Five Nights at Freddy’s
Review by Shauna McCrudden
The iconic indie horror game, 'Five Nights at Freddy's,' which has been popular with gamers for nearly 10 years, has finally made a jump to the big screen!
A story featuring scary, haunted animatronics that hunt people down at night which has been marked as 15A is going to be scary right? Well, not so much. Think of this like a ‘horror’ film for those who don’t like horror. There are creepy moments and extremely violent scenes, for sure, and the acting is all top-notch, but this is a film you could show a 10-year-old. And that does appear to be their target audience as the game is still very popular with the younger crowd.
But what it lacks in scares, it makes up for in story. A troubled security guard Mike (The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson) begins working the security night shift at old Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria. While spending his night on the job, he realises Freddy's animatronic creatures, including Freddy himself, along with a duck, a fox and even an animatronic cupcake!, are coming to life on their own. And they’re not as cuddly as they look.
The film delves into Mike’s home life as he struggles to act as guardian for his little sister Abby. Mike’s little brother had been kidnapped and never seen again in the 80s, and this haunts Mike into adulthood, and affects his relationship with his sister now. This familial main plotline has a lot of focus on it, which is rare for this type of film, but it keeps the story very emotional and personal, so it doesn’t have to resort to cheap scares to fill the runtime.
However, as a horror fan, and for a film which was released the weekend before Halloween, I wanted far more scares. The first 45 minutes feel like set up for a better conclusion than what we got. The horror elements aren’t fully utilised. This is a story which heavily involves literal dead children, and yet it’s still not scary! A creepy idea, but terrible execution.
But…entertaining, nonetheless. The cast, including Hutcherson, Scream’s Matthew Lillard, and You’s Elizabeth Lail, really sell the story and the relationships between the characters too. You won’t be scared, and you might not even remember it after leaving the theatre, but you’ll have a good time eating some popcorn!