Five Nights at Freddy’s, the popular horror video game series, has finally made its way to the big screen. The movie, directed by Emma Tammi and co-written by Scott Cawthon, the creator of the games, was released in UK cinemas on October 25 and in US cinemas on October 27. The movie follows Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson), a security guard who works at a shut-down pizza place haunted by animatronic monsters. The movie is based on the first three games in the series, as well as other established FNAF lore. But how does the movie compare to the games? And is it worth watching for fans and newcomers alike? Here is a summary of what the critics have to say.
The Good: The Animatronics and the Nods to the Games
One of the aspects that most critics have praised is the movie’s use of animatronics, which are practical effects that mimic the movements and appearance of the robotic creatures from the games. Critics have noted that the animatronics are impressive and realistic, and that they add to the movie’s atmosphere and tension. For example, Ian Sandwell from Digital Spy1 wrote: “The animatronics are suitably creepy and effective, especially when they’re lurking in the shadows or moving in jerky motions.”
Another aspect that critics have appreciated is the movie’s attention to detail and its nods to the games. Critics have pointed out that the movie is faithful to the games’ story, characters, and settings, and that it includes many references and Easter eggs for fans to spot. For example, Neil Smith from GamesRadar+2 wrote: “There are early nods to the games and some pleasingly retro touches, like a weird VHS security training tape.” He also mentioned that “the cast has been expanded beyond just Mike from the first game, although they are mainly just cannon fodder.”
The Bad: The Story and the Horror
One of the aspects that most critics have criticized is the movie’s story, which they have found to be generic and predictable. Critics have argued that the movie does not offer anything new or original to the genre, and that it relies on clichés and tropes. For example, Ian Sandwell from Digital Spy1 wrote: “What’s ended up as the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is something packed with video game nods but lumbered by a generic plot that could disappoint fans and leave newcomers wondering what the fuss is about.”
Another aspect that critics have disliked is the movie’s horror, which they have found to be lacking and ineffective. Critics have complained that the movie is not scary enough, and that it fails to capture the terror and suspense of the games. For example, Neil Smith from GamesRadar+2 wrote: “Sadly, though, they [the animatronics] are about as scary as Barney the purple dinosaur in what is ultimately a ploddingly predictable, gore-lite yawner.” He also mentioned that “an episode of Scooby-Doo would make a more suitable comparison”.
The Verdict: A Mixed Bag for Fans and Newcomers
The overall verdict from critics is that Five Nights at Freddy’s is a mixed bag for fans and newcomers. The movie has some positive elements, such as its animatronics and its nods to the games, but it also has some negative elements, such as its story and its horror. The movie may appeal to die-hard fans of the games who want to see their favorite characters on screen, but it may not satisfy those who are looking for a fresh and frightening experience.
The movie currently has a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes3, based on 21 reviews from critics. The average rating is 5.1 out of 10. The audience score is not yet available.