Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” review: The film behind the slaughter

Courtesy of IMDb

Formerly undiagnosed neurodivergents. Closested queer kids. Chuck E. Cheese enthusiasts. Furries. The Five Nights At Freddy’s franchise sunk its teeth into them the second Markiplier uploaded his first of many iconic playthroughs.

For those not in the know, Five Nights At Freddy’s has existed throughout the years in many forms. First appearing as a video game in 2014, the horror series now spans over 10 games, several book series, and now, a feature length film. With terrifying methods of storytelling and intricate lore woven into its very code, FNAF has accumulated countless adoring and dedicated fans throughout the years. So it was no surprise that Blumhouse’s new “Five Nights At Freddy’s” film has been received well at theaters, despite being put on streaming simultaneously.

Fans have been quick to welcome the new entree to the franchise with open arms. Many who had a hand in the film’s creation confirmed that the film was made, if with nothing else, the fans in mind. From easter eggs to blatant fanservice, the FNAF movie has surely won the hearts of those that most deserved the film. However, a question still remains. Outside of its fan service, is the FNAF movie just as terrifying as its source material?

No. For those expecting a horror movie, you will be disappointed.

The film follows the story of Mike Schmidt, an unlucky guy who gets stuck guarding the defunct, formally fabulous 80s phenomenon, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. It is fairly faithful to the plot of the games: the animatronics come alive at night, they try to kill the security guard, they’re possessed by dead children. This comes as no surprise because a) the original creator of the games, Scott Cawthon, was very involved in the making of the movie and b) the premise of the games is iconic, to say the least. The film also features countless easter eggs for dedicated fans, fun cameos from YouTubers known for their FNAF videos, beloved actors Josh Hutcherson and Matthew Lillard, and (my personal favorite) possibly the best end credit song to ever appear in any movie ever. But I’m less interested in talking about this film as a fateful and loving adaptation. No, I want to talk about where I think this film failed as a horror.

I think it’s safe to say that the games are pretty scary. The idea of child corpses and their ghosts being trapped inside killer animatronics is scary. And they want nothing more than to hurt you down and kill you? 11 year-old me was terrified. So I found it incredibly disappointing that the film was scary at all. It felt extremely watered down, as if it was made to air on Nickelodeon. A lot of its violence is simply implied and not shown. I understand that the film maintained a PG-13 rating for its younger audience, but even still, with a premise as dark as it is, the film still managed to seem a bit dry and fall a bit flat. FNAF is a horror series in every sense. So it only makes sense to me that it should be adapted into a bloody, twisted horror film with creative kills and jumpscares galore! But, unfortunately, it was not.

On a similar note, it feels as though the movie was watered down, not only in its terror and gore, but in its story. It followed obvious story and horror beats, which sucked the tension out of every scene. It’s obvious that it was only so simplified to appeal to a wider audience. Which, on one hand, makes sense. Most of the extensive FNAF lore is a fairly niche topic for general audiences. However, the movie is so overly simplistic that it becomes predictable. And the FNAF franchise is built off of its complex story, many characters, and unpredictable jumpscares that leave players and fans coming back for more.

So going forward, here’s what I’d like to see from the FNAF movie franchise: complete and absolute chaos. Five Nights at Freddy’s is such a unique franchise and it’s incredibly special to a large, dedicated fanbase. I believe that they deserve everything Scott Cawthon has to throw at them. More jumpscares! More twists and turns! More confusion and more theories! Overall, a solid movie. A fun time for FNAF fans everywhere. But, of course, more quirky animatronic shenanigans will always be welcome.


“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is now available in theaters and on Peacock.

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About the Contributors
Addison Laird
Addison Laird, Social Media Coordinator
Addison Laird is currently The Maroon's Social Media Coordinator. She was previously the Managing Editor for Digital and has written for The Maroon on multiple occasions. She is a third-year visual communications major, with a minor in women's studies. Originally from Mississippi, Addison enjoys repeatedly rereading the same five books and hate-watching cheesy movies with friends. She can be reached at [email protected].
Tanesha Taylor
Tanesha Taylor, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer
Tanesha Taylor is currently the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at The Maroon. She is a third year graphic design major and works as an Office Assistant for Loyola's Residential Life. In her free time, she enjoys fermenting rice wine and trying foods from different cultures. Tanesha can be reached at [email protected].

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    Rin AndrewsNov 17, 2023 at 1:44 pm