The live-action Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is finally out in cinemas and the Peacock streaming service today. Ahead of its release, the review embargo dropped, opening the floodgates for early impressions to pour in. As some might’ve feared, it’s not quite as good as fans hoped it would be – you could actually call it another video game adaptation dud. Here’s a quick roundup of what some reviews have been saying about the horror movie.
Starting out with the positives, GameSpot awarded the movie a 7/10, stating:
“The whole thing is basically a remix of the current Five Nights at Freddy’s big picture, borrowing elements from different places and using them somewhat differently, or very differently in some cases. But it never really adds up to anything, because this movie has more plot than it’s able to support.”
IGN was less generous, giving it 4/10 and saying:
“Scott Cawthon helped produce this big-screen adaptation of his own indie horror phenomenon, but you wouldn’t really guess as much. Expanding the game’s simple, primal premise with a surfeit of character melodrama – at last, we learn the tragic backstory of security guard Mike Schmidt! – it’s a Five Nights at Freddy’s that labors under the bizarre assumption that the loyal fanbase wants a lot of extraneous plot surrounding the fun-center horror.”
Slashfilm awarded it 7/10 and said:
“Five Nights at Freddy’s will undoubtedly reward those who meet it halfway and engage with it on its own level. Perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise of 2023, this is one horror flick that seems destined to become a sleepover favorite. All it requires is channeling your inner child and allowing yourself to be swept along for the ride.”
The Guardian gave it 2/5 stars and had some harsh words:
“The low-stakes, late-night thrill we expect from the material never arrives, held back by a mixture of indecisive restraint and misplaced self-importance. Five Nights at Freddy’s is somehow a slog to get through and will be promptly forgotten by morning.”
Bloody Disgusting scored it with a 3/5:
“Five Nights at Freddy’s is meant as gateway horror for younger audiences or the devout fans that’ll appreciate the treasure trove of Easter eggs and references to the game. It’s the type of handsomely made, charming creature feature that’ll play well at slumber parties or rowdy theaters full of obsessed fans, which is precisely its target audience.”
Collider gave the movie a D, stating:
“Not only does this misfire of a film lack any sense of earned dread, it is comprehensively dull with only brief bursts of silliness. Everything just feels like a hollow skeleton that is as creaky as the ones that hold up its murderous animatronic mascots.”
We recently got the opportunity to interview the Five Nights at Freddy’s cinematographer, Lyn Moncrief, about the challenges of adapting the games to the big screen. Make sure you check out the full interview here.