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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

Movie Review: Five Nights at Freddy’s is a treat for fans and fans alone

The+Five+Nights+at+Freddys+movie+was+directed+by+Emma+Tammi+and+released+in+theaters+on+Oct.+27.
Universal Pictures
The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie was directed by Emma Tammi and released in theaters on Oct. 27.

Eight years after its initial announcement, the Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) movie was released both in theaters and on the streaming service Peacock on Oct. 27.

Based on the popular video game series Five Nights at Freddy’s, the movie directed by Emma Tammi follows Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson), a young man who has desperately taken a job as a night security guard at an abandoned animatronic-themed pizzeria named Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. He needs the job to keep custody of his little sister Abby (Piper Rubio) after being fired from his last job for assaulting a father he had assumed to be kidnapping a child. However, a local police officer, Vanessa Monroe (Elizabeth Lail), warns him of child disappearances in the 80s and how they may be connected to the animatronic performers in the pizzeria. Mike soon discovers that the abandoned pizzeria may not be as lifeless as it appears.

This film tears my heart in two because as a fan of the video game series, this film was a treat from start to finish but looking at it through a more critical lens reveals how lacking it is in the story department. Fans can expect easter eggs, references and cameos that will be sure to bring a smile to anyone invested in the FNAF story. A lot of people involved in the creation of the film clearly have so much passion for the series and the fans that have transformed it from a small indie horror game to a franchise capable of having a big budget film made off of it.

However, the movie on its own is serviceable at best and just straight-up bad at worst. At times, the film seems like it’s attempting to be a serious horror film with themes of overcoming one’s own trauma but the scariest thing viewers can get are the jumpscares. And it’s hard to feel scared of the murderous animatronics that are supposed to be the threat of the story when there’s a montage of them making a table fort with the protagonists. Don’t get me wrong, I love that montage but it feels like fan service in sacrifice of the film’s tone. Despite being its own story and timeline, without the help of already knowing the story via the game series, the story struggles to stand on its own. Certain reveals or moments only have impact if you already know who or what they are referring to.

Thanks to the work of the Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the haunted animatronics are the highlights of the movie. The animatronics look incredible and are completely faithful to the original designs from the video game. The production design nails the aesthetic of the abandoned pizzeria and successfully brings it to life. The performances are solid all around but Matthew Lillard’s performance is particularly strong and memorable. I especially enjoyed a sequence in the middle of the film where a group of vandals break into the pizzeria which makes the film lean more into the slasher genre.

The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is an endearing and delightful treat for fans but for anyone else looking for something to scare them this season, the movie will do more to confuse than to scare.

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Andre Arcilla, Digital Media Editor
Junior Andre Arcilla is entering his first year on staff as the Digital Media Editor of The Pearl Post. Arcilla enjoys drawing art and editing videos. His goal this school year is to lessen his procrastination and to wear better outfits.
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