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The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Movie Will Jump Scare You Back Into Nostalgia

Movie Review
The Five Nights at Freddys Movie Will Jump Scare You Back Into Nostalgia
Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Studios

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is the adaptation we were waiting for. It incorporates a lot of visual details from the first game as well as much of the lore that the game has become so known for. In the first few minutes of the movie, I nearly teared up because I couldn’t help but feel how something so small as an indie computer game was able to grow so big to make it into the cinema. 

I remember playing the first game when it came out in 2014 and watching every theory video on YouTube. I was first introduced to FNaF by Markiplier’s “Let’s Play” video, which encouraged me to beat it although I was only 7 years old and was pretty easily scared. After Markiplier’s video, I saw 8-BitGaming’s “Top 10 Things You Missed” and then even more theory videos popped up on my feed. Youtubers like 8-BitGaming, Game Theory, and Dawko have since released several hypotheses on the lore behind FNaF, like the popular yet controversial theory that suggests all the games events were all a dream. (My personal favorite theory was called ‘The bite of 87,’ which was popularized by Markiplier for his famous reaction to the crying child getting his frontal lobe bitten off by Fredbear.)

The movie recaptures some game elements as well as the character designs for Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and some of the other animatronic characters. Several movie scenes reenact the classic moments from the games: Foxy runs down the hallway, Bonnie’s always in the broom closet, and Chica is in the kitchen. Not to mention famous lines like “I always come back” and “It’s me” really brings a sense of nostalgia for most FNaF fans.

The movie opens with Mike Schmidt, played by Josh Hutcherson, who was recently fired from his job and is struggling to provide care for his younger sister Abby, played by Piper Rubio. Meanwhile, their Aunt sees Mike’s unemployment as a chance to take custody of Abby and receive a monthly check. Due to having been fired many times, Mike is out of options, so in hopes of finding a new job, he visits his career counselor Steve Raglan (Matthew Lillard). Steve appoints him as a night guard for a kid’s pizza place named Freddy Fazbear Pizza, inspired by the well-known children’s family entertainment center chain called Chuck E. Cheese. 

During his shift, Mike dreams about his brother Gareth who was kidnapped. In his dream, he meets five ghosts. He makes a deal with them to figure out who the kidnapper is if Mike trades his sitter Abby to the animatronics. Mike accepts the deal at first, but he calls the deal off at the last minute and wakes up injured. As he wakes, up he starts to notice the animatronics are alive and out to hunt him. So now he has to survive five nights at Freddy’s to figure out his brother’s kidnapper.

Although the movie is PG-13, the scares were so traumatizing. Each scene was made with extreme care, and director and writer Scott Cawthon (who created the game as well) added small details you would only notice the second time watching. In the background, you could see references to the games and characters that will show up in the next scene a few seconds later. The pacing of it felt on time, as the movie doesn’t drag too long or rush itself. The visuals and editing were incorporated well into the movie, making well-made transitions.

The performances of the cast felt so natural. Hutcherson played the role of Mike Schmidt perfectly as a barely financially stable older brother. Lillard’s goofy acting works well with the role of Steve Raglan as the happy-go-lucky career counselor. Piper Rubio fits as the young sister Abby who doesn’t know better but is self-aware. Each actor brings a sense of light to the characters as if the actors had fun playing them. Cawthon chooses the right actors to play their roles, including cameo characters. The audience clapped every time cameo characters, played by the content creators themselves, would appear on the big screen. It felt surreal to see content creators from my childhood in a movie.

The marketing made the movie seem like a horror film, but “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is more than a horror: it’s a thriller. It’s more into story and lore than scares. But the story adds on to the movie with a deep narrative rather than turning out just some supernatural horror that focuses on killing characters. 

The music production fits with each scene well. From the intro song during the title card to the “Five Night at Freddy’s 1 Song” in the end credits, nothing felt off or out of place. The intro song “Five Night at Freddy’s” feels nostalgic with its combinations of video game synths and old 1980’s synths. This brings the aesthetic of the 80s but also feels old and out of date just like Freddy’s itself. The end credit song also brings nostalgia to all fans: it is a classic electronic genre song created in 2015 by The Living Tombstone and was the first popular FNaF song at the time. The effects heightened each scene and made the audience feel more in tune to the movie. The carefully crafted soundtrack added made the movie more engaging. 

The writing was goofy at times, mainly during the end. I say goofy because to a non-FNaF fan, when a certain character says “I always come back,” it will feel out of place. Why would he say that? It doesn’t line up. But it fits well with the movie to fans because it’s a classic line. Cawthon wrote the script with the help of Emma Tammi and Seth Cuddeback. They really made an engaging and deep story with fun and interesting characters. I can’t wait to see if they will make another film for this franchise in the future.

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