Five Nights at Freddy’s – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Five Nights at Freddy’s – Puppetry of Lost Potential 

Going to the theatres brings out a certain joy within.  To walk through the doors brings me a hopeful thought, where I look forward to an escape with new stories and characters.  Even for all that hope, every now and then, you come out of a film wondering … what could have been.  In this review, I look at the latest Blumhouse horror film.  With interesting lore and genre dynamics, this latest is a hodge podge of tropes and promise.  For all that could be, Five Nights at Freddy’s is a horror film that just misses the mark.    

Mike (Josh Hutcherson), an unemployed security guard, takes a job at an abandoned amusement store.  What seemed like a harmless gig turns dire, and he will have to fight his way to survive.  When it comes to horror, there is a dancing act when it comes to actualizing ‘the scare’.  For this genre, there are many facets to build up atmosphere and tension.  From iconic slashers to psychological threading, the ideal moment becomes that terrifying grip as if you’re there.  I start with this because, this latest horror film drives through interesting concepts that have potential to ‘grip’ the audience.  In the beginning, we are introduced to Mike, a man with a distraught past who is trying to provide for him and his sister.  Through general dialogue and convenient plot points, he ends up taking a security gig at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.  After more expositional layering, the film slowly builds tension through momentary terror.  This is done by building mystery through the store’s abandoned animatronics and children’s disappearances.  Through ‘world-building’ and the video game lore, the first half dances a delicate line of cautious tension within generalization, creating a wavering of Mike’s job and his own tragic childhood memories.  This layering builds through potential, helping sow the seeds of the eerie feeling of this gig.  Once certain things begin to happen at Freddy’s, the ideal threading of lore, world-building and any semblance of plot starts to fall apart. 

With the animatronics on the loose, the film becomes a one-hit wonder of horror tactics.  For all the potential built through an ‘ominous threat’ and ‘lore’, the actualization of terror underwhelms with basic jump scares and predictable deaths.  This change of directive hollows out the concept, leading to uninspired horror moments, one-dimensional characters, and an overall underdeveloped script.  With Mike left to his own vices, we head into a third act of over explanation and convenient character moments.  With Mike facing the obvious ‘mastermind’, it leads to a predictable climax and epilogue.  Five Nights at Freddy’s is a horror film that leads astray because of directive choices.  If you are a fan of the lore, you might find some fun in this film.  Otherwise … it’s a rental at best.

Full Score – 2 out of 5 (Rental)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *