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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Science teacher Paige Lundquist leads her third period Honors Biology class on May 10.
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Review: “Five Nights at Freddy’s” fails to captivate any audiences

Five+Nights+at+Freddys+fails+to+connect+with+longtime+fans+of+the+franchise+and+doesnt+captivate+general+audiences.
Universal Pictures
“Five Nights at Freddy’s” fails to connect with longtime fans of the franchise and doesn’t captivate general audiences.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a movie made for fans, according to Jason Blum, CEO of Blumhouse Productions. But that is a lie. This atrocious cluster fluff of a film is made for nobody – not for fans or general audiences.

In this film, Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson) finds a job at the abandoned Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. There, he discovers that the pizzeria holds chilling secrets about its past, including a connection to the kidnapping of Mike’s brother. He begins exploring the pizzeria and its secrets, accompanied by local police officer Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail), and his young sister Abby (Piper Rubio).

Being a fan of the franchise for almost a decade, it pains me to say this movie sucks. I struggle to find anything remotely redeeming about the movie because it seems nobody had any idea what the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise is about. What makes the game series so wildly popular is the theorizing that comes with it. People get excited for each new installment because with it comes new information that can unlock details of the larger story. 

The movie seemingly tries to replicate this unconventional way of storytelling but utterly fails. Nothing in this movie is explained, plot-wise or character-wise. Normally I would avoid spoilers in my review, but the issues are so intertwined with the plot I feel like it is unavoidable. One of my main gripes with the movie is the character of William Afton – the main murderer in the movie and games. The film completely obliterates any interest that one would have in him. William Afton, played by Matthew Lillard, is introduced briefly at the beginning of the movie and ignored until late in the third act. His motivation is never elaborated on. Why does he kill? What was his daughter Vanessa’s role in his murders? Why was he at a campground to kidnap Michael’s brother? These are all questions I was left with at the end of the movie, and I’m starting to think not even the writers knew the answers to these questions. While the “less is more” approach works for the storytelling in a game, it makes the movie feel incomplete, not thought-out, and uninteresting.

When Jason Blum says the movie was “made for fans,” I can’t figure out what fans he is talking about. The only way you could even attempt to fill in the major gaps in this movie is by having a deep understanding of the lore that comes with 13 games and dozens of accompanying books. The only reason it’s “made for fans” is because references are thrown in your face: balloon boy, the “Five Nights at Freddy’s 4” box, the marionette, and many more

The only redeeming part of the movie is a cameo from Five Nights at Freddy’s expert MatPat (known for his Game Theory channel on YouTube). His cameo reinvigorated my interest in the movie after enduring a boring, confusing plot paired with mediocre acting and poor characterizations. It was a breath of fresh air getting to see a very familiar face. It also was the funniest part in a movie desperately trying to rebrand itself as a comedy over a horror.

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About the Contributor
Javen Oswald
Javen Oswald, Marketing, Outreach and Engagement Managing Editor
Javen Oswald is a senior at NCHS. This is his third year on staff, and he has moved into a manager position. Early in life, Javen found success as a child actor, gaining recognition for his role as Young Jordan Denton in Chicago Fire S2 E12, entitled “Disco Bob.” Now, he has shifted his focus to producing high-quality journalistic opinions. Next year, he plans on going to college to study film.
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