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The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” adaption is filled with jump scares and pizza shares

Five Nights at Freddys was released for streaming on Peacock on October 26, 2023, and was released by Universal Pictures to theatres the following day.
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
“Five Nights at Freddy’s” was released for streaming on Peacock on October 26, 2023, and was released by Universal Pictures to theatres the following day.

Predictable scares, an anticlimactic plot and inadequate acting. Emma Tammi’s, “Five Nights at Freddy’s”, released on October 27, is a letdown to viewers, especially those who were highly anticipating the release. True horror fans will wince when watching attempts throughout the film to frighten the audience.

The film is based on the video game series developed and published by Scott Cawthon. The animatronic characters as well as elements of the plot originate from the game which reached peak popularity a few years ago. Many teens who were fans of the game were thrilled to hear about the movie adaptation but disappointed by the outcome.

The plot gets kicked off when Mike (Josh Hutcherson), an unemployed security guard, gets a job overseeing Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The pizzeria, which doubles as an arcade, shut down shortly after the disappearances of multiple children. Although the job and hours are unusual, being employed is essential for Mike if he wants to keep custody of his little sister, Abby (Piper Rubio).

From his very first day on the job, Mike is surrounded by an ominous aura. Nightmares about his little brother’s abduction are heightened and he meets a mysterious cop named Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail). The weirdest part of the situation is the animal animatronics that come to life at night while Mike is working. These animatronics, led by Freddy (Kevin Foster) are the centerpieces of the video game that the movie was based on.

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Throughout the film, Mike tries to put pieces together of the seemingly impossible puzzle. The ending of the film is extremely anticlimactic and far from challenging to predict for anyone actually paying attention to the movie. It is clear that the writers attempted to perfectly bring all of the mini storylines from both the game and the movie together. In actuality, this resulted in a cookie-cutter ending without many surprises for the viewer.

Unlike the plot, the creation of this film was full of twists and turns. The film adaptation began in April 2015 under the direction of Warner Bros. Pictures. After several delays, the production of the film was transferred from Warner Bros. to Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions where Chris Columbus was hired as director. After he left the project, Emma Tammi was given the position in October 2022. Tammi also directed “The Wind” (2018) and “The Left Right Game” (2020).

The main flaw of the acting is the lack of emotion from the characters. When Vanessa is exposing a deep, dark secret, Elizabeth Lail’s expression does not appropriately fit the moment. It leaves the viewer feeling a lack of realness and humanity from her character.

Josh Hutchison, a skilled actor and producer best known for his role as Peeta Mallark in “The Hunger Games”, was not utilized to his full potential. His character ends up coming off as boring and dopey unintentionally. As the main character, he had the ability to maximize the engagement from viewers, but his acting role in this film was simply not up to par.

The film also fell short when it came to deep relationships. The inclusion of a more intense, romantic relationship between Mike and Vanessa may have made the plot more interesting. As a viewer, it was very hard to identify a real connection between either of the two characters.

One positive of the film’s basic plot was the fact that no prior knowledge was needed. Even viewers who hadn’t played the video game or been introduced to the characters could still easily follow what was going on. However, those who had played the game were let down when they felt the narrative was not written to its full potential.

Since the film was not overly bloody or graphic, it may be a good solution for pre-teens and younger teens looking for an appropriate horror movie. The flaws may not stand out as much to these younger audiences. Older teens and adults will see right through the overall low quality of the movie.

The movie came out nearly eight years after production began, so it is clear there were some bumps in the road. The finished product reflected this. The lack of depth in the film was extremely disappointing. All of the right pieces were there, but the puzzle unfortunately did not come together well.

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About the Contributor
Lily Chadwick, Photo Manager & Assistant Sports Editor
Lily Chadwick is a sophomore and the Photo Manager of the Observer. This is her second year taking journalism and she is looking forward to bettering her writing while also meeting new people. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, field hockey, going to the beach, and spending time with family & friends.

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