|Original title:||Five nights at Freddy's|
|Running time:||109 minutes|
|Release date:||25 october 2023|
Five Nights at Freddy's, the long-awaited film adaptation of the popular video game series, directed by Emma Tammi and produced by game creator Scott Cawthon, departs from the source material and offers a consistently inconsistent cinematic experience. While the film begins by creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the game's sinister ambience, it gradually moves away from its horrific roots, opting for a mix of family drama and supernatural mystery, ultimately leaving fans and horror enthusiasts wanting more.
The story introduces us to Mike, convincingly played by Josh Hutcherson, a troubled security guard struggling with a dark past. Recently fired and tasked with caring for his younger sister Abby (Piper Rubio), Mike's life is marked by guilt and childhood trauma. In his youth, he witnessed the kidnapping of his younger brother, a crime that remains unsolved to this day. To prove his responsibility and offer Abby a stable home, Mike takes a job as a night watchman at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, an abandoned restaurant with a sinister history.
The film opens with a promising, tense atmosphere that captures the essence of the game. The animatronic characters, brought to life by the world-famous Jim Henson Company, are faithfully recreated and initially provide some solid scares. The film looks set for a thrilling horror experience, but as the story unfolds, it struggles to maintain the initial tension. The film veers away from horror, and therein lies one of its most controversial choices: the PG-13 rating. Many fans were hoping for a more faithful and gruesome adaptation of the video games, but the film chooses to avoid explicit violence. This decision results in a lack of genuine terror and suspense, with the film constantly cutting out potentially gruesome scenes, leaving audiences wanting more.
Josh Hutcherson's performance as Mike is remarkable, as he portrays a character haunted by his past and burdened by the responsibility of caring for his sister. Hutcherson manages to draw viewers into Mike's moody, troubled state of mind with minimal effort. However, the film's main flaw lies in its inability to find a coherent tone and direction.
Five Nights at Freddy's vacillates between horror film, family drama and supernatural thriller, leaving the audience feeling disconnected from the characters and the story. This lack of focus undermines the potential for a truly captivating horror experience. In addition, the film introduces convoluted and confusing plot elements that detract from the overall impact. These mysteries and conspiracies seem out of place and unnecessary, making the story unnecessarily complex and cluttered.
Although Five Nights at Freddy's has some promising moments and impressive puppetry, it fails to live up to the expectations of fans of the video game series and horror film enthusiasts alike. Its vacillating identity and indecisiveness in embracing its horror elements prevent it from delivering the chilling, thrilling experience fans and viewers were hoping for.
Ultimately, Five Nights at Freddy's reminds us that adapting a beloved video game into a successful horror film can be a difficult task. Despite its potential, the film fails to deliver, leaving viewers with a sense of disappointment and the feeling that it could have been so much more. The film fails to be a captivating and truly terrifying horror experience.
Five Nights at Freddy's
Directed by Emma Tammi
Screenplay by Scott Cawthon, Seth Cuddeback, Emma Tammi
Story by Scott Cawthon, Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre
Based on Five Nights at Freddy's by Scott Cawthon
Produced by Scott Cawthon, Jason Blum
Starring Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson, Matthew Lillard
Cinematography : Lyn Moncrief
Edited by Andrew Wesman, William Paley
Music by The Newton Brothers
Production companies : Blumhouse Productions, Scott Cawthon Productions
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates : October 25, 2023 (United Kingdom), October 27, 2023 (United States), November 8, 2023 (France)
Running time : 109 minutes
Viewed on October 27, 2023 (Peacock)