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The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

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The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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“Five Nights at Freddy’s” Review: A Horror Gamer’s Dream or a Movie Critic’s Nightmare?

Bella Buss
With a beloved cast, a passionate pre-existing fandom, and years of anticipation, can the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” really live up to the national hype?

When chances of a movie adaptation was first announced in April of 2015, fans of the hit indie horror franchise “Five Nights at Freddy’s” were extremely thrilled. 

Originally, the release was estimated to be in 2020, but after some major setbacks — including a whole studio change from Warner Brothers to Blumhouse — the film was then set to release on Oct. 27, 2023. 

Now, with the movie finally in theaters, there has been a lot said in the critics sphere, and not much of it is very positive.

The movie follows security guard Mike, a troubled young adult plagued with guilt and anger over his past, who agrees to watch over the once loved Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Although not his first choice in jobs, Mike is given no choice when facing the potential of a custody battle over his younger sister from his greedy aunt Jane. But unbeknownst to him, a much more vicious battle awaits him at the rundown pizza place he is about to begin working nights at. 

Additionally, Mike is under the belief that if he continuously recalls the memory of his brothers kidnapping through dreams, he’ll be able to find the culprit. So, when beginning to work nights at Freddy’s, Mike continues to send himself to sleep using medication and familiar sounds in order to relive his memories, but when the dreams start changing and he wakes up with mysterious injuries, Mike is left even more confused. 

The plot continues to unfold, introducing new characters like a local police officer Vanessa, who has a strange connection to Freddy’s, more antagonists sent by the aunt, and of course, living and murderous animatronics. 

To begin with, fans and critics entered this movie skeptical and somewhat pessimistic, and many left with few compliments in mind. 

The movie really honed in on Mike’s backstory and his struggles, which may have been a big reason why many panned this movie. Most audiences weren’t looking for the character-driven route that the movie took, and were disappointed in the lack of time actually spent within the pizzeria.

Moreover, even for a character-driven movie, a lot of the character relationships and dynamics felt forced and were only ever developed because the story needed progression. This left audiences disconnected and indifferent to the overall plot.

On the other hand, the actual horror aspect was somewhat lackluster, and many felt that the movie should’ve been pushed past the PG-13 rating.

The movie had so much talent when it came to casting and directing, which was sadly overshadowed by poor and unmemorable plot choices and characters, dull character motives, and reaches made to continue the story.

The best parts of the movie were definitely director Emma Tammi’s ability to create evocative and suggestive details, but they eventually fell flat when the actual execution of said hints came about. 

Overall, while not being favored by fans, or necessarily a good horror movie, it is a fun watch with beautiful cinematography and endearing moments. If approached with a less critical and more youthful mindset, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” can be an entertaining experience, despite issues with the plot and dialog. 

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