The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

The Student Voice of St. George's School

The Creed

Five Nights at Freddys: a Frightless, Fan-served Flick

The infamous video game that began in the basement of a struggling game developer has scored its long-awaited feature film adaptation, but, let’s be real, nobody expected it to be a cinematic masterpiece.
The poster of Universal Pictures’s Five Nights at Freddy’s

Rating: 1.5/5 

When my friends and I first heard that the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise was getting a feature film adaptation, a plan was set in motion to project a pirated, 720p version of the film in a groggy, garage storage with old fluorescents and dirty cobwebs for the optimal pants-wetting viewing experience. Maybe if we did that, the movie would’ve actually been scary. Take this review with a grain of salt. I don’t live on the edge with ultra-violent horror films, nor do I indulge in FNAF lore. I’m just a guy who’s seen a movie. 

Outside the pizzeria in Five Nights at Freddy’s

The FNAF video games are notorious for their tense, nerve-racking atmospheres, clad with an arsenal of horror-game ambiance, enriched with sudden sound cues and Georges Bizet. Scott Cawthon has consistently twisted something innocent— singing mascots at a children’s pizza diner— into man-made horrors beyond my comprehension. The film adaptation, however, drops the ball on building up tension, which is essential for a good scare. Starting off strong with a creepy overture, a sinister set, and, the adaptation soon takes a sharp left turn halfway through. The instant I saw the animatronics begin to build a slumber party fort with a schizophrenic child, I knew that all horror was off the table. This movie was a family comedy all along!

The infamous fort scene in Five Nights at Freddy’s

Another major flaw in the movie lies within the characters’ motivations: The plot is undermined by the storytelling riddled with holes; Vanessa warns Mike about the dangers of the pizzeria, even threatens him, but then proceeds to show Mike and Abby how fun and quirky the animatronics really are; Mike talks about becoming a better father, then proceeds to bring his daughter to a deathly pizzeria because he can’t say no— a sign of an outstanding parent. 

With that being said, most of the characters in this movie are unbelievably stupid. Every kill felt unearned because it’s always a character losing their life by placing themselves in obviously lethal situations; Max, the babysitter turned burglar, think it’s a neat idea to stick her head into an animatronic; Hank, her accomplice, thinks that the best place to hide while being chased by Bonnie is the janitor’s closet, a one-way room with no alternative exit. It’s no surprise that they all get jumpscared and mauled. The last thing any film should be is predictable, because the moment you eliminate any form of mystery from it, you de-incentivize the viewer from finishing the film. 

But even if you did finish the movie, you’d find out that the real horror of FNAF is its lackluster, if not non-existent resolution. For the first half of the viewing, I joked that the movie’s plot revolved around Mike winning the child custody case and becoming a responsible father. Would we get a happily-ever-after ending where everyone lives happily ever after? No, we couldn’t even get that. William Afton is buried under the ground, Abby is an accessory to murder, and Mike’s probably learned nothing about parenthood. Also, whatever happened to the animatronics being hell-bent on kidnapping Abby? You could add a post-credits frame of Freddy Fazbear becoming a retail worker in your local Costco and that he’s ‘reformed’, finding a new purpose in life, and I’d still like that more than the current forgettable and inconclusive ending. 

For one of the few horror films I’ve seen, I say, without an ounce of professionalism or value of word, that it ain’t great. But for one of the few films made without box office dough or stingy critics in mind, I respect it. I can safely say that for a FNAF movie, this is exactly what I expected: a mildly creepy, memeable movie riddled with cheap jumpscares and a mediocre plot. 

Photo of Scott Cawthon (middle), creator of the FNAF franchise, with youtubers (from left to right) 8 bit Ryan, Dawko, Baz, and Razzbowski from an unknown source
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About the Contributor
Richard Wang
Richard Wang, Staff Writer
Richard is a Grade 12 Student at St George’s School and an active member of the Saint’s Players theatre program. Although Richard started doing acting in Grade 8, he found more of a calling in the technical side of performance, taking a backstage seat behind the scenes for school productions. Richard is also an active short story writer and poet. Recently, he has been experimenting with other mediums like screenwriting and playwriting. Outside of the classroom, Richard likes crime films like The Godfather, King of New York, or Heat, but really, he’s also a big sucker for cartoons. This year Richard is both excited and tentative about delving into the unfamiliar world of journalism.

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