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Five Nights At Freddy’s               review by Bobby Blakey

For decades kids pizza places like Chuck E Cheese and the way better Showbiz Pizza were a stable for kids entertainment complete with animatronic character shows. Sadly, over the years this aspect mostly died off, but that didn’t mean they were gone for good. Since then numerous films, games and comics have focused on this side of our youth in the horror genre. In 2014 the idea was brought to life in the video game franchise Five Night At Freddy’s. After years of talk it is now making its way onto the big screen with a feature film starring Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Kat Conner Sterling, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson and Matthew Lillard from Into the Dark director Emma Tammi.

Five Night At Freddy’s follows a troubled security guard as he begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. While spending his first night on the job, he realizes the night shift at Freddy’s won’t be so easy to make it through.


Let me first say that I have never played the game, but know the premise and always thought it was a cool concept, especially growing up with places like Showbiz Pizza. The 2021 film Willy’s Wonderland had a similar premise and kicked all kinds of ass so was keeping my hopes up that finally getting something based on the actual source material would bring it’s a game.


While this film is entertaining my biggest beef is that it spends more time with Hutcherson’s character and his personal issues than with the crazed animatronics and location that is the entire reason for watching the film. I get that it is trying to build some character development for us to care more about his issues, but most of it is an ongoing repeated sequence that eventually feels overused and pointless.


Big props to the visuals of the film as they look great with the animatronic designs looking like  the game come to life. They are both creepy and adorable all at once making for a great group of characters to wreak havoc had we gotten much of it. There is a strange balance of trying to make it more than it is and the attempt to work in a horror element that just never fully shines through. It feels like it really tries to find its way back to the proper tone in the last act, but was a bit too late to save it overall.


There are some great creative machines and kills, but sadly we don’t see the majority of them. I loved the initial set up of the implied kills to set the tone and build the mystery, but that is all we get for the majority of the film. Maybe hardcore lovers of the game will enjoy the nostalgia of it all, but the expectations of a film filled with crazed animatronics was not fully fulfilled due to it either lacking the budget or playing to the PG-13 rating in hopes to get bigger audiences. It’s a fine film as a whole, but a huge missed opportunity.


There is a predictable twist ending that is fine, but doesn’t bring up much to elevate the film to anything more than average at best. If you are one of the legions of fans then dive in and hope you have a great time, but if you want to see the pull no punches version that this film should have been then check out Willy’s Wonderland instead.


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including featurettes that take fans behind bringing this popular game to the big screen. Grab your copy of Five Nights At Freddy’s available now on digital, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD from Blumhouse and Universal Home Entertainment.

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