Nightmare on Screen: Five Nights at Freddy’s Movie Fails to Thrill, Leaves Viewers Bewildered!

Five Nights at Freddy’s movie disappoints with indecision, lacking the expected fun and suspense. Forgettable experience.

Chica, Freddy Fazbear and Bonnie
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S, Bonnie (Jade Kindar-Martin), Freddy Fazbear (Kevin Foster), Chica (Jess Weiss), 2023

In this lackluster attempt to adapt the popular video game into a movie, Five Nights at Freddy’s feels like an endurance test at the cursed pizza spot. At an excessive 110 minutes, the film is bogged down by dream sequences, excessive exposition, and a tedious first act buildup, lacking the expected fun.

The confusion arises from director Emma Tammi and game creator Scott Cawthon’s uncertain tone, veering from serious discussions about childhood trauma to cartoonish kids’ movie goofiness. The film unfolds a predictable and uninteresting mystery within a setting that should inherently be more engaging – a story about murderous animatronic animals.

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Set in a Chuck E Cheese-esque pizza restaurant, the plot follows troubled drifter Mike (played by Josh Hutcherson), tasked with guarding the place despite its closure. Mike’s haunted by his brother’s disappearance and replays the traumatic day through dreams. The retro B-movie setup feels alluring but quickly loses its charm, bogged down by contemporary genre problems and a focus on the protagonist’s inner torment.

While Tammi displays competent directing skills, the film’s polished appearance can’t mask its script flaws. The convoluted plot introduces dumb twists, with numerous scenes of exposition-spouting hindering the pace. The film fails to deliver the expected suspense, and the death scenes, restrained by a family-friendly rating, lack impact.

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Despite a mostly competent directorial effort, the film falls short in delivering the late-night thrill associated with the game. Hindered by indecisive restraint and misplaced self-importance, Five Nights at Freddy’s becomes a tedious slog, leaving viewers unfulfilled and promptly forgotten.

The movie is currently in UK cinemas and will be released on October 27 in US cinemas and on Peacock.

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