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Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

Frights, Camera, Action: The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is a roller coaster of scares and stumbles

Universal Pictures
The official Five Nights at Freddy’s poster

   The hit 2014 horror game “Five Nights at Freddy’s” has been turned into a new live-action movie. With lots of recent movie adaptations of video games receiving mixed reviews, like “The Super Mario Bros Movie” in early 2023, or “Uncharted” in 2022, I believe that the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is one of the strongest video game movie adaptations made yet, but these types of movies still have a long way to go.

   Of the movie’s cast, one of the most notable roles is Josh Hutcherson – known for his role as Peeta Mellark in the Hunger Games series – as Mike Schmidt, a night guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. Other actors include Piper Rubio as Mike’s sister Abby, and Elizabeth Lail as Vanessa Monroe, a police officer who helps Mike in his job.

   Because the movie itself is based off of Scott Cawthon’s game “Five Nights at Freddy’s”, he was hired in the making of this movie. Working alongside Jason Blum, Cawthon was hugely involved in the producing, directing, screenplaying and writing of the movie. Considering how Five Nights at Freddy’s is regarded as one of the most influential thriller video games ever, it seems only right that the creator of the game would be influential in the production of the movie adaptation.

   Although the original game is categorized as a horror game, the movie itself is rated PG-13, and doesn’t have a significant amount of horror or jumpscares. However, the creators of the movie did  make sure to include the same undertones of suspense and confusion you see in the game.

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   In the original game, you play as Mike Schmidt, alone as a night guard of the closed attraction Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. You must protect yourself from the shockingly sentient animatronics that remained inside of the building after it closed. The game doesn’t have much in terms of story or movement, because the entire game is played by looking at cameras. However, the game remains to be hugely influential because of its at-the-time unconventional jumpscares and time management system which created a high-suspense atmosphere.

   I feel that the movie did a fantastic job at recreating the ambience of the game, while introducing completely new aspects, like Mike having the ability to roam freely around the building, or the new character, Vanessa, now having a large influence over the rest of the story.

   Aside from the mechanics of the game being translated differently into the movie, the animatronics and practical effects were actually really impressive. I went into the movie expecting low-grade CGI, but it seems the movie mainly used practical effects for the famous animatronics: Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy. Their actions, even for being “lifeless” animatronics, seemed full of life, and ultimately made me feel like I was seeing real life characters with emotions.

      However, I feel like the writing of the movie wasn’t as impressive as it could have been. I was surprised by how the writers decided to drive the plot, because some events didn’t seem to make sense at all unless you’ve played the game before seeing the movie. 

   The story does flow as any average thriller, with some dark scenes and light jumpscares, but I feel like the writers were trying to confuse the audience more than excite them. For example, Mike is extremely troubled because he has nightmares about his brother, who was kidnapped as a child. Mike longs to know who took his brother, but by random coincidence, the villain who is revealed at the end of the story (who will not be named for the sake of preventing spoilers) was revealed to be the true kidnapper. Although it created an ending, it didn’t seem to make any actual sense, because of the sudden reveal that leaves watchers confused instead of satisfied. 

   In the end, I feel like trying to condense the actual story and backgrounds of all of the characters into one movie was a bold move. They managed to do well with what they had in the span of an hour and 50 minutes, but I feel like they could have done better in terms of following the actual plot of the real game. However, considering the practical effects, the effort that went into keeping the appearances of the animatronics, and the ability of the writers to actually build a completely new story off of an already complex game, I would give this movie a 6.5/10.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Kim
Ryan Kim, Editor
Ryan is a senior and Entertainment Editor. This is his third year on the Gazette staff.

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    JogeezyNov 16, 2023 at 5:13 pm