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The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ movie, a mix of thrills and disappointment

-REVIEW-
Nine years ago, the very first “Five Nights at Freddy’s” video game was published by a small game developer named Scott Cawthon. At first, the game told the story of a lonely night shift employee at an abandoned pizzeria which then evolved into several different story lines. As the lore expanded, the game grew in popularity and formed a horror-loving fandom. On Oct. 27, fans of the ever-growing franchise welcomed the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie to theaters.
As a fan of the games, the movie was disappointing due to its lack of connection to the originals.

The movie tells the story of Mike Schmidt, played by Josh Hutcherson, working as a security guard at the abandoned Freddy Fazbear’s pizzeria. Taking his sister Abby along for the journey, Mike uncovers the twisted past of Freddy Fazbear’s and even the Schmidt’s family history.

One of the biggest letdowns was that the storyline didn’t follow the story of the video games. It’s understandable that the movie franchise wants to take a different approach than the video games, but some major plot points from the games, such as character relationships, were changed in the movie. Changing this changed the whole feel of the franchise, making it not feel like the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” fans know and love.

Additionally, new characters like Abby Schmidt, played by Piper Rubio, didn’t bring anything new to the table. While certain scenes with Abby were extremely entertaining for her bravery, especially during the climax of the movie, other scenes were unsatisfying and confusing. Her overall presence in the movie left more questions about the storyline than answers.

On the horror side, this movie didn’t quite bring the fear aspect that fans are expecting. Rated PG-13, the movie is limited in the types of language, gore and effects that it has. Much like actual gameplay, the movie uses an abundance of jumpscares to scare the audience effectively. The jumpscares were predictable and without a suspenseful mood to keep heart rates high, the frights do not catch many people off guard. Although this movie, according to producer Jason Blum, was curated for the pre-existing fanbase, it would have been nice if horror fans could get a thrill watching the film.

Fans of the game are familiar with the bite of ‘87, which has a reference in the movie. A character is bitten in half by one of the animatronics, but the only part visible to the audience is a shadow of the bite happening. Little gore is present in the movie, with the exception of fake blood use. While gore does not need to be present to make a horror movie good, but again, the lack of suspense throughout the film does not create the horrific mood expected of a “Five Nights at Freddy’s” film.

On a positive note, including some of the YouTubers who helped build the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” fanbase into what it is today, was a pleasant addition. The inclusion of MatPat and CoryxKenshin was a thoughtful nod to the fans of the original video games.
Additionally, the overall mood of the movie did meet expectations. The creators did an amazing job of replicating the feeling of the pizzeria from the video games. Watching the pizzeria’s mood change from being cheerful and adorable when the restaurant was open, to being frightening and twisted when it was closed down was incredible.

And while the movie wasn’t as scary as it should have been, the creators excelled with the computer-generated imagery (CGI) and costuming. Foxy was fully animatronic and required special effects, which did not go unnoticed. The other animatronics’ costumes were an intricate, brilliant mix of creativity combining a terrifyingly realistic aesthetic while staying true to the cartoony feel of the game. The animatronics’ eyes glowed red when angry, and their eerie ability to change locations without being detected by the characters created the same feel that game players are used to.

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While some parts were incredible, in the end, the movie left fans wanting more. This was a missed opportunity for the movie to emulate the original video games and really please the fandom. With a more mature rating and following more closely to the lore, it could’ve made for the ideal “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie. As a stand-alone horror film, it could tell a strong story with a bit scarier effects, but as a movie intended to depict a well-known game franchise, it doesn’t bring that world to life.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is currently playing in theaters and is available on Peacock with a subscription.

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About the Contributors
Leena Macklin, Reporter
As a first-year on staff, sophomore Leena Macklin is excited. While working her way up to the top, she earns her role on the Wingspan’s staff as a reporter. Journalism is new to her, and by preparing for this year she attended Journalism Camp at the University Of Lincoln. Outside of our newsroom, she does lots of acting and cross country in her free time. Macklin has many people she looks up to, but her journalistic inspiration is Wingspan Editor-in-Chief, Madeline Petrick, who got her to commit to Journalism.
Brayden Hansen, Editor
Brayden Hansen is a sophomore at GEHS and is in his first year in journalism with the Wingspan. He serves as an editor. Outside of school, his passions are reading, spending time with friends and gaming. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas, but moved to Nebraska at a young age. He attended Millard Public Schools for elementary school and eventually came to Gretna in fifth grade. Brayden’s favorite type of story to write is opinions due to its fun and exciting side.
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