Five Nights At Freddy’s starts off at the titular abandoned pizzeria with a security guard being killed – at the hand of animatronic, murdering puppets – while trying to escape, so there’s a job free!
Mike (Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2) works in a huge shopping mall, but after wrongly tackling a man with his child, in the mistaken belief he’s kidnapping her, he gets the sack, and needs a job! Sorted!
It’s like a match made in heaven, except for the fact that Steve Raglan (Matthew Lillard – LEGO Dimensions), as his careers counsellor, confirms, “The pay’s not great, BUT! (sounding in hopeful anticipation) …the hours are worse”.
Until he takes that (as we know he will, since that’s the plot), he has no money, eviction is looming and he needs to keep the place as he’s looking after his younger sister, Abby (Piper Rubio). Mike also has a lot on his place with repressed childhood trauma, about the fact his brother, Garrett, kidnapped when he was young, and he’s still having flashbacks and trying to work out who took him, all these years on. His guide for this, is a book about Dream Theory, which states that we remember everything, even if we can’t recall it all.
There’s a couple of nice performances in this, one from Mary Stuart Masterson as Mike’s Aunt Jane, who doesn’t think he can cope and wants to take her into custody, as well as Michael P Sullivan (Renfield) as her lawyer, Doug, who rarely speaks, but is very full of expression!
And while it’s nice to hear The Romantics’ 1983 hit, Talking In Your Sleep, but as a whole, Five Nights At Freddy’s doesn’t make any sense, and ends up being typical lazy rubbish from Blumhouse.
Quite frankly, for a film like this – one which is based around animatronic, murdering puppets, you’d expect lots of grisly murders, but… after almost two hours, I was still waiting for more than a whiff of that. I later saw it’s a PG13 in the US, but like the mediocre and disappointing M3GAN, it’s a 15-cert in the UK as it’s too strong a horror movie, in part, for a 12-cert.
I see that it cost $20m to make, and has so far taken $152m, according to Wikipedia, so it’ll spawn another one for sure, probably two.
Prior to watching this, I haven’t played the videogame, itself, but then films are meant to work as standalone products. You’re not required to do a ton of research before partaking in the viewing.
There’s a very brief mid-credits scene, plus something at the end, both of which I’ll hide behind a spoiler header:
Five Nights At Freddy’s is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its relase next year. Amazon currently lists a date of March 31st 2024, but that’s a Sunday, so it won’t be then.
Running time: 110 minutes
Release date: October 25th 2023
Studio: Lionsgate Movies
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1 (ARRIRAW (6.5K))
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Director: Emma Tammi
Producers: Jason Blum, Scott Cawthon
Videogame creator: Scott Cawthon
Screenplay: Scott Cawthon, Seth Cuddeback, Emma Tammi
Music: The Newton Brothers
Mike: Josh Hutcherson
Abby: Piper Rubio
Vanessa: Elizabeth Lail
Steve Raglan: Matthew Lillard
Aunt Jane: Mary Stuart Masterson
Max: Kat Conner Sterling
Jeff: David Lind
Hank: Christian Stokes
Carl: Joseph Poliquin
Ghost Kid (Blonde Boy): Grant Feely
Ghost Kid (with Hook): Asher Colton Spence
Ghost Kid (with Bunny Ears): David Huston Doty
Ghost Kid (with Hat): Liam Hendrix
Ghost Kid (Blue-Eyed Girl): Jophielle Love
Dr. Lillian: Tadasay Young
Doug: Michael P Sullivan
Young Mike: Wyatt Parker
Garrett: Lucas Grant
Mike’s Mom: Jessica Blackmore
Mike’s Dad: Garrett Hines
Freddy’s Security Guard: Ryan Reinike
Jeremiah: Theodus Crane
Cindy: Julia Belanova
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.