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Home of the Delta Kings

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REVIEW – From Game to Screen: Does Five Nights at Freddy’s Deliver?

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is officially out, and it exceeds expectations.

Based on the 2014 video game of the same name, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a horror film released in theaters and on Peacock today. I had the chance to watch it early, and let me just say, the movie is more than I anticipated. It did start off a little slow, explaining who the main characters were. However, as you progress through the film, the horror aspects really begin to intensify.

The movie follows Mike Schmidt, played by Josh Hutcherson, a night shift security guard trying to use his dreams to locate the guy who kidnapped his little brother when he was young. It makes it feel as if it’s not really a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie and more of a “missing person” movie. The rest of the plot itself is bearable.

In the original game series, Mike Schmidt is actually Michael Afton, the son of William Afton (Purple Guy). William, being the main antagonist of every “Five Nights at Freddy’s” game, does make a return in this movie. Just not in the way that you’d expect. There is an amazing recreation of the infamous spring lock scene and it had me ecstatic. Watching the scene that you’ve only seen as pixels actually happen in live action is something that longtime fans can appreciate.

In this film, however, Mike isn’t related to William. He has his own family which consists of his late brother, Garrett, and his little sister, Abby. Watching Abby be so friendly with the animatronics is a wholesome sight to see after being jumpscared by these characters for so many years. The reaction that Mike has watching these characters move is the same reaction I’m sure most people would have. While sweet, the introduction of these two new children feels a little out of place, but it still works. It might be a little annoying if you’re an original fan, but they’re so lovable that anyone can warm up to them.

They did bring back many essential characters from the games, such as Mike, Vanessa, and William. They even included some special guests as cameos. For the characters they brought back, they tweaked their backgrounds just a little bit. It doesn’t diminish the value of the movie, but original FNaF fans might not appreciate it.

My expectations for the film were somewhat tempered due to the PG-13 rating. Originally, I thought the rating would make the experience a bit less entertaining than what I could hope for due to a lack of blood, monster violence, and added horror scenes. However, the rating did not hinder my enjoyment while watching this movie. Most parts of the movie bring your mind back to the original video games, reminding you why you got into the series in the first place. The dark tones of the movie maintain a serious atmosphere, steering clear of a children’s movie vibe. Without the constant reminder of children’s souls in the suits, for most of the movie, you’d feel as if it’s a friendship-based movie, and it’s anything but that.

The costumes for the animatronics themselves looked… okay. I can’t really complain about a design issue since I’m sure the costume designer was purely using the original game as the reference. Do I think they could’ve explained a little bit more about the animatronics and the children inside them? Yes, and while they didn’t it doesn’t detract from the story of the movie whatsoever.

Speaking of which, during the promotional phase of this movie, fans got so upset about the color of the animatronics’ eyes. So much so, to the point where the movie creators decided to change it from all yellow to being yellow when controlled by William Afton and red when being controlled by the ghosts. For most, the eye color might not seem like such an important part of the movie. However, for fans, we know that even the eye color holds significant meaning behind it.

The movie hit every single mark for me as a fan of the original game series. It did not disappoint in any way, shape, or form. For me, it’s about 9.6 out of 10 purely for the fact that for its rating, it’s still a highly enjoyable watch. The only thing keeping it from being a perfect 10 is the peculiar plotline behind Mike’s character.

Overall, the movie is an incredible film in almost every single way. From costume design to acting, to cinematography, the movie just looked beautiful. The animatronics moved like animatronics, the sound design of every action is lifelike, and even the music at the end of the movie will have the original fans jumping out of their seats like I was. If you’re planning on watching this movie, the only thing I can say is to make sure to get a large popcorn and take a bathroom break before the movie.

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