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Farmers' Harvest

Review: ‘Five Nights At Freddy’s’ provides good time despite mediocrity

Popular video game series jumps to big screen
Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

After almost a decade of waiting, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” lovers rejoiced at the release of the movie on Oct. 27. Some fans shed happy tears for their younger selves during the film, yet others couldn’t help but leave the theater disappointed and not impressed by what the years of waiting had given them.  

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” (shortened to “FNAF” by the fandom) was previously popular for the lore and fearful atmosphere. It was the start of a new era in the gaming industry for a genre labeled “mascot horror.” Kids would speak about it at lunch, others would make fanart and some would theorize about the storyline. The jumpscares also played a part in making the game series popular. Unfortunately, in the movie, it didn’t seem like many jumpscares made it in.

The film, though technically in the horror genre, isn’t all that scary. Besides a few horribly executed cheesy jumpscares and the reveal of the final villain, the movie is rather tame. This is only one of the reasons why many “FNAF” fans left the theater feeling rather unfulfilled.

While there were high points in the movie, the story was definitely not one of them. The basic and straightforward story was oftentimes boring. Most of the movie is exposition, and while that can be done right, it was almost excruciating. Almost all of the movie was at a lull with little-to-no action or excitement until the last quarter. Sadly, that isn’t enough to make up for the rest of the movie.

CGI technology has come a long way since its invention, but if you watched this movie, you would genuinely not be able to tell. The lightning used to signify the short-circuiting of the animatronics looks right out of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. When some of the animatronics are lunging at characters, it looks as if a child opened Adobe After Effects and just started learning how to use it. Luckily, the movie often opted to use practical effects because, despite coming out just this year, it looks as if the digital effects were designed in the ‘80s.

Though the CGI was subpar, one aspect that made theaters roar in excitement was the cameos and old references. When the lights flicker in the restaurant, “IT’S ME” gets drawn on the mirror. This references back to the first “FNAF” when before you get jumpscared by Golden Freddy, “IT’S ME” flashes on the screen. Similarly, at the end of the movie during the credits, a voice spells out “COME FIND ME,” which refers back to a mini-game where you can hear a voice saying letters. Older fans would recognize Matpat and CoryxKenshin both get cameos in the movie. Matpat was an avid theorist in the community for years, providing lore breakdown and theory videos. Cory would provide entertaining gameplay and push the game to a wider audience. These two were big in the fandom, and it was nice to see them get recognized in the movie. 

Going back to the effects, the practical effects were spectacular. The animatronic suits are beautifully made and are right at place within The Pizzeria. As well as being designed amazingly, the suits are astonishingly accurate to the games and make you incredibly immersed in the film. However, the highlight of the practical effects and the entire movie was the introduction of William Afton in the Springtrap suit. This scene was genuinely scary. The suit is so well made you would’ve thought you were actually inside of the games. All in all, the practical effects did wonders for this film.

The movie, though not being especially good, was amazingly entertaining. The final rating overall would be a 4.5/10, but watching it was extremely enjoyable. Even though it was shaky, the laughs and cries of excitement in theaters were non-refundable.

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