Film Critique: ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Adaptation from Video Game to Horror Genre Falls Short

In time for Halloween, a video game adaptation called “Five Nights at Freddy’s” has been released. It features creepy animatronic creatures similar to those found at Chuck E. Cheese’s. However, the true surprise lies in the game’s deceptive nature.

The film, based on Scott Cawthon’s video game featuring animatronic creatures that murder humans, does not integrate well and the issues begin with the characters.

Although their bright eyes and teeth may be unsettling, one of the creatures wears a bow tie, resembling a guest on PBS. Their appearance is more worn out than eerie. Despite their stomping resembling that of The Terminator, one of them is a chubby chicken with the slogan “Let’s Eat.” They don’t appear to be very scary, almost like oversized Care Bears with a drinking issue. And believe it or not, one of them is even a cupcake.

Caught between PG and R, as well as lost at the crossroads of inadvertent comedy and horror, the PG-13 “Five Nights at Freddy’s” has to go down as one of the poorest films in any genre this year.

Similar to the game, our protagonist is a night guard who is unexpectedly employed to oversee a deserted establishment that used to be a popular spot for kids to enjoy pizza and games. We discover that the restaurant was closed down in the 1980s after multiple children went missing.

Josh Hutcherson portrays a security officer who balances between hot-headedness and empathy. He receives advice to simply focus on his duties and everything will be alright, and not to let the environment affect him.

Why has he taken this silly job? To keep custody of his young sister, Abby (a very good Piper Rubio), proving he’s a good guy. Other actors include the great Mary Stuart Masterson, slumming it as his aunt, and Matthew Lillard chewing scenery as if it were a slice of pepperoni.

Emma Tammi, the director, puts in a lot of effort, along with Cawthon and Seth Cuddeback who are credited with the script, to provide a backstory and rationale for the presence of the violent animatronics. The film delves into themes of betrayal within a family, the enduring pain of a kidnapped sibling, a potential romantic connection, and a convoluted plot that could rival that of “Saw.”

“I have erred. I no longer desire this,” our protagonist exclaims towards the finale and the paying viewers in the cinema can surely relate.

There are so many questions that will keep you awake. Why was “Talking in Your Sleep” by the Romantics used so heavily? Why do the scriptwriters not understand human decay? Why does the dialogue often veer from flirty to angry so abruptly in the same scene? Why is it revealed only in the last 10 minutes that the maniacal Care Bears can talk?

It is interesting that many of the most exciting events occur in dreams. If this occurs, you may have to wake up your companions to continue watching the show. Perhaps this is why the song “Talking in Your Sleep” was created?

The movie makers squandered the opportunity to create a frightening children’s ball pit in a horror film, but the most disappointing moment is when the animatronics – Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy – throw a dance party for kids. It’s almost as if they cannot escape their origins from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. This entire concept would have been better suited as a video game.

The film “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” produced by Universal Pictures, will be available in theaters and on Peacock streaming service starting Friday. It has been given a PG-13 rating for its depiction of strong violence, graphic images, and use of language. The runtime is 110 minutes and it has received zero stars out of four.


According to the MPAA, PG-13 means that parents should be cautious when allowing their children to view the material as it may not be suitable for those under 13 years old.


You can access the website for Five Nights at Freddy’s movie at


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