Five Nights at Freddy’s adapts the video game of the same name from creator Scott Cawthon. In what seems like the first entry in a franchise, Five Nights at Freddy’s is a simple story grounded by a solid performance by Josh Hutcherson as Mike, who gives a committed performance. The film’s backstory is pretty dark, but the horror itself isn’t particularly scary, with typical, lukewarm jumpscares and only the occasional pop of blood. Directed by Emma Tammi from a screenplay she co-wrote with Cawthon and Chris Lee Hill, Five Nights at Freddy’s delivers a basic story uplifted by the sibling dynamic and Mike’s personal journey. It’s fine for what it’s going for — just don’t expect to be wowed.
The film follows Mike (Hutcherson), a security guard who’s recently been fired from his mall job after beating a man he thought was kidnapping a child. Mike isn’t doing so well in general — he’s battling his aunt Jane (Mary Stuart Masterson) over custody of his younger sister Abby (Piper Rubio) and he can’t seem to keep a job for long to make ends meet. Desperate, Mike takes a job as an overnight security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The place has been abandoned for years after children went missing in the 80s, but all Mike has to do is watch the place to make sure there are no trespassers. At night, Mike dreams about Garrett, who was kidnapped when they were kids. As Mike draws closer to finding out who took Garrett, he quickly realizes he’s not alone at Freddy’s, where the animatronics come to life at night and aren’t exactly friendly.