While being a highly anticipated film for fans of the franchise, it was heavily marketed to younger viewers and to those who are not familiar with the storyline of the game. Five Nights At Freddy's, while having been in the works since April 2015, was released this past Friday (October 27). It was initially well received by those familiar with Freddy Fazbear and co., but not with those who are newer. Why is that if the film was really made with unfamiliar audiences in mind?
Opinions of the Unfamiliar
By: Maya Kirksey
I had very little to no knowledge of the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise before watching the film. Overall, I enjoyed the film. I thought it was very well made. The cast was star studded- I always enjoy seeing Josh Hutcherson in new, challenging roles. And the comeback of Matthew Lillard is pleasant to witness.
The film was marketed as a slasher horror film, like the game. Yet, it is seemingly apparent that it was made for children. Being PG-13, there was no gore, no blood shown. The language was censored as well, there was an abundance of "what the hecks"- which can get irritating after a while.
From what I know about the game, I do not think that this represented the franchise well. Like the film itself was okay. meh. Those like me who don't understand what is going on and the context, just view the film as mediocre. As a standalone film, it is not the greatest we've seen. It certainly does not give enough context about things that are deep enough to invoke emotion. The plot seemed sort of lazily written- so without context it seems as though it is purely just a studio money grab for halloween.
In summary, we need more of it. It seems as though the writers wanted to write off certain aspects of the franchise- assuming that fans will understand. But with new viewers (me) sort of were left out of the loop. This left multiple plot holes as well as just some odd plot lines. the film could've and should've been longer- explaining the backstories of the animatronics more in detail. That felt as the missing piece to the project.
Guard Man Plot
Its normal for films to give a backstory behind their main characters, to make them seem more likable and contribute to the overall plot. Though, with the *minimal* research I did, the backstory of Mike does not align with the lore of the game. That is not cool!!
The plot space that was designated for his backstory could have been used to explain Freddy and Co.
Again, Josh Hutcherson did a fantastic job, as always. Watching him grow from ''bridge to Teribithia'', to ''Hunger Games'', to now, has been a lovely journey. And the young actress who played Amy, Piper Rubio, also did a spectacular job. this movie is a great breakout role and fans and myself are excited and curious to see what she does next.
Overall, I thought it was okay. It does not equate to any other horror film- not in the slightest. It's entertaining, sure. It is a good introduction to the franchise, not an addition. It doesn't have enough context or plot similarities to be considered apart of the Game Franchise.
Side note: Also I looooooooooooove Matthew Lillard. Anyone notice the Scream reference in the film?
Opinions of the Familiar
By: Griphen Smith
We’ve all had the rush of the FNAF (Five Nights at Freddy’s) fandom… right? Well, maybe just a few people, but I think this film does a lot to encapsulate a lot of overarching fan theories, but misses the mark connecting with fans of the in depth lore. I think this film starts out strong. As the audience, we’re introduced to something that will become more important later, a fairly common practice in film, and the intro we get after the opening scene is quite fun, and has numerous calls to the fandom that I found to be a fun easter egg to the mini-games found in the original 4 FNAF games. After, though, we’re catapulted into modern day, with Josh Hutcherson, former Hunger Games star (who very comfortably steps outside of that role and its weight) who is a very clear reason as to why this film even works to begin with. We get some more scenes, of Mike’s life, and his eventual lead up to learning about the ever so beloved security guard position for the popular Freddy’s Fazbear Pizzeria.
As Josh Hutcherson’s Mike Shmidt carries out his duties, we are introduced to just a few more integral characters, but we finally have the footing for the rest of the film to carry out.
It’s a good film, but I think there are many flaws that might leave a lot of hardcore fans unsatisfied, because it detracts so much from the original games. If you want a number scale rating, I’d say it’s a 6 out of 10.
If you’re any fan of the lore, or even if you’re not, I think you’ve heard of the FNAF lore at some point. The film sets out to bring the material to a new audience, which is respectful, but where it fails to do so, it only hurts the minds of people who had either joyfully, or sadly (like myself) spent hours and hours researching (watching Game Theory) to explain the story. It feels like a cheap way to reach for easter eggs and fan service.
The major changes to the original plot aren’t beneficial, either. Of course, I know you can’t really write the whole history of Freddy Fazbear entertainment in just a few minutes and expect it to be understood, so I understand why they limited so few elements from the games coming into the film, but I think it really is detrimental.
A ''simple'' breakdown, is that William Afton, the big bad, created Fazbear entertainment, in tandem with Henry, a man with no last name for some reason… and William had dreams and aspirations that didn’t match Henry’s, and eventually that caused the company to fall apart. Some of those dreams, did in fact kind of involve killing a few kids, and stuffing them into suits. William also had three kids, and a wife.
William Afton had three children. Michael, Elizabeth, and Gregory. Gregory was killed by the Original Freddy, Golden Freddy, and Michael was at fault. Elizabeth then died after, because she got too close to one of Afton’s creations to kill more children. Michael, though, who is Mike in the film, was tired of his absent father, knowing his atrocities, and wanted to find him, and punish him, and so he set out to do so. Michael, following the trail of William, however, ended up being essentially killed by the creation “Ennard”, but Michael had to continue on. Eventually, Michael did catch his father, and he sent him, quite literally, to hell. That’s roughly the story, at least of the main games. It’s… interesting, but if you’ve seen the film, you know it’s nothing like that.
The climax of the film did bring what a lot of fans wanted though, albeit toned down because it was only PG-13
I think if you want a good time, at least relatively, this is a good film. And with the release on peacock, it’s way cheaper and more readily available than the theatrical release. Though, those of us who like the lore are most certainly going to leave the screening feeling… confused at some parts, and maybe with a headache, but I think it’s quite the enjoyable watch no less.
I really enjoyed other elements of the film, and as mentioned before, Josh Hutcherson did a fantastic job. I think seeing a character that was stuck in the past, but would neglect that desire to try and provide for his only family, is really deep. I absolutely love, as well, the features of Mike Shmidt’s character, with things such as the cheap, ratty, nearly broken down Honda, because its a cheap car he can rely on. The audience is able to grasp the concept of this character being in a world of misfortune, without the film ever telling us, and I think it’s really neat. Definitely a great film that let a unique director shine.