Five Nights at Freddy's

Five Nights at Freddy’s Movie Review

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” takes a very popular video game and gives it the movie adaptation treatment. The frightening Freddy’s work week is boiled down to a visual display of the shuttered pizza joint, with all of its animatronic characters going wild. When Freddy and his friends meet the new security guard, will he still be around for a sixth night?


Mike Schmidt (played by Josh Hutcherson) has been fired, again. His last job was at the mall – but he chased down and beat up a guy who grabbed a young boy and ran. But the boy was his son and he was late for a meeting. Mike really hates kidnappers, so he thought he was helping out — beating up some dad.


Mike goes to see a career counselor named Steve Raglan (played by Matthew Lillard). Raglan tells him that his options are very limited, especially after that last stunt. Mike turns to walk out, but Raglan does know of one opening. It is night security at an old closed-down 80’s era pizza parlor. It is called Freddy’s, and it is nearly falling down from age.


Mike does not want to take a night job, because he needs to care for his younger sister. Her name is Abby (played by Piper Rubio), and Mike does not want to pay anyone to stay with her overnight to babysit. Mike’s parents are gone, and he takes of Abby. He has an old beat-up car and a worst old beat-up house.


His mean Aunt Jane (played by Mary Stuart Masterson) threatens to sue Mike for custody of Abby. She might have a decent case, since he was fired from his last job and the bank might take away the house. It that case, he finds a neighborhood teenager named Max (played by Kat Conner Sterling) to stay with Abby while he works.


Mike has no idea that “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza” was once a very popular family stop. There used to be games and entertainment. The animatronic large moving characters like Freddy Fazbear and his friends would thrill the young kids. But now, this place is just an empty shell. The tables and chairs and games are still there. There are still unused pizza boxes in the kitchen.


But the saddest thing is the now lifeless animatronic characters of Freddy, and his friends; Foxy, Bonnie and Chica. They stand motionless as Mike looks around. Then in the security office, Mike starts to doze. His dreams take him to a very sad and troubled past. He used to have a much younger brother. But his kid brother was kidnapped years ago. Then weird things happen in his dreams…


The next night, there is a friendly police officer named Vanessa (played by Elizabeth Lail) who stops by while on patrol. She gives Mike a full run-down on the past success, and the downfall, of the place. There were children that had gone missing in the area. Suspicion was aimed at Freddy’s, because each of the missing kids was last seen there. The place was searched – but no missing children had ever been found.


Vanessa tells Mike that by that point, it was beyond hope to reopen the place. The reclusive owner still pays the bills to keep the lights on, but just barely. Mike is not earning very much as a security guard, either. But she tells Mike that this the not the type of place were you want to drift off to sleep. You might not wake up again.


All of a sudden, babysitter Max is ‘unavailable’ and Mike is forced to take Abby with him to Freddy’s overnight. Mike catches some Z’s in the security office. But Abby wanders around the remaining shell of “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza” and make a huge discovery. Freddy Fazbear and his friends are no longer powered up. But that does not mean they are not active.


This all takes Mike by surprise, seeing that there are large animatronic creature getting around the place. But Abby is fine with, because she knows she has made some new friends. Vanessa stops by again, and she seems to have known about this all along. She has many other secrets that she will not tell Mike. But she knows that if he stays there, his life will be in danger. Abby’s live will also be danger, because Mike made a deal with some ghosts in his dream to trade Abby for his missing younger brother.


So now that Mike starts to see the evil guiding hand behind “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza”, will he be able to get out alive? Can he save his sister, and also Vanessa at the same time? Can he get a good discount on a take-out pizza before he leaves?


“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a movie that wants to be too many things at once. It cannot decide if it wants to embrace Horror full on– and with the PG-13 rating, that part is not likely. Should it decide to be a throwback to Nostalgia, with the cheesy recreation of an 80’s style of a “Chuck E. Cheese” restaurant? Should it be a straight Drama, with struggling guy taking care of a younger sister – while being oppressed by the system?


As it turns out, the results could have been reformatted into an existing formula – something like “Goosebumps”.  This could have been recreated in a limited series format, something that would allow more time to creepy interior of Freddy’s stand out more. The use of ‘Jim Henson’ brand puppets gives it a more life-like look. That is a much better choice than using garbage CGI.


The acting is done pretty well, for so many paper-thin parts. So many lines from ‘Vanessa’ are nothing but exposition from the cop. Coposition?  Josh Hutcherson looks like he has been up for 48-hours straight. Mary Stuart Masterson is played so mean, the only thing missing is a mustache twirl.


“Five Nights at Freddy’s” takes another shot at a very popular and well-received video game getting refashioned as a movie. Well, at least you still have the video game.


Five Nights at Freddy’s

Directed by: Emma Tammi
Screenplay by: Scott Cawthon, Seth Cuddeback, Emma Tammi
Story by: Scott Cawthon, Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre
Based on: “Five Nights at Freddy’s” by Scott Cawthon
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson, Matthew Lillard
Cinematography: Lyn Moncrief
Edited by: Andrew Wesman, William Paley
Music by: The Newton Brothers
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release date: October 27, 2023
Length: 109 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 for strong violent content, bloody images and language
Genre: Horror


Rating contributor: JMcNaughton tmc

I think movies need to be shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible! Going to a movie theater is a group experience, even if you go in there alone. When the lights go dark and movie begins, you can participate in a special kind of magic. You can be entertained, or enlightened. But you are never bored. Or at least, let's hope not. Try reading the reviews first.. maybe that will help!

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