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The Pioneer

Critics Get Movies Wrong, Five Nights at Freddy’s Is Proof

Five+Nights+At+Freddys+%28FNAF%29+is+one+of+the+most+popular+video+game+franchise+and+is+nearing+10+years.+Now%2C+theyve+made+a+movie%2C+but+what+are+the+feelings+like%3F
Universal Productions
Five Night’s At Freddy’s (FNAF) is one of the most popular video game franchise and is nearing 10 years. Now, they’ve made a movie, but what are the feelings like?

With 20 video games, 48 books, millions of fans, and now a movie, it’s impossible to deny the impact that Scott Cawthon’s Five Nights at Freddy’s (otherwise known as FNAF) franchise has had on horror since its first video game entry in 2014. But now the franchise is looking to leave its mark on the movie industry with its 2023 movie, Five Nights at Freddy’s.

As a long-time fan of the franchise, when I heard that FNAF was finally getting a movie I was ecstatic. Fans like me have been waiting for this movie since it was announced back in 2015. However, when I jumped onto Rotten Tomatoes on October 26th (the release date of the movie) to see the first reviews of this long-awaited film I was disappointed because it appeared that critics hated the movie as it got a score of 26% (as of 10/29/23). 

Yet this low rating may not be accurate because it just feels like critics despise movies based on video games. Just looking at the highest-grossing video game movies list’s Rotten Tomatoes scores proves this. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Warcraft, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Rampage (2018), Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Uncharted (2022) all had a mean critic score of 53% (which is considered “certified rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes) despite all of them grossing more than 400 million dollars at the box office. But it doesn’t stop there because these movies aren’t bad at least according to their fans as their fan scores on Rotten Tomatoes have a mean of 85% which is considered “certified fresh”. 

 

So why do critics hate video games movies that fans love? Well, it’s simple, nostalgia. As fans of franchises, we are the target audience of these movies, not a snobby critic who has never heard of the video game that the movie is based on. So, where do I, a long-time fan of the FNAF franchise, fall on this new movie that so many critics hate? I love it.

To understand why I love this movie we first have to look at a spoiler-free synopsis to better understand the plot. The movie follows Mike (Josh Hutcherson) a man who is obsessed with finding his brother Garret’s (Lucas Grant) kidnapper. His obsession with this kidnapper has led him to lose job after job which doesn’t bode well for him as he is in a custody battle with his aunt Jane (Mary Stuart Masterson) over his sister Abby (Piper Rubio) and not having a job doesn’t look very good when you’re trying to prove yourself as a good caretaker. So, Mike reaches out to Steve Raglan (Matthew Lillard) to help him find a job, and lucky enough for Mike a position for being a security guard has opened up at the abandoned Chuck E. Cheese knockoff restaurant Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Mike takes the job and meets Officer Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail) who tells him about some spooky stuff that has happened at the pizzeria. Mike has some weird dreams, builds a fort, meets some ghosts, and has an insane five nights working at the pizzeria.

 

So, why do I love this movie? Well, the acting was incredible. From acting veterans like Josh Hutcherson, Matthew Lillard, and Mary Stuart Masterson to less experienced actors like Elizabeth Lail and Kat Conner Sterling (who plays Abby’s babysitter Max) to even the child actors like Piper Rubio and Grant Feely (who plays the creatively named Ghost Kid (Blonde Boy) everyone delivered perfectly. 

The movie was also very well made behind the scenes from writer and director Emma Tammi’s great use of lighting and atmospheric effects to create constant differentiating and impactful moods, Jason Blum’s expertise of horror movies being brought to set, creator Scott Cawthon’s incredible producing where he made sure that every detail was in place and that fans got the amazing story and easter eggs they deserved, and even composers the Newton Brother’s who deliver an absolutely jaw-dropping soundtrack that made the movie 100% more terrifying. 

Now the movie is not without its flaws, the films can go on mini-tangents at points and there seem to be some plot holes along the way. Yet the film fixes any mistakes it makes with its incredibly suspenseful, terrifying, and gory ending that wraps everything up in a neat little Freddy Fazbear-branded bow.

 

So do I like the movie? 100%! Five Nights at Freddy’s is a mysterious, suspenseful, thrilling, and action-packed film that will leave you chuckling at one joke before witnessing some PG-13 gore. If you’re a fan of FNAF this is a must-watch and while it does have its imperfections it has me thrilled for the next two movies that Matthew Lillard has reportedly signed on to. So go see this movie and get ready for Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 at some point in the future because they always come back.

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