Five Nights at Freddy’s is based on the video game franchise of the same name and was created by Scott Cawthorn, who also co-wrote the movie. The film is directed by Emma Tammi and stars Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail & Matthew Lillard. Originally going to be produced by Warner Bros., the film rights eventually went Blumhouse Productions after several delays. While they are 5 games in the franchise, this film in particular follows the events of the first game. Directors Gil Kenan & Chris Columbus were originally attached to direct film but ultimately walked away before Tammi was contacted.

In the film, a troubled young man, Mike Schmidt (Hutcherson) is looking for work after losing his job as a security guard after an incident at the city mall. His career counselor, Steve (Lillard) lets him know about another job at an old family entertainment parlor. “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Parlor” was basically a local family friendly entertainment place, no different than a “Chuck E. Cheese”. Mike accepts the job without doing any research on the place. He learns that the place was shut down after 5 children had mysteriously disappeared decades ago. On the first night, Mike comes across the animatronic puppets, Freddy, Bonnie, Chica & Mr. Cupcake and nothing seems to be out of ordinary. However, as the days go on, things begin to get weirder and darker to the point where Mike is now having to fight to survive not only save himself but to save his young sister from sinister madman.

This film had the potential to be a decent video game adaptation but misses the mark completely. The movie is almost watered down version of 2021’s “Willie’s Wonderland” starring Nicholas Cage. Same concept and same plot but while Cage’s film is much more violent and bloody, Freddy’s is more “kid friendly” despite the dark subject matter. My biggest issue with movies based on video games is that the people making the movie have never really played the game. They have a general idea of the synopsis but if you don’t actually play, you miss out on some pretty intense moments. This game is a basic survival game with horror elements but not too much so where it’s not for the kids. I think this movie saw an opportunity to cater to a certain demographic rather than fans of the game. It has all the generic trimmings of a basic horror movies and has little “Easter Eggs” for fans of the game but overall, just across as bland and uninteresting. Josh Hutcherson & Matthew Lillard give solid performances, but it isn’t enough to save the movie from its shortcomings.

This hit theaters and the streaming service, Peacock, on the same day. While the initial box office returns were impressive, it saw a major drop in its second weekend. I think this will hurt, not just this film, but films in general having 2 release dates. Its one thing to have an exclusive drop on a streaming service and maybe theatrical release but not at the same or on the same day. As I mentioned earlier, they are 5 games in this franchise however no official word has been announced on a follow up, sequel or anything of that nature. Scott Cawthorn has stated that should this first film do well at the box office, a sequel would definitely be in the works & Matthew Lillard has also stated that he signed for 3 movie deal with Blumhouse but that is no way a positive guarantee we’ll get a Freddy sequel.