There’s no doubt that the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is based on the famous video game played by famous YouTubers and players alike all around the world. The game, which heavily relies on simple but unforgiving game mechanics (you literally sit and monitor the animatronics just so they can’t get to your office room until it’s 6 a.m.) and—if unlucky enough—jumpscares from our animatronic friends waiting to, well, ‘stuff’ you into one of the empty mascots.
“So, would we be expecting the same horror to appear in the movie as well?”
Hmm… yes and no, unfortunately. But the movie was more than just cheap jumpscares and horror. Despite many critiques from those who have watched it, I checked out the movie myself just to see if the movie was as lame as described, and honestly—I can see why.
The movie isn’t meant for those who aren’t familiar with the Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNaF) lore. The plot heavily relies on so many references to all the main franchises—from FNaF 1 to FNaF 4 (even a hint of reference to Sister’s Location and Security Breach).
To those who are fanatical enough with FNaF lore, here are some of the references you will notice throughout the movie.
But before we go further, please be noted that there will be many spoilers ahead. If you haven’t watch the movie, click here to get familiar with the game lore.
Security Office, Animatronics, Deaths
Before anything, of course, the movie will tease the
players audience with the very place they know too well: Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The movie took place sometime during (or before) the FNaF 1 event. Then the guard in the intro was caught by Foxy—one of the animatronics—and was tied to a chair. As a machine lowering the mascot head full of mechanisms and moving gears, the fate of the security guard remains unknown (FNaF fans would likely know who the guy is, and what happens to him).
It’s a reference to the game over screen in FNaF 1: if you are caught by any of the animatronics, the game over screen just shows an ominous scene with a bunch of animatronics inside of a room. What stood out was the Freddy mascot; the other head mascots had no eyes except for the bear. The imagination is up to the players, but one thing is certain: the player is dead if caught.
The first game led to so many speculations, but FNaF 2 confirms that any game over screens would mean the players (security guards they’re playing as) are ‘stuffed’ into one of the animatronics. The second one was even more eerie, with Freddy looking at you through the eye socket of the animatronics’ head that the players are in.
Even in FNaF 1, the Phone Guy, the person contacting the players every night (except for the fifth, sixth and seventh, unfortunately), described the ‘quirky’ behaviour of the animatronics, and what happens to the players if they see them.
So, the intro already tells the hardcore FNaF players what happens to the security guard. No gory death scenes are required—as always, they always leave the players (in this case, the audience) up to their imagination, and the mystery is what makes it creepy.
The Famous Art Style of FNaF 4
It’s another reference showcased in the movie. The opening credit teases the hardcore FNaF fans with the art style of FNaF 4 (and shows the audience the incident that started the whole FNaF lore) as it transitions into the opening sequence.
For FNaF fans, they would immediately notice the “yellow bunny”, leading the children away from the diner and into a room. This repeated occurrence was seen as ominous by the newcomers, but whatever happened to the children was told in FNaF 4.
The tease shown in the opening credits was such a treat to the original FNaF fans (I’m referring to the FNaF 1-4; not Sister’s Location, VR, or Security Breach), because the lore from these original games stands out the best. They don’t need to watch the whole movie to figure out that the “yellow bunny” here is the infamous Springtrap; the culprit behind the missing four children in Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza (and the reason behind the animatronics’ jarring behaviour).
The Bite of ’87
Every FNaF player knows “the bite of ‘87”.
The movie has a scene that teases the audience about this incident. A group of people with Max (one of the characters in the movie) that was scheming against the main character, Mike, decided that it was a good idea to ransack the closed-down Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza and vandalise the place for the sake of adhering to the agreed contract over the custody of Mike’s sister (Abby).
It doesn’t take much of a guess what happened to them as soon as they stepped into the place.
Each of them was dispatched individually by their respective animatronic; Chica and her cupcake handled the first person in the group; Bonnie got the other. Foxy took out the group leader, and Max, the traitor, received the worst (or perhaps the best) treatment from the rest of the group; courtesy of Freddy Fazbear himself.
Very foolish of her to look into the mask of Freddy Fazbear before a hand came out of the animatronic and pulled her into the head of the animatronic. The death scene was censored with a view from a shadow perspective instead—the audience couldn’t take pleasure in seeing the traitor’s demise, but the audience could at least witness as Max was crushed in half, reminiscing the tragedy of the bite of ’87.
To the general audience, this is another tragedy or brutal death scene. To the FNaF fans, however, this is another Easter Egg for them.
FNaF Movie is A Treat, But Only for the Fanatics
Even CoryxKenshin made a cameo in this movie, as a taxi driver. It’s a courtesy of his dedication to playing all the original FNaF series that made his YouTube channel popular, alongside Markiplier (too bad he’s not in the movie, though).
Again, this movie has a lot of references and reminiscences of the past FNaF 1–4 that many would miss, because the movie is expected to be full of jumpscares and horror when it’s not. The movie focuses solely on the lore, and, even though I’d wish they had explored more on the original main characters in the first game and not an entirely new character (Mike Schmidt and his sister Abby), I still found the movie entertaining. Because it took place before the event of FNaF 1, I’d say the plot remains loyal to the original lore.
Overall, though… I wouldn’t say it’s a must-watch. But you won’t regret watching it, so it’s roughly around 6/10. References, teasers, and treats to the FNaF fans are definitely what the movie relies on, and they’re not bad at all.