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Five Nights at Freddy's

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

Having never played the game, I had no preconceptions finding out if I could survive FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S.

I thought I was in for a "Chuck E. Cheese goes full Chucky and murders a bunch of dolts". Well, kind of, but dare I say there's a lot more going on here than that.

Not very effectively, but certainly more than I expected.

Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) stars as Mike, a troubled young man wandering from one dead end job to another as he tries to provide for his young sister Abby (Piper Rubio).

His parents are out of the picture, devastated by the unresolved kidnapping of Mike's younger brother when they were both very young.

Mike lands an all-night security job at the long defunct Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.

It's a creepy joint, with the rotting remnants of the bulky, goofy 80's animatronic characters still on stage.

His nights are spent reliving his brother's kidnapping when he falls asleep and exploring the menacing kids restaurant when he manages to stay awake.

His days are filled battling against his wicked Aunt Jane (a slumming Mary Stuart Masterson) who's determined to get custody of Abby. The Aunt Jane character is a red flag, simply a plot device with no real motive or resolve in the story. If you're going to add characters just to flesh out the running time, don't waste actors like Masterson playing them.

Hutcherson is very good and his Mike seems to find support in a young local sheriff deputy Vanessa, played by Elizabeth Lail, the opposite of Masterson on the thespian talent chart.

Sadly, Matthew Lillard apparently still thinks he's in "Scooby-Doo" putting the OVER in overacting. Painful.

About halfway through the movie, Mike's realistic dreams of the kidnapping of his brother set a tone that I thought the movie was going to explore. It conjured up similar feelings to "Doctor Sleep" in the sheer willingness to put kids in danger.

But very soon afterward, all those beloved Freddy's animatronics took center stage in the film and the movie falls off a cliff from potentially interesting to really, really dumb.

I'm guessing fans of the video game (and clearly there are millions based on the impressive opening weekend box office) will enjoy seeing Foxy and Golden Freddy and the others whom I cant really be bothered to remember, come to life.


The good:

Hutcherson is terrific.

All of the murderous characters are not CGI, they're brought to life by Jim Henson's creature shop and they're kind of fun. NEVER scary if you're older than 12, but kind of fun.

The music score by The Newton Brothers (The Fall of the House of Usher, Doctor Sleep) is very good.

The bad:

This thing made over $130 million against its $20 million budget it's first three days. So there's going to be a LOT more of these. Let's hope the next one is rated R, so it plays more like a horror movie and less like an afterschool special about Stranger Danger.

FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S only scares up a C.

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