Five Night's at Freddy's | Review by: Benjamin Garrett
Video game adaptations used to have an abysmal track record. Over the last few years, however, we’ve actually gotten some solid movies and shows based on popular games. Five Nights at Freddy’s is here to restore the balance, giving us not only a lousy adaptation, but one of the worst movies of the entire year.
Listen, I haven’t played the games, but before you come at me for my harsh critique, know that I did a bit of homework before diving into this mess of a movie. The concept of the games should’ve lent itself perfectly to a movie adaptation. Trapped in an abandoned arcade at night, using a handful of security tools to survive against murderous animatronic puppets - it’s a simple, potentially fun idea that the movie destroys by going in a far more convoluted (and boring) direction. Plagued with repetitive flashbacks in an attempt to squeeze Hutcherson’s character into the games’ lore, the result is ridiculous narrative mush that’s barely coherent.
The design of Freddy and his gang of evil animatronic friends is well done, and appropriately creepy. The combination of puppetry and actors in costume is mostly effective, and faithful to their look from the games. The movie around them simply isn’t frightening, though, so that impressive design is ultimately wasted on cheep jump scares and… sigh… fort building. Honestly, the scariest part of the whole movie is when Josh Hutcherson’s character walks around with his entire big toe poking through his sock, completely unfazed.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is an adaptation that caters to hardcore fans by including plenty of the games’ lore, but also one that ignores so much of what made them massive hits in the first place. The end result is a dull, messy movie that exists in a confused middle ground, unsure of who its target audience should be. Go watch Willy’s Wonderland instead. It’s not a good movie either, but next to this, it’s a masterpiece.