April 14, 2024

FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S (2023) – Still a dud despite its box office success

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Rating: ⭐ 1/2

Amidst the onslaught of horror offerings for the Halloween season, comes this most unexpected box office hit! Despite being released in the cinemas and streaming services at the same time, the film still managed to garner over US$80 million at the box office over its opening weekend! Based on this I was expecting at least a half decent and entertaining time but alas, try as hard as I might, I still found Five Nights at Freddy’s totally underwhelming. Perhaps the film owes its success to its link to the computer games series of the same name and presumably its huge fan base to support it. Somehow computer games adaptations have been enjoying unusual success of late (think HBO’s The Last of Us and The Super Mario Brothers movie). At least The Last of Us was exceptionally well made and deserved its success. With Freddy’s there are little signs of anything truly original or particularly exceptional (in a good way I mean) that might have brought the film above the mundane.

Josh Hutcherson whom some of you may recognise as Peeta Mellark in the Hunger Games series plays the lead here, as Mike, a struggling young man who is unable to keep a job to pay the bills, in addition to having a much younger sister to care for. He lands a job as a night security guard for an abandoned pizza diner named Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Turns out the place’s old animatronic bears are haunted and somehow has a link to his troubled past involving a younger brother’s abduction. While Josh gives a decent enough performance, he is never given the opportunity to really shine and go beyond a straightforward characterisation. I believe he can do so much better had his character been better written and given more umph.

Freddy also failed to deliver in the horror and scares department. Director Emma Tammi’s decision to make the movie PG-13 rather than an R rating probably did the film a disservice. This resulted in most of the actual killing or violence taking place off screen. The whole movie in fact has a kids friendly feel to it which immediately made it less exciting for those who might be looking for a more grisly or bloody scare. Perhaps it qualifies the movie as a sort of Kids friendly Halloween fun outing. I can imagine that with the film’s huge success, we would soon be seeing Freddy Fazbear inspired family parties!

Well, since I am hardly a kid anymore, Five Nights at Freddy’s didn’t appeal to my bloodthirsty inclining and I am left wanting for more.

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