Five Nights at Freddy’s review: a middling video game adaptation

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Bonnie, Freddy, and Chica guidelines connected a shape together successful Five Nights astatine Freddy's.

“Blumhouse's live-action Five Nights astatine Freddy's is simply a mildly entertaining, if lackluster, video crippled adaptation.”


  • The method artistry of nan film's applicable animatronics
  • A fewer exhilarating, laugh-out-loud moments of scary comedy
  • A amazingly accessible story


  • Too fewer genuine scares throughout
  • Several superfluous characters and subplots
  • An overlong runtime

In nan 9 years since it began, nan Five Nights astatine Freddy’s franchise has grown to go 1 of nan biggest properties successful video crippled history. As nan series’ fame has grown, so, too, has nan complexity of its in-world lore and nan backstories of its central, uncannily scary animatronic killers. Nowadays, each it takes is simply a speedy Google hunt for personification to find retired everything they’d ever perchance request to cognize astir Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, Freddy Fazbear, and nan family pizza edifice they haunt. It’s easy to hide now that nan bid itself started retired arsenic thing much than a elemental point-and-click scary crippled astir checking video monitors, locking doors, and assets management.

The astir disappointing point astir Five Nights astatine Freddy’s, Universal and Blumhouse’s caller live-action adjustment of nan celebrated video crippled franchise, is really divided it feels from its origins. The blockbuster movie is thing but simple, and it’s not peculiarly scary. Instead, nan movie is simply a lore-heavy heavy dive into nan world and history of its root worldly — 1 that delivers much family-friendly moments of animatronic drama than it does bloodcurdling terror. It isn’t unbearably bad, but it isn’t thing each that memorable, either.

Elizabeth Lail and Josh Hutcherson look each different successful Five Nights astatine Freddy's.Universal Pictures

At nan halfway of Five Nights astatine Freddy’s is Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson), a down-on-his-luck promenade bull who loses his occupation aft mistaking a infinitesimal of hostility betwixt a begetter and boy for an existent kidnapping. Forced to find a caller gig successful bid to support custody of his kid sister, Abby (Piper Rubio), Mike accepts an connection from his profession counselor, Steve Raglan (Matthew Lillard), to go nan caller nighttime information defender astatine Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a decrepit, long-closed family edifice from nan 1980s. During his first fewer shifts, Mike not only originates experiencing strangely vivid dreams, but besides attracts nan attraction of Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail), a section bull who informs him that Freddy Fazbear’s was closed down aft respective children went missing there.

What Mike yet realizes, overmuch to his horror, is that nan children who went missing astatine Freddy Fazbear’s haven’t near nan building. As a matter of fact, they person possessed its erstwhile state-of-the-art animatronic animals and gotten into nan wont of sidesplitting anyone they don’t for illustration who steps ft successful nan abandoned restaurant. When he past brings Abby to activity pinch him 1 night, Mike unknowingly puts her connected nan radar of nan establishment’s ghostly killers.

Unfortunately, arsenic often arsenic its communicative opens nan doorway for Five Nights astatine Freddy’s to deed immoderate genuinely terrifying beats, it ne'er afloat delivers connected that front. Instead, each clip it seems for illustration nan movie is going to transverse complete into immoderate genuinely scary territory, it cuts disconnected its ain momentum successful bid to make measurement for caller exposition dumps and moments of unnecessary relief. Most of these travel courtesy of Lail’s Vanessa, whose beingness successful nan movie is initially welcome, but feels progressively superfluous nan much times she appears. Contrary to what galore whitethorn person expected, Five Nights astatine Freddy’s isn’t concerned pinch scaring viewers truthful overmuch arsenic it is pinch turning its franchise’s established lore into an engaging mystery.

Foxy, Chica, Freddy, and Bonnie guidelines together successful Five Nights astatine Freddy's.Patti Perret / Universal Pictures

On nan 1 hand, Five Nights astatine Freddy’s attempts to do truthful activity amazingly well. While those acquainted pinch its video crippled root worldly will apt spot nan afloat arc of its communicative coming from a mile away, nan movie manages to weave nan individual travel of Hutcherson’s Mike, thing much than a faceless playable characteristic successful nan original Five Nights astatine Freddy’s video game, into nan backstory of its haunted edifice successful ways that are often seamless and ingenious. When it leans further into nan campiness of its mounting and premise, nan movie is moreover capable to occasionally execute a darkly comedic reside that is some endearing and impressive.

As admirable and outside-of-the-box arsenic its intentions are, though, it’s difficult not to shingle nan consciousness passim Five Nights astatine Freddy’s, which clocks successful astatine 109 minutes long, that it has gotten a spot excessively mislaid successful nan weeds of its ain story. Several of nan later scenes betwixt Lail’s Vanessa and Hutcherson’s Mike strive for a profundity that nan movie ne'er rather achieves. By choosing to attraction truthful overmuch connected nan parallels betwixt Mike’s past and nan tragic backstories of its possessed animatronic killers, nan movie besides often veers excessively acold into a Wikipedia page style of storytelling that prioritizes Easter eggs and exposition complete immoderate present-tense play aliases horror.

Josh Hutcherson hugs Piper Rubio successful Five Nights astatine Freddy's.Patti Perret / Universal Pictures

The mostly toned-down quality of nan movie mightiness not look truthful disappointing were it not for nan truth that its uncommon moments of bloodshed are among its astir striking. One second-act sequence, which follows a group of teenagers arsenic they break into Freddy Fazbear’s, is truthful sadistic and funny that it’ll apt time off many  viewerswishing location were much scenes for illustration it passim nan film. Emma Tammi’s directorial skills are astir evident during sequences for illustration nan 1 described above, arsenic is nan awe-inspiring artistry of nan movie’s cardinal animatronics, which were created practically by nan craftsmen astatine Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

In nan end, Five Nights astatine Freddy’s conscionable doesn’t fto its biggest stars shine. To its credit, nan movie succeeds astatine making what is, connected paper, an overly analyzable communicative astir a haunted pizza edifice consciousness shockingly and refreshingly accessible, but it does truthful astatine nan costs of some its head and its scene-stealing monsters. Whether aliases not nan movie would person been much successful had it stuck person to nan straightforward, point-and-click look of nan original Five Nights astatine Freddy’s video crippled is difficult to say, but if there’s 1 point nan caller movie proves, it’s that sometimes simpler really is better.

Five Nights astatine Freddy’s is now playing successful theaters and streaming connected Peacock.

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