square one. This allowed him to not only make a more cohesive storyline, but it was also necessary in order to adapt the games into a cinematic setting. Many fans are upset with this as a number of elements were changed from the game.

I personally have not followed the franchise for many years as I no longer found it as investing as it once was, not to mention how it was getting irksome having to constantly restructure my understanding of FNAF’s complicated lore. Knowing this, I went into the film expecting to have my knowledge get tossed to the wayside. So how did I like it? Well, it is definitely not a one to one recreation.

Despite being based on a horror game and produced by famous horror movie producer Jason Blum, the movie is not scary. There are a few jumpscares, but none of them are really that bad (and this is coming from a guy that absolutely hates horror movies). A majority of the fanbase is young children, so they probably knew not to make anything too scary. Parents don’t really look at ratings anymore, so Cawthon and company likely foresaw the wave of complaints from parents that the horror movie was too scary for their nine year old and made the necessary changes.

The main plot of the games is about an off-brand Chuck E. Cheese arcade restaurant named Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza where children were murdered and took possession of the many animatronics across the series. You play as the security guard working the night shift and you have to survive five nights of killer animatronics. This still holds true in the film, but the many intricacies of how and why were all but tossed aside. I can’t explain what the changes were without getting into spoilers, but I welcomed them.

On its own, the film is great. The entire cast is perfect, with Josh Hutcherson once again proving he is a capable leading man as security guard Mike Schmidt. I would go into more detail about the plot of the film, but I went in blind and I feel you should too. What I will tell you is that the animatronics are also phenomenal. The Jim Henson Company, most well-known for creating the Muppets, developed the animatronics for this film, and they look like they jumped straight out of the game. It’s always nice when an adaptation respects the source material.

As I said earlier, Cawthon went into the film with a better understanding of the big picture for the franchise. Many filmmakers in Hollywood nowadays tend to put the cart before the horse and pave the way for a film franchise before the first movie is even released. With this in mind, I’m happy to report that the ending of the film works as a satisfying ending while also leaving the door open for more. Five Nights At Freddy’s has already grossed over ten times its budget, so it’s safe to say that this won’t be the last time we see Freddy and the gang.

I give Five Nights At Freddy’s an 8/10. While not perfect, this had everything I wanted a FNAF movie to be. For those of you who are already fans of the franchise, be sure to keep an eye out for any cameos from the FNAF community (Markiplier is not one of them, sorry). Five Nights At Freddy’s is currently in theaters and streaming on Peacock.

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