On the 26th of October, my brother, multiple friends, and I went to a midnight screening of Five Nights At Freddy’s to celebrate my brother’s birthday. Having seen the trailers, we knew that the odds of this movie being a cinematic masterpiece weren’t high. However, our outlook was that either we would be pleasantly surprised, or that this would be a “so bad it’s good” type of movie.
From the moment we entered the theater, we already knew we’d be in for an entertaining treat. Our bet was that only die-hard fans of the video games would show up to a midnight screening. We were right. The crowd of people who showed up was very diverse. We were greeted by the sight of teenagers in full three-piece suits, people in Halloween costumes, and people dressed as anthropomorphic animals (also known as furries). Not to mention that between the chatter and laughter of all that were present, you could sporadically hear the Toreador March Song (aka Freddy Fazbear’s Theme) being sung in excitement. People were clearly there to have a good time and no one took the experience too seriously which was fitting considering we were going to an early viewing of a movie whose main plot is murderous animatronics.
It only got wilder once the movie started. For example, there was a very surprising and pleasant cameo by a very well-known YouTuber who has done a lot of work related to the video game series. The crowd was already excited, but the YouTuber in question also had a few lines where they said an iconic catchphrase. The crowd went wild shouting gleefully at the screen and echoing the catchphrase! In the same scene, there’s a lawyer played by Michael P. Sullivan who stole the show with his acting. He was absolutely hilarious and I wish we could have seen more of him. Just his facial expression made the whole theater laugh which means he nailed his role as the comedy relief in that scene.
There’s also a specific scene in the movie, which anybody who saw the movie will immediately know what I’m talking about, which was so out of left field that many people jeered at the screen. The scene in question has the main protagonists, Mike and his little sister Abby, do a fort-building montage with the supposedly evil animatronics which just one scene ago were seen goring 3 other secondary characters. Then they proceed to all lay on the floor laughing together and staring at the ceiling as if they were stargazing. People were so shocked and in disbelief at the scene that many just started laughing which isn’t, I believe, the intended feelings a horror movie wants to convey. From that point forward, the whole audience lost interest. People started screaming jokes and talking with each other openly. However, the main vibe was that everyone was enjoying themselves.
The dialogue and line delivery didn’t help the movie’s case either. Some conversations between Mike and Vanessa, a security guard, were downright atrocious. Especially a scene where they are both on the shore of a random embankment talking about one of Mike’s most traumatic childhood memories. It almost boiled down to:
Mike: “I have childhood trauma.”
Vanessa: “Damn that sucks.”
In fact, calling the acting flat during that scene is an understatement. It was akin to watching two cardboard cutouts being controlled by a puppeteer.
Also, even though Blumhouse, the production company, is known for turning a profit on very low-budget horror movies. Some of their cost-cutting methods kind of jumped at us and made some viewers pretty annoyed. The scene depicting Mike’s childhood trauma comes to mind because they must have used the same footage of a child playing with a toy airplane at least 8 times during the movie.
Furthermore, without going into spoiler territory, there’s a big reveal towards the end of the movie. I saw multiple viewers leave the theater out of disappointment which was a shame.
My final thoughts on the experience were that although this was one of the worst movies I had seen in a long time, the bar was already set so low that the experience was one of the best I’ve had in a theater in years. I’d definitely recommend seeing the movie to any fan of the series or if anyone wants to have a good laugh with friends.