Children’s Entertainment is often required to be part of a package deal. Although parents love spending time with their children, they need time to let kids be kids on their own. Chuck E. Cheese’s is a wonderful example of this business model done right through the use of affordable fun and many outlets of entertainment. The animatronics can be scary at times to young children due to their dynamic facial expressions and robotic movements. They often come across as creepy to adults for a similar reason. It was only a matter of time before someone visualized the robots into a grotesque horror. Scott Cawthon took it upon himself to be the one who bears this torch. On Aug. 8, 2014 the first installment of the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” game franchise was released and instantly drew attention to itself. Nine years later, Blumhouse coupled with Scott to create and release the movie by Oct. 27, 2023 just in time for Halloween.
The horror movie has received mixed reviews since its release due to the lack of true horror portrayed throughout the film and predictable nature of the movie. The movie was not generally scary and leaned more into the suspenseful aspect of horror. A lot of events happened offscreen which led to characters feeling like they were never in trouble. It seemed as if most problems could have been solved or avoided if the characters were less cryptic. Nobody spoke their mind and hinted at problems. For a franchise where jumpscares are one of the centerpoints of the game, there weren’t many in the movie. Although there were a few cheap jumpscares where a loud noise was associated with an inanimate figurine, fear was often lost in translation and the movie was more like a documentary at times.
Lore is the topic of interest for most people who are diehard fans of the series. Alas, it seems to also be a sour spot in regards to the way the movie was handled and has left fans upset. Aspects of the franchise’s multiple games were used throughout the movie and the movie does not support the timeline that has been created throughout the years and has been generally agreed upon by the community to make the most logical sense. These inaccuracies primarily lie within the characters and plot lines which have been interwoven across multiple games in the film. People were looking to the movie for answers. They wanted to confirm or deny the early parts of the timeline that was patched together and rewritten multiple times, but were met with a confusing sequence of events. Combining elements from every game except “Five Nights at Freddy’s 4” and “Sister Location” from the mainstream games adds up to a lot of confusing elements. To the people who knew nothing about the franchise prior, the movie was nothing spectacular but definitely should not be tossed aside. The ending leaves the audience asking questions. The final scene leaves both sides of the audience wondering where the next movie will go. Fans began speculating immediately while casual viewers were confused with what was going on.
Playing into the hearts of the fans, many well-known figures in the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” community made an appearance throughout the movie. These names include, but are not limited to, popular YouTubers such as Lewis “Dawko” Dawkins, Cory “CoryxKenshin” DeVante Williams and Matthew “MatPat” Patrick from the channel Game Theory. Markiplier was supposed to play the role of the security guard in the opening scene of the movie but unfortunately could not attend the shoot and had to be replaced. The willingness to provide cameos in a movie for so many people who have dedicated countless hours to breaking down the lore of this franchise is truly incredible to see.
Overall, the movie seemed to be lacking in direction. Let’s hope the sequel digs the audience out of the hole of confusion they were left in as Matthew Lillard has confirmed he is on a three-movie contract.