- Director Emma Tammi creates a PG-13 horror film adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s, capturing the essence of the popular game.
- Blumhouse Productions supports the film’s unique blend of horror and genre-bending elements, making it a distinct experience.
- The movie’s ending sets up potential sequels, with hopes to involve notable gaming influencers such as Markiplier in future installments.
In her adaptation of the well-known video game series, Five Nights at Freddy’s, director Emma Tammi deftly crafts a spine-chilling atmosphere that will enthrall audiences this fall. Speaking to Variety, Tammi discusses the importance of striking a delicate balance to achieve a PG-13 rating, as she aims to create a thrilling horror film without causing psychological harm. This decision allows her to reach a younger audience while staying true to the original game’s non-gory jump scares. Tammi praises Blumhouse Productions for supporting the film’s distinctive mix of horror and genre-bending aspects, fostering a filmmaker-focused environment that helped bring her vision for “FNAF” to life.
“What’s so interesting about the games is that the jump scares are not gory. Taking a tonal cue from that is already a pretty adaptable thing for a PG-13 rating. We didn’t need to deviate that much from what the first game was doing in terms of jump scares. So, I actually feel like PG-13 is a very appropriate rating for the film adaptation. And, certainly, it was really important for us to include the younger audiences in this movie as well.”
The story follows Mike, a night security guard portrayed by Josh Hutcherson, whose shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza becomes a terrifying ordeal as the once-cheerful animatronics show their sinister true nature. These haunting machines, inhabited by the souls of deceased children, force Mike to fight for survival while uncovering connections to his own family’s tragedy. The film features cameos by notable gaming influencers, though Mark Fischbach, a.k.a. Markiplier, was unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts. However, Tammi remains hopeful about including him in potential sequels, which are already hinted at in the movie’s conclusion.
“Absolutely, Mark is a part of this franchise through and through. We reached out and we all hoped to make it work. Unfortunately we were filming at the same time Markiplier was filming his film, and the scheduling didn’t work out for this one. But we would love to include him moving forward.”
Matthew Lillard’s character is slated to appear in a three-picture arc, suggesting that sequels will closely align with each installment of the game series. Tammi explains the importance of staying true to the source material’s rich narrative, spanning 13 video games and various novels, while still making it accessible to newcomers. Collaborating closely with franchise creator Scott Cawthon, Tammi ensures the film is filled with fan-favorite easter eggs and translates the emotional core of the story—the tragic spirits within the animatronics—to the screen. Cawthon’s presence during the film’s production in New Orleans played a crucial role in maintaining the series’ essence.
Five Nights at Freddy’s was released on Peacock on October 26, 2023, and had a theatrical release the following day, on October 27.