Let’s talk about Universal’s Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, or as fans like to call it, FNAF. It’s a film that’s received its fair share of criticism from reviewers who’ve been quite vocal about their concerns. So, what’s the deal with all the negativity? We’ll break it down for you in a more relaxed and approachable way.
First things first, video game adaptations have often been on the receiving end of harsh critiques, and FNAF is no exception. As of now, it’s rocking a 28% score on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics’ side, while fans seem to be having a blast with an 89% audience score. Quite the difference right?
So what rubbed the critics the wrong way about FNAF?
Jumping Around with Jumpscares
You know, there was a time when jumpscares were all the rage in horror movies. But times have changed, and viewers are now more into psychological and heart-pounding scares. Think back to the original Halloween film from 1978, where Michael Myers was the stuff of nightmares. Instead of sneaky jump-scares, the film gave you a good look at the masked killer, making it even scarier.
FNAF relied quite heavily on jump-scares, and critics weren’t thrilled about it. They felt the film missed an opportunity to use the eerie pizzeria setting, the animatronics, and the surroundings to build tension. Instead, it ended up in a dark, somewhat dull setting.
Some critics also thought a bit more body horror could’ve spiced things up, but the PG-13 rating held it back. Plus, there weren’t enough on-screen kills, and that left the audience wanting more spine-chilling moments.
The Comedy-Horror Mix-up
FNAF is, at its core, about wacky animatronics in an abandoned pizzeria. It sets up expectations for a more comedic take on horror. While there is humor in there, the film veered into heavy themes and a complex storyline that didn’t mesh well with the comedy, according to critics.
They believed that FNAF should’ve leaned more into the dark humor and craziness it promised in its marketing, rather than focusing on the serious family drama.
The Never-Ending Story
Out of all FNAF criticisms, one major was its runtime. At 109 minutes, some reviewers felt it was too long for the story it was telling. The result? Pacing issues, dragged-out sequences, and repetitive scenes. Trimming it down to around 90 minutes might have made it more enjoyable.
The Plot Twist Maze
For a simple concept, FNAF tried to weave a web of subplots that left critics scratching their heads. There was Mike’s brother, Aunt Jane, a babysitter with shifting loyalties, and Vanessa. It felt crowded, and some of these subplots made no sense.
Aunt Jane’s story, for instance, seemed significant but led to a dead-end, leaving viewers bewildered. And Vanessa’s character had its share of inconsistencies, making it hard to follow her motivations.
But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom! FNAF did have its bright spots. Fans appreciated the animatronic designs, which stayed true to the game’s aesthetics. There were plenty of callbacks and references to the game franchise, a real treat for the devoted players. And let’s not forget Matthew Lillard’s standout performance, even with some character tweaks.
In the end, while FNAF criticisms are a bit harsh but, it also had its moments of brilliance. So, if you’re into animatronic scares, give it a shot and see where you stand on the love-hate spectrum.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is currently playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.