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Five Nights at Freddies underdelivers on scares

Five Nights at Freddys is one of the most anticipated adaptations of the year. It hit theaters this past weekend to lots of fans excitement.
Courtesy DeviantArt
Five Nights at Freddy’s is one of the most anticipated adaptations of the year. It hit theaters this past weekend to lots of fans’ excitement.

Video game to screen adaptations have proved themselves as Hollywood’s most recent gold mine, with “The Last of Us” and “The Super Mario Bros Movie” churning out mega money for the industry. “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” an adaptation of the video game series of the same name, followed suit on Friday, Oct. 27 with a $78 million opening weekend.

The movie was anticipated by a massive fanbase dedicated to years of adaptations and seemingly never-ending lore. With the game known for its terrifying jumpscares and demonic monsters, the movie decidedly took a different approach. The game’s main objective is to survive five nights watching the security cameras at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. While the movie’s main character Mike is also a security guard at Freddy’s, his work shift is never threatened by the animatronic characters with the exception of some vague foreshadowing. When thieves ambush the pizzeria at the beginning of the movie, viewers finally get a taste of the violent and bloody animatronics they’re so familiar with in the game. Other than that scene, however, the creepy animals take on a very different persona.

Freddy and his friends act like cuddly playmates when around Mike and his sister Abby but ruthlessly kill and torture other characters. Whether the viewer is supposed to be rooting for these animals or not is unclear and their roles in the movie switch between hero and villain often. The target audience is lost among these competing factors of terror and sympathy for the animatronics. The contraction throughout the 1h 50m runtime makes for an unsatisfying watch, leaving both those who wanted a softer experience and fans of horror ultimately unfulfilled.

This deviation from the video game is wholly disappointing for long-time fans. The movie unconformably pushes sentimental themes of family and friendship that struggle to find their place amidst the horror. It’s clear that the PG-13 rating extremely limited the filmmakers from exploring the terrors of this creepy pizzeria and the animatronics that live within it, leaving the film feeling untapped of its’ potential scariness.

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Character relationships, while being the movie’s spotlight, are weak and underdeveloped. Mike and Abby’s brother-sister relationship is awkward enough to make viewers assume it was originally between a father and a daughter until the young Josh Hutcherson was cast as Mike. The cop Vanessa uncomfortably hangs around the pizzeria dropping weird foreboding hints to Mike for most of the beginning of the movie, and these bizarre actions are frustrating, to say the least.

However, all of this isn’t to say that the movie cannot be enjoyed. While viewers might find themselves laughing more at the movie than along with it, the runtime proves to be a fun and entertaining experience. The goofy storyline and outlandish characters easily come off as ridiculous and laughable. Even though maybe it’s not what the filmmakers intended, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is the perfect comedy movie to give viewers a good time.

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Ada Hillman
Ada Hillman, Online Managing Editor
Senior Ada Hillman is excited for her first year on the Pitch as Online Managing Editor. In her free time she enjoys watching movies and seeing her friends.
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