‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’: A Nightmarish Delight or Disappointment?
Released a few days before the beloved Halloween, ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ captivated the attention of horror fanatics and long time fans of the franchise. With a budget of only $20 million dollars, the movie successfully reeled in 88% rotten tomatoes and 94% likeability.
Such successes wouldn’t have been possible without the help of director Emma Tammy and prominent actors such as Josh Hutcherson and Elizabeth Lail, who portrays Beck from the beloved Netflix show, ‘You.’
Since this movie is based on the 2014 game series by the same name, the film takes a large portion of its content from the games themselves. Both the movie and the games are set in a defunct restaurant, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, haunted by child-possessed animatronics.
The film centers on a security guard, played by Hutcherson, who struggles with depression and the haunting memory of his brother’s kidnapping. He has custody of his younger sister, but struggles to hold a job due to his aggression and poor judgment.
After attacking an innocent father at the mall, he is desperate to get a new job. He visits a worker who redirects him to working nights at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Place. As a night guard there, he must survive five nights all while being chased by five scary animatronics hell-bent on killing him. On his first night, he realizes the difficulty the job holds while also uncovering the mysteries of Freddy’s.
Keeping in mind that the movie is PG-13, it can never reach its potential climax. It held back its frightening tongue and gave us a subdued horror movie. However, it does rely heavily on jump scares which scare easily. The movie was a guessing game trying to dodge jump scares by predicting them, forming suspense and exhilarating anxiousness. Though this movie depended heavily on jump scares, it wasn’t littered with them, making the movie feel incomplete. The jump scares were enjoyable, accompanied by well-rounded graphics and colors that tied the art and cinematography together satisfactorily.
The visuals added to the fear factor because of the dimmed lights and eerie feel of the movie that set the foundational atmosphere in the film. The characters also had depth to them and solid backstories that helped sympathize and root for them throughout the movie. It could be comical when you aren’t gripping on to your seat, which adds a flare of fun to the experience.
Some people felt that the character’s reactions to horrific events in the movie were muted and could have been expressed more humanly. Responses were unrealistic in that aspect and could have impacted how scary the movie could have been if it was scripted more realistically. If the characters were more fearful and expressed visceral terror, maybe that would have rubbed off on viewers and intensified the brute force of the scary scenes and relatability to the characters.
All in all, ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ was an extremely fun and scary movie. It was a perfect ounce of nostalgia for the old fans and is a perfect movie to watch for a night-in with friends and family.
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