Film Review: Five Nights at Freddy’s

I am a huge fan of computer games – especially horror games – and one of my favourite franchises is Five nights at Freddy’s, so I jumped at the chance to review the film of it for The Independent Horror Society.

When I found out that they were nearly done making the film after being in development for nearly 9 years, I was very exited, but also a little sceptical. Films about games usually don’t do very well, but I was hopeful this would be different because it was being made by Blumhouse, which have made a lot of my favourite horror films.

In Five Nights at Freddy’s you follow the main character Mike, who has been fired from his job as a security guard and is desperate for a new one, so that he can keep custody of his younger sister Abby. He is offered a job at an old entertainment place that was quite popular in the 80s, but has since been closed. This place is Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. All is going well in Mikes new job, until the big furry mascots of Freddy and his friends, start to come to life.

The story links mostly to the book series rather than the games, however fans of the games will notice a lot of easter eggs too. Five Nights at Freddy’s closely follows a very similar story to the first tie-in book Scott Cawthon wrote, which expands the story of the first game.

Want to join one of the fastest-growing communities of UK indie horror fans and creators for FREE? Now you can!

Simply click here to become a member of The Independent Horror Society.

I think the design of the animatronics was excellent, as they look very life-like and kept the crusty goodness of the original appearance in the 2014 indie game (which I love). I absolutely love the fact that there was no visible CGI and all of the robots were suits or puppets. If there was CGI, I couldn’t tell!

The robotics of the heads were extremely good and very smooth in movement, but they still had the feel of outdated technology from the 80s. There is also a massive amount of easter eggs for fans of the game series to find, but it’s still very enjoyable if you know absolutely nothing about the series or books, so no need to research beforehand. I also love that you can see Freddy and his friends, roaming around in the background of some scenes if you keep your eyes peeled.

The music was very good as I don’t think some of the scenes would have been as effective without it and I loved the intro music as it sounds very 80s with a horror aspect to it. Making the start of the music a synthesiser was a very good choice from The Newton Brothers in my opinion, as it helps put us in the time period of when the pizzeria was thriving.

There were some things I didn’t like though, but all of them are very minimal. I thought that at times the actors in the suit didn’t look like machines but generally, they did an extremely good job. There is one scene that was a little rough where you see a shot of Foxy’s legs (one of Freddy’s robot friends) while he’s walking and its very obviously a puppet or prop, as the feet don’t touch the floor at one point! It also was, not as scary as I would have liked it to be, but still very enjoyable. These are minor criticisms.

Overall, I think Five Night’s at Freddy’s was really enjoyable. Josh Hutcherson, Matthew Lillard, Elizabeth Lail and Piper Rubio were all very good at their roles, and their performances really add the creepiness that surrounds Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. In my opinion, I preferred the comparable film Willies Wonderland, which is a very similar idea, but that’s mostly because Nicholas Cage is so brilliant in everything!

I would recommend Five Nights at Freddy’s to anyone who enjoys the franchise and even if you don’t, give it a try as it was a really fun easy to watch film, even if it isn’t very scary.

We’ll survive if we all just stick together!

Whether you’re a horror super-fan, a seasoned industry professional or someone looking to dip their toes into creating their own project, we’d love to welcome you inside the Independent Horror Society! If you’re keen to join us, click here to see all of our membership options.