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The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Eight years of waiting…was it worth it?

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
All of “Five Nights at Freddy’s” animatronics were not CGI. The robots were puppeteered and practical effects were applied in order to create the scenes containing the murder machines.

Spoilers ahead! You have been warned!

When I was 13-years-old I discovered something that would change my life forever. A game franchise, a book series, a community that welcomed everyone who was fascinated by the story that was being created right in front of us even if it wasn’t the most straightforward of narratives. Finally, after eight long years, I and millions of other members of the Five Nights at Freddy’s community were anxiously sitting in front of the big screen.

On Oct. 26 I was in the theater with my boyfriend for the earliest showing of the Five Nights at Freddy’s film. Walking in I had yet to decide if I wanted to walk into the theater as a fan enjoying the film or a critic writing a review. So I decided to be both, thinking critically for something like this is next to impossible. Yet here I am writing a review, though I admit my bias.

Was it worth the eight-year wait? That is the biggest question on every fan’s mind walking into this film. My answer is yes, the film is well made and truly brought the Five Nights at Freddy’s animatronics to life on screen, so much so that I was both terrified and wanted to run up and hug them. 

For those of you who don’t know the series, to put the extraordinarily complex plot simply, it’s a popular indie horror franchise that follows Chuck E-Cheese like animatronics that are haunted by dead children. Again that’s the simple explanation, if you know the franchise nothing in it is that straightforward.

The movie takes this complicated, almost decade-long, storyline and actually creates a cohesive narrative. As a Five Nights at Freddy’s enthusiast, who is also getting a degree in creative writing, my biggest fear walking into the theater was the narrative. It’s no secret that FNAF isn’t the easiest franchise to explain to new fans. 

This film creatively took elements from every aspect of the franchise and made a film that was entertaining and appealing to the watchers. For example, the way they depict the “Missing Children Incident.”

They used the eight-bit mini-game style to depict this event, this is a common aesthetic that was used in the video game series in the mini-games between each night of the original games. This is one of my favorite creative choices that they make in this film.

The characters themselves are also a good example of this, we have our main three characters, Mike Schmitt, who was introduced to the franchise in FNAF 2 is the nightguard who is trying to provide for his adorable younger sister Abby. 

Abby is a new name to the franchise, she is the quiet, mischievous younger sister of Mike that I theorize is a parallel to Charlotte Emily from the Five Nights at Freddy’s Novel series. She also interestingly has a strong connection to the animatronics we’ve never seen before, specifically through her drawings which is how they seem to communicate to each other.

Lastly, I want to touch on the cop Vanessa, who we come to learn is William Afton’s daughter. Vanessa is a character that seems to take inspiration from the most recent game, “Security Breach”, and the daughter of William Afton, which we learn he has in “Sister Location.” 

All of the characters are extremely likable and they add fascinating elements to the plot, which I found very engaging. Michael Schmidt, a character in the games we know little about, turns out to have a heartbreaking story of his younger brother being kidnapped and killed by William Afton.

The movie follows Mike as he and Abby try to figure out who killed their brother which the children haunting the animatronics seem to know. The movie follows the course of five nights, the final night is when the animatronics take Abby and the three protagonists are face to face with the serial killer golden bunny that is William Afton. 

While I did see a lot of positives, I also noticed some flaws. The major antagonist and the twist of Vanessa being his daughter were obvious in terms of plot. 

Vanessa as a character did bother me in how she handled a lot of things. Not telling Mike about the animatronics even though she knew his little sister was in danger is a good example. Lastly, my other biggest critique is that it wasn’t scary. I am an easily scared individual and I am slightly thankful for that however, I know that this is meant to be a horror movie which, in concept, is a very scary franchise. 

 Even with all that, I would say that this movie is worth the watch and wait, it’s a new era for the franchise and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next. 

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About the Contributor
Bree Lavine
Bree Lavine, Editor-in-Chief
Bree is a Freshman from High Point, North Carolina who is a Creative writing major and a film minor. Bree was a staff writer for the Guilfordian last semester and is now the Feature editor and is writing her own column 'Bree's Breeze on Culture' that explores things like anime, T.V. Shows, and movies. Aside from that Bree spends her time playing video games, drawing, hanging out with friends, and working on her own novel.

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