- Josh Hutcherson, Matthew Lillard, Elizabeth Mail, Mary Stuart Masterson
- Written by
- Scott Cawthon ( screenplay by/ bases on the game series
- Directed by
- Emma Tammi
- Run Time
- 1h 50min
- Release Date
- October 27th, 2023
When you are a parent and you want to teach your kid to ride a bike, you don’t just put them on a BMX and let them figure it out. No, instead, you start them off on one with training wheels, and when they get comfortable, then you pull out the big bike. For me, horror movies should be the same way; you don’t show your kid The Exorcist right away. Instead, you find some ‘gateway’ horror. This is a story that has some frights, but nothing that will traumatize, and that might be the best thing ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ has going for it.
For Mike (Josh Hutcherson), he has not been in a good place for a while. As a kid, he witnessed his younger brother being kidnapped, and it has left a hole in him. Time has moved on, and now Mike is responsible for his younger sister Abby (Piper Rubio), but his inability to let go of the past might cost them their future together. With his back against the wall, Mike takes a job no one seems to want, which is a job as a security guard at an abandoned pizza restaurant. Things, at first, other than the place being creepy, seem pretty normal, but that is about to change. Abby has to start tagging along with Mike at work, and the restaurant’s animatronic characters begin to come to life and seem to take a liking to Abby. While at first, it seems harmless, soon a police officer named Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail) tells more of the story of Freddy’s, and it does not have a happy ending.
Based on the popular video game series created by Scott Cawthon, Five Nights at Freddy’s hopes to avoid the video game to a movie curse. Cawthon has teamed up with Seth Cuddeback and Emma Tammi, with the latter also directing to tackle that familiar drawn-out portrait of ‘trauma.’ While the game does have a little mystery to it, as the hints to Freddy’s lore they are a no-show in the movie version. I, for one, was hoping to witness some robot animals committing some murder, but if you are coming for that, you are going to be extremely disappointed. It’s that reason that horror fans will not really dig this bloodless PG-13 effort but it could please a tween crowd.
Five Nights at Freddy’s seems to have forgotten the audience that made it popular and instead made a movie for a group that might not love the game that much. Although the PG-13 rating is not helping the movie, it’s not the reason the end product is not that good. That lies on the shoulders of the script, which lacks tension and, for the most part, any life. Hutcherson is still looking for a good role, and while Mary Stuart Masterson and Matthew Lillard are in the cast, the creepiness they add is not enough to make you enjoy Freddy’s any more. I really wanted to enjoy this; I mean, they collaborated with the Jim Henson Creature Shop, but nothing could save this, which makes Five Nights at Freddy’s four and half nights too many.