Five Nights at Freddy's (2023)
October 26, 2023 7:38 PM - Subscribe

A man with a troubled past takes a job as a security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza in order to support himself and his young sister. But the job ends up being far more than he expected.

Mike (Josh Hutcherson) is so desperate to keep custody of his sister Abby (Piper Rubio) that he takes a job as the night security guard at Freddy Fazbear's pizza. Freddy's offers family fun with "cutting edge animatronics." Or it did right up until 5 children went missing from Freddy's never to be seen again.

From there, it's a complicated plot involving Mike's younger brother Garrett, lucid dreaming, Abby's invisible friend, a duplicitous babysitter, Mike's Aunt Jane (Mary Stuart Masterson), and, obviously, ghost powered animatronic anthropomorphic animals.

Written and directed by Emma Tammi, the movie is based on the popular Five Nights at Freddy's video game series. Also featuring genre favorite Matthew Lillard (Scream) and Elizabeth Lail (You).
posted by miss-lapin (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just got back from seeing this one in the theaters and let me preface this with I know NOTHING about the games But the fans were out in force, some dressed in costume, and they LOVED it. There was cheering at reveals of characters, lines of dialogue, and songs. They fully enjoyed it. And it was great watching it with them-particularly the teenagers I sat next to who inadvertently gave me some insight into the games.

As someone who doesn't know the games, it's kinda a mess of a movie. The plot is incredibly complicated and yet still predictable, which is kinda an accomplishment. Despite that I really enjoyed myself. Part of that is the strength of the cast with the exception of Elizabeth Lail who seems very one note in her performances. But the power of seeing a movie with an audience that is into it, that cheers for it, can not be underestimated. And I think that's the real power of the movie so if you have a chance to see it this weekend, DO SO.

In terms of violence, a lot of it is suggested and happens off screen. But not all of it, and there is definitely some gore. There's really only one scene in which one of the child characters is endangered. So I'd say its PG-13 rating is appropriate.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:52 PM on October 26, 2023 [3 favorites]

FNAF has a very passionate fanbase (including its equivalent of furries). I imagine the plot had to be gussied up because the plot and gameplay of the games, especially the first one, is really quite simple. Not sure anyone even leaves the building.
posted by praemunire at 9:18 PM on October 26, 2023

Couldn’t believe the energy in the crowds. Loud applause whenever a line from the games turned up, or a YouTuber, or some other bit of arcana from “the lore”. My kids loved, no real complaints there.

Outside of that important context, I thought it was a complete mess. Nothing was plausible or logically consistent, even at the low standards of a horror movie or a video game cash-in. To wit:

Why does the place only need a security guard at night? Why doesn’t Mike just do his lucid dreaming at home during the day, if he’s working a night shift? Why isn’t he in jail for beating a father half to death? Why is no one looking for the babysitter and her crime friends after they disappear? What happens after his aunt, a known rival for custody of his sister, is found dead in his house while his only alibi is a solo security job? Is Vanessa really in the police force? Where is the rest of the force? Won’t he also be suspected in her stabbing? Who goes to Nebraska for the pine trees?

I know some of these are explained by the bad guy giving him the job in the first place but no one questions it so it’s apparently all normal in this universe.

Oh also, I guess it’s never explicitly stated, but this must take place in the nineties or early aughts, because otherwise the timeline doesn’t make sense. But they could’ve put a date somewhere. Maybe I missed it.

Anyway, the kids loved it so I guess I shouldn’t complain.
posted by condour75 at 6:42 AM on October 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

Ok my kids tell me the aunt was just knocked out. But still, the rest of it.
posted by condour75 at 8:07 AM on October 29, 2023

à propos de nothing, "duplicitous" is such a great word.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:07 PM on October 31, 2023

How does it compare to Willy's Wonderland, which already felt like it borrowed heavily from the (admittedly very minimal) plot of the original Five Nights at Freddy's game?
posted by asnider at 9:47 AM on November 2, 2023

Plotwise it's very different. In WW you have a stranger who gets wrangled into a caretaking role and the ghosts in the animatronics are serial killers. In FNaF the ghosts of the victims possess the animatronics and the "stranger" who gets wrangled actually has a connection to the single murderer.

To me very different movies that both involve possessed animatronics.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:55 PM on November 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

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