‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ serves animatronic anarchy

Josh Hutcherson shines a light into the abandoned diner where neon lights still buzz. (SCREENSHOT/SAM ROYKA)

The long-awaited “Five Nights at Freddy’s” film was released in theaters on Oct. 27, 2023, and on the Peacock streaming service on Oct. 26, 2023. The film, which stars Josh Hutcherson and Matthew Lillard, was eight years in the making, eventually ending up with Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouse is known for numerous horror movies such as the Paranormal Activity series. 

The movie begins similarly to the first “Five Nights At Freddy’s” game; Michael (Hutcherson) needs work and applies for the night security job at an abandoned pizzeria. This pizzeria was once a thriving location for children and families, with arcade games and pizza. Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza was most famous for one aspect, though: the performing animatronics. A band of three animals, Fred Bear, Chica Chicken, and Bonnie Bunny, performs on stage, with a fourth, Foxy, also performing. 

The security job has a short turnaround time, something Michael doesn’t question due to his desperation. It doesn’t take long for Michael to discover what, or more accurately, who is responsible for this. The animatronics are not just robots programmed to perform for eternity. They are sentient beings fueled by anger and highly protective of their home. 

There are eight main games in the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” series, with five spin-off games. Additionally, three novels have been released, and a total of 21 graphic novels. YouTuber MatPat has invested hours in theories that many fans believe or even expand on. MatPat has a cameo in the film, a nod to longtime fans of the franchise. 

The film is approachable for casual fans of campy horror, while also including bits of the story from the extensive “Five Nights at Freddy’s” universe. 

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