The first teaser for the Five Night at Freddy’s movie has landed online – and, surprisingly, it looks really good.
After years languishing in development hell, Universal and Blumhouse Productions’ live-action film adaptation is finally ready to be shared with the world. And, the flick seems like it’ll be worth watching when it arrives in late October. Clearly, a lot of love, care, and detail has gone into ensuring it resembles Scott Cawthon’s iconic horror videogame series as possible.
Take a look at the first trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) movie adaptation below:
For those unfamiliar with the gaming franchise: Five Nights at Freddy’s sees players assume the role of Mike Schmidt, a newly-hired security guard who is forced to survive six nights at the titular pizzeria when its animal-based animatronics spookily come to life during the night.
The game series became an overnight phenomenon when it originally launched in 2014, and has gone on to be a major influence on the indie horror games genre in the years since. The Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise now comprises eight mainline games – with an extremely convoluted, interconnected plot that game theorists have spent years trying to work out – as well as four spin-off games, tons of merchandise, an in-universe book series, and an absolute slew of knock-off titles, such as One Night at Flumpty’s.
So, how will the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie tackle the franchise’s ever-expanding narrative? Well, it goes right back to the source, with Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) starring as “Mike Schmidt, a troubled security guard, [who] starts a night-time job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a once-successful abandoned family entertainment center.
“Here, he discovers its four animatronic mascots – Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, and Foxy the Pirate Fox – move and kill anyone that is still there after midnight.”
Matthew Lillard (2002’s Scooby-Doo) joins Hutcherson as the franchise’s iconic villain William Afton. On the development side, Cawthon co-penned the script with Emma Tammi (Into the Dark) and Seth Cuddeback (Mateo), with Tammi also directing the movie.
Five Nights at Freddy’s will launch simultaneously in theaters and on Peacock, Universal’s US-exclusive streaming platform, on October 27, just in time for Halloween.
Eyes on the prize
Given its devoted fan following, the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie has been warmly received by diehards across the internet. Many have praised its indie horror aesthetic, the like-for-like looks of the animatronics, and the overall tone and vibe it’s giving off.
There is, though, one aspect of the teaser – and film by proxy – that fans aren’t happy with: the animatronics’ red eyes.
Now, there’s a clear reason why the animatronics’ eyes change color when they’re in attack mode. For one, it makes them look evil. Additionally, it distinguishes the two modes that they have: their daytime, pacifist mode (complete with white eyes) when the eatery is open, and families come to get their fill of pizza and animatronic-based fun, and their night time, set-to-kill mode. The eye color change is simply a visual cue to help audiences determine the animatronics are peaceful and when they’re not.
Even so, diehard FNAF fans aren’t impressed with this little detail. Over on the FNAF Reddit page, users weren’t shy in expressing their displeasure over the use of red eyes to tell audiences when the animatronics are prowling for people (read: Mike Schmidt) to kill.
“I’ll be honest, not huge on the red eyes thing,” MichalTygrys (opens in new tab) lamented, while NotAThrowaway1911 (opens in new tab) wrote: “The red eyes are the only nitpick I have with this trailer”.
Others, including newslender19 (opens in new tab), ShuckU (opens in new tab), MrDitkovichNeedsRent (opens in new tab), and Neebrasc (opens in new tab) agreed with that duo, calling the red eye design “generic”, “cheesy and predictable”, and “goofy”.
The red eye design received a similarly frosty reception on ResetEra, too. Users like BranCrackr (opens in new tab) and MrConbon210 (opens in new tab) were equally unenthused with the adoption of this aesthetic, suggesting that the film adaptation should have just retained the white eye hue, regardless of what mode the animatronics are in (just like they are in the games).
By all other metrics, however, the FNAF movie looks and sounds like it’ll be as faithful to the game franchise as possible – and that’s a good thing. We’ve already seen how largely carbon copy video game movies, such as The Super Mario Bros Movie and the two Sonic the Hedgehog films, have bowled audiences over worldwide, raking in billions of dollars along the way. The tide has turned on the video game film genre and, regardless of the fact it’ll be a cheesy, B-movie-style horror flick, the Five Night at Freddy’s movie appears as if it could be the next big gaming movie hit. Expect it to join our highly anticipated new movies of 2023 list soon.
For more videogame movie-based content, read our round-up of the best video game films. Alternatively, find out how Nintendo laid its cinematic demons to rest with The Super Mario Bros. Movie.