The early reviews for Five Nights at Freddy’s suggest that most critics are not thrilled with the long-in-development video game movie.
Based on Scott Cawthon’s hit video game series, Five Nights at Freddy’s arrives this weekend after spending years in development. Early reviews from Rotten Tomatoes-approved critics have resulted in a debut score of 38% based on 28 reviews. With more reviews that come in, the score could potentially rise, though it will have a long way to go to shed its current “rotten” status, which is given to any film that scores less than 60%. It’s also worth noting that the audience score can sometimes greatly differ from the Tomatometer, and it remains to be seen how well Five Nights at Freddy’s will land with filmgoers this weekend.
As for the critics, some have been a bit harsh on the movie in their reviews, with some saying it comes up short with both its horror elements and its comic relief. Observer’s Dylan Roth gave the film a 1/4 rating, noting it had “zero thrills” and adding, “There are jump scares, but no real thrills. There are jokes, but no genuine laughs.” Andrew Parker of The Gate scored the film as 3/10 and wrote, “Anyone looking for something genuinely scary or amusing, or those who have limited knowledge of the games, should stay far, far, far away from Five Nights at Freddy’s.”
“Not only does this misfire of a film lack any sense of earned dread, it is comprehensively dull with only brief bursts of silliness. Everything just feels like a hollow skeleton that is as creaky as the ones that hold up its murderous animatronic mascots,” said Chase Hutchinson of Collider, giving the movie a D grade.
Some Critics Found the Film More Enjoyable
There were reviews that painted a better picture of Five Nights at Freddy’s. Jeremy Mathai of /Film says that the film is fun to watch, even if it’s not groundbreaking, by saying in his review, “While the expert horror heads among us shouldn’t expect Five Nights at Freddy’s to reinvent the wheel, there are plenty of cleverly staged thrills, humor, and most importantly, heart, to keep the proceedings humming along at a steady and confident clip.” James Perkins of Starburst had a wonderful time with the film as well, stating, “Five Nights at Freddy’s is an absolute blast from start to finish – a frightfully fun, goofy, and wacky scare-fest that everyone can enjoy this spooky season.”
While there are obviously exceptions, given the strong reviews for the recent releases of The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Saw X, it’s not uncommon for video game adaptations and horror films to struggle with the critics. Perhaps the odds were already stacked against Five Nights at Freddy’s as a film that is both. In any case, despite the early reviews falling short, FNAF is on track to be a big success financially, as it’s projected to have a big opening at the box office.
The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie officially debuts in theaters on Oct. 27, 2023.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes