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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: We need more nights at Freddy’s

‘Highly anticipated ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ film leaves audiences wanting more.’
Photo+courtesy+of+Blumhouse
Photo courtesy of Blumhouse

After nearly a decade of only seeing ominous security camera footage in a sweaty gamer’s room, with the release of “Five Nights at Freddy’s” on Oct. 27, we finally saw Freddy Fazbear and his friends on the big screen. 

The film production company Blumhouse, known for films such as “Get Out” and “M3GAN,” presented viewers with another exhilarating thriller in just under two hours. 

The film places us in a flashback, watching the last security guard become a victim of the pizzeria’s animatronics. It was revealed that famous YouTuber Markiplier was originally cast for the opening scene, but unfortunately for all FNAF and Mark fans, he was not able to make an appearance in the movie due to scheduling conflicts.

Following the opening scene, we get a short introduction that includes an arcade game animation style that brings viewers back to the mini-games spread throughout the second FNAF game. Although the introduction is short, it contains a lot of background information or “lore” about the plot of the games. 

The FNAF games are focused on Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, a fun Chuck-E-Cheese-esque establishment. The party place was perfect for families to bring their kids until the business became involved with the disappearances of multiple children. 

The police could not prove that Freddy’s was involved in disappearances, but it was eventually obvious to the town that the children were never found, and DNA in the 80s was still not high-tech and accurate. The children were also never found. The pizzeria was shut down after a couple of unfortunate chomps. 

While playing the game, you play the nighttime security guard trying to “keep people out” of the establishment but also trying to survive.

The movie features many familiar stars. Mike Schmidt is played by Josh Hutcherson, who has largely remained under the radar since his starring in “The Hunger Games” series.

Matthew Lillard, known for his work in “Scream,” makes many appearances as Mr. Afton, also known by many other nicknames and identities. The underrated horror star played Stu Macher  in the original “Scream” movie in 1996 as a goofy sidekick to Billy Loomis. He managed two kills before his death. After a few roles as comedic characters such as Brock Hudson in “She’s All That!” (1999) and Shaggy in “Scooby Doo” (2000), Lillard switches to full-on menace in the FNAF movie.

In the game, the security guard character was never given much lore, and players never really knew much about his personal life or why he tolerated such awful (and illegal) job conditions, especially for a hilariously low hourly rate.

The movie introduces Mike as a deeply traumatized and anxious man. His life took a negative turn as a kid when his little brother went missing on his watch. Now, he is an older brother to his little sister, Abby, played by Piper Rubio (a W for Pipers everywhere). 

Elizabeth Lail’s role in the film was also a shock. Lail is also known as Beck from the thriller show “You.” 

The movie fulfilled many hopes I had dreamed of while waiting for years. Specifically, we saw our annoying buddy, Balloon Boy. He’s smaller than I thought he may have been, but it makes him kind of cute. 

We also see Bonnie in their familiar space of comfort: the closet. Foxy speeds around the pizzeria a couple times and Chica’s counterpart, Mr. Cupcake, has a strong but fun personality. On the topic of the Chica, she was the scariest appearing animatronic. Of course, if I saw Foxy charging after me from the end of the hallway, I’d be terrified. But Chica looks like she has not slept in weeks and acts the same level of cranky if that were true. 

Golden Freddy makes a few scenes as well — as both a little boy and as the animatronic (at least what is left of him). 

As a whole, the animatronics look amazing. I could not be happier with how they turned out in the movie. It reminds me of looking up at them in virtual reality. The most interesting fact about the movie is learning that they are created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. This special and visual effects company was founded in 1979. If any of this is sounding familiar, it is because the founder, Jim Henson, created “The Muppets” franchise. 

Overall, the movie was incredible. My only criticism is that there could have been more jumpscares. The FNAF audience is a lot of preteens and teenagers — I was in middle school when it became heavily played across YouTube gamers, and, because of this, it is perfect that the movie is PG-13. To make the movie more gore heavy and rated R would have been a flop for sales and prevented many fans from watching the film. Having said that, there could be more PG-13 jumpscares, especially considering the games were so heavily relied on jumpscares. 

A second “Five Nights at Freddy’s” film has been announced. This has made not only my day, but my entire 2023. Depending on the SAG-AFTRA strike, the next movie could be expected as soon as about a year from now in 2024. 

The movie can be watched in theaters, which has an immaculate vibe and is accompanied by freshly popped popcorn — or cheaper, and just as enjoyable, snuck-in-snacks. For fans that enjoy the comfort of their home, Peacock is the only service streaming the movie. Inviting friends for a movie night in order to laugh loudly and yell at the frustratingly dumb characters-turned-victims is also a successful FNAF experience. Wherever you decide to watch, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a worthwhile movie to watch, especially for fans of the games.

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About the Contributor
Piper Pinnetti, Reporter
Piper Pinnetti is a reporter for The Sunflower. Pinnetti previously designed content for The Sunflower's Instagram. Pinnetti is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism with the hopes of pursuing a career in writing. Pinnetti uses she/her pronouns.

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