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“Five Nights at Freddy’s” gives audiences terrifying Halloweekend

Freddy Fazbear leads Abby (Piper Rubio) away from her family home to Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria.

After almost eight years of anticipation, the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” (FNAF) movie has finally been released. Based on the game series of the same name, the movie follows Mike Schmidt and his new security job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, an old family restaurant reminiscent of Chuck-E-Cheese, including the creepy animatronics. 

FNAF was released Oct. 27 in theaters worldwide and to streaming service Peacock to excited fans of the series. Blumhouse Productions took over the movie in 2017after Warner Bros. dropped the film. According to Variety, FNAF made $132 million worldwide in its opening weekend across Peacock streams and ticket sales, smashing their $20 million budget.

At its core, FNAF is a horror movie, and I believe that there were parts where the horror aspects of the movie were incredible. Being a PG-13 movie, there’s a lot that can’t be done in terms of horror but I thought it all worked really well with what they were allowed to do. Jason Blum and Scott Cawthon, the creator of the original FNAF games, produced the movie with a screenplay by Cawthon, Seth Cuddeback and Emma Tammi. Having Cawthon work on the movie is in my opinion the best thing that could have happened for the movie. The FNAF games have a lot of lore that could have been lost had Cawthon not worked as a writer and producer. 

Despite what some critics say, it does horror very well too. Horror does not necessarily need to have blood and gore to be scary. The film utilizes a lot of psychological horror and plays on common fears people may have such as animatronics, abduction and murder. FNAF is about overcoming the past in various different ways as pretty much all of the main characters are faced with this in some way. 

One criticism I do have of this movie is that it doesn’t follow the story of the games very closely. FNAF does have a spin-off book series, but the movie was promoted as being a retelling of the events of the game. Since Cawthon worked on this movie I can’t complain too much about this because I think I’d rather it be told this way by him than butchered by people who do not understand FNAF. Still, my inner child did weep at parts that were completely different from the FNAF I know and love.

While it is not director Emma Tammi’s debut, FNAF is definitely her most well known work now. Tammi has worked on a TV series, a podcast, and a few other movies. FNAF is a very unique film, and I think Tammi did an incredible job with the movie.

One of the most iconic aspects of FNAF is the animatronic characters. The animatronic characters were all, other than one, built to function as animatronics as well as costumes by the Jim Henson Creature Shop, the same workshop responsible for “The Muppets.” The only animatronic that was not able to be worn as a costume was Foxy the Pirate Fox due to the nature of his robotic legs. The fact that they were able to pull the animatronics off this way was incredible. They could have just used cheap CGI, but instead Blumhouse went above and beyond. The soundtrack was composed by the Newton Brothers, who have worked on numerous other Blumhouse films. However, the song “Talking in Your Sleep” by The Romantics is used multiple times throughout the movie as well. 

Josh Hucherson plays the main character, Mike Schmidt, in the movie. Schmidt is a disheveled man, just looking for a job in order to support himself and his younger sister, Abby (played by Piper Rubio). This ends with Schmidt in Steve Raglan/William Afton’s (played by Matthew Lillard) office who offers Schmidt a security job at Freddy Fazbear’s where he continues to run into Vanessa (played by Elizabeth Lail). The movie also featured many cameos from FNAF content creators, such as YouTubers MatPat and CoryXKenshin. All of the actors really brought a lot of life to the characters from the games. We don’t get to see a lot of the characters’ personalities within the games. Watching them get a pop of life in the films was very nice to a longtime FNAF fan. 

Overall, I thought FNAF was really good. Although critics did not like the film very much it definitely has a lot going for it that makes it good. For those not familiar with the series beforehand, the movie is a good introduction for new fans.

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About the Contributor
Francesca Messerschmidt
Francesca Messerschmidt, Staff Writer
Francesca Messerschmidt (she/her) is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her third year on the Purple Clarion staff.  She participates in theatre, plays percussion in the band is on the speech team, participates in Key Club and Art Club. She is passionate about music.  Francesca also cares about animals and things going on in the world around her. In her spare time, she likes to play games, listen to music and draw. After high school, she plans to continue pursuing journalism as a career.   “Student journalism is important to me because it helps give students a voice and a platform to educate themselves and others about current events and can help people learn how to make the world a better place.”

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