After a 10-year long wait with many thrown out scripts, the first “Five Nights at Freddy’s” film has finally been released. But does this film deliver on its thrills, or will it be stale like a flat drink of Coca-Cola at a little kid’s birthday party?
Our story follows Mike Schmidt, an everyman who wants to figure out the mystery of his brother’s disappearance while also taking care of his younger sister. Down on his luck, Mike soon lands a night security guard job at an old abandoned pizza place “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.” At the Chuck E. Cheese-inspired restaurant, he comes face to face with sentient animatronics.
We’re going to be honest, while the film can deliver on thrills, you can tell that it is very flawed. Main writer and creator of the video game, Scott Cawthon, is the reason this script falls flat on its face. This is his first screenplay and it shows as the plot either zips by extremely quickly, or meanders at a snail's pace. We don’t even see the pizzeria until 20 minutes in! We understand that films need exposition, but the conflict between Mike and his aunt who wants custody of his little sister feels like a story from a Lifetime Original' movie.
If there is one aspect we can laud from the film, it is the animatronics. The designs were lifted straight from the games and were perfectly constructed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. They all look amazing and are a highlight of the film. The movie also had lots of fanservice moments as Guillermo managed to recognize two prominent YouTubers (SPOILERS for cameo 1, cameo 2) who are very popular for covering FNAF. Josh Hutcherson also shines as Mike Schmidt as he plays a great role in proving himself as a scream king. Matthew Lillard also plays a fun role and is a joy to watch whenever he is on screen.
With how the film ends, and also its box office performance, a sequel must be imminent as this is a massive franchise that is going to get bigger over time. For this film, it is a good start, but there is room for improvement. Turns out, we were ready for Freddy.
3 out of 5 pizza slices.
Zipporah Pruitt, (she/her) is an L.A. homegrown journalist, who covers entertainment and culture. Follow her on X and Instagram: @zippzapps.
Guillermo Guzman (he/him/they) is a Texas-based nerd who loves talking about video games, autism, and entertainment. Follow him on Instagram: @boofy_booferson and X: @Dimpy_Tenders.
Edited by Nykeya Woods