At The Movies


November 2023
Director: Emma Tammi
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Piper Rubio, Elizabeth Lail, Matthew Lillard, and more.

A troubled security guard begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. During his first night on the job, he realizes that the night shift won’t be so easy to get through. Pretty soon he will unveil what actually happened at Freddy’s.

Prepare for a cinematic phenomenon, as “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is on the brink of making history. With its record-breaking opening day, it’s not just any video game adaptation—it’s the one with the highest debut ever.

The buzz around this film we saw coming from a mile away, especially if you’ve kept an ear to the ground in the gaming circles. Icons like Markiplier and MatPat have fueled the frenzy for the game series, and now, its big-screen adaptation is living up to the hype, much to the delight of its fans. While critics may not be singing its praises, the audience’s adoration and an A- CinemaScore speak volumes.

As someone who dabbles in gaming, I was curious enough to catch the film on its simultaneous Peacock release, which, interestingly, hasn’t dented its box-office appeal. My experience with the game is non-existent, but the cultural wave it’s created is unmistakable.

Approaching the film as a standalone horror experience, it was, frankly, quite decent. It might be seen as an introduction to the genre for the younger crowd, given its PG-13 rating and roots in a Teen-rated game. Sure, a dash more gore might have elevated its horror status (think “Willy’s Wonderland” with a touch of Nicolas Cage), but the filmmakers knew their audience well. An R-rating would’ve alienated the very fans propelling its success.

The movie’s visual execution is commendable. The animatronics, a nightmarish leap from game to screen, are crafted with impressive practical effects. Josh Hutcherson delivers a compelling performance, anchoring the mysterious subplot of the missing children. Despite a somewhat predictable reveal, the film maintains its grip on the audience.

It’s not the kind of horror that’ll keep you up at night, especially if you’re a connoisseur of the genre. But for the younger audience, it’s a different story. It’s clear there’s a divide in reception between critics and fans, but regardless, Five Nights at Freddy’s stands as a solid entry into the horror domain. It’s probably the start of a new franchise. Keep an eye out—this is just the beginning. Either way, I recommend it.