Freddy Fazbear's Pizza opens its doors in this month's spooktacular chiller, Five Nights at Freddy's. It's the long-awaited adaptation of the hit gaming franchise and unleashes a contingent of memorably horrible animatronics in time for our Halloween Horror Season.
Cower in terror at Cineworld as all the recognisable game iconography lunges at you from all sides. With tickets now on sale, here's why you need to spend Five Nights at Freddy's this Halloween.
1. Franchise fans will recognise their favourite elements of the games
The Five Nights at Freddy's movie has the task of appealing to both the hardcore game fans and the newbies. If we're talking about the former camp, they've got a lot to be excited about, not least the presence of the movie's villains whose big-screen debut has been long in the making.
The franchise has encompassed nine games, primarily based around the haunted Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. In the early games, the player takes on the role of a security guard who must point and click to shuffle between door locks and lights to prevent something horrible from getting in.
Said terrors are the pizzeria's autonomous animatronics, led by the eponymous Freddy. He's joined by Chica, Bonny and Foxy and all of them are akin to nightmarish versions of the Teletubbies, ready to pop out at will and scare the life out of the player.
The core elements of the game are all present and correct in the movie, which is set to delight fans. Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) plays the unsuspecting security guard (check) who arrives at Freddy's (check) where he frantically cycles through CCTV footage (check) and is ultimately greeted by the eerie presence of Freddy and his friends (check).
The mythology of the games, including Freddy's origins, has evolved over time. How much of that chilling backstory will be imported into the movie, we wonder? No spoilers here, but hardcore fans will recognise at least a couple of aspects from the trailer that signal the developments of the later games.
2. Newcomers can strap in for an enjoyably jumpy experience
Don't know your Freddys from your Bonnys? No worries – you can savour the Five Nights at Freddy's movie as a standalone horror experience this Halloween.
After all, you've got all the elements in play for horror fiends to enjoy. The characters provide the jump scares and the environment provides a suitably dank, creepy atmosphere – who could ask for more as the spooky season gets underway?
The jump scares are the prime scare facet of the games so if you've enjoyed the shrieky likes of The Nun II recently, one can expect a similar rollercoaster ride here. And if one's horror knowledge extends just a little bit beyond the pale, there's the sly presence of horror veteran Matthew Lillard, best known as Stu from Scream, in a supporting role.
3. Game creator Scott Cawthon is involved in the script
The presence of franchise creator Scott Cawthon promises consistency between the lineage of the games and the world of the movie. After all, no one knows Cawthon's creation better than he does.
The origins of the Five Nights at Freddy's game are fascinating. Aspiring developer Cawthon hit a low with his early, unsuccessful attempts at world-building, including a lumberjack game that was criticised for featuring "scary animatronics".
Defeated by his failure and yet also intrigued by the description, Cawthon decided to translate the animatronic idea into a horror game, eventually to become Five Nights at Freddy's/ Cawthon later submitted the game to Steam's Greenlight system in the summer of 2014, releasing a trailer and later a demo. He then submitted it to IndieDB, where it gained popularity, and submitted the game a third time to Desura.
The game was accepted in Steam's Greenlight in August 2014. It was an immediate hit and generated notoriety via Let's Play videos on YouTube. Eight sequels later and Cawthon is not only at the helm of a massively successful franchise but also a movie adaptation that promises to reach out to newcomers.
4. It's backed by horror experts Blumhouse
We can already chalk up the franchise's inherent popularity and notoriety, not to mention the presence of its creator on scripting duties. Bringing it all together behind the scenes is Blumhouse, one of the biggest and most successful horror production stables in the world. For many horror fans, Blumhouse is a hallmark of quality, signalling that a given property is in good hands, and that's what's expected here.
Blumhouse is overseen by Jason Blum who has countless hit chillers to his name. This includes the recently rebooted Halloween trilogy, directed by David Gordon Green (also behind the new Blumhouse horror The Exorcist: Believer), the Purge series, the Insidious movies and the Paranormal Activity franchise.
Earlier this year, Blumhouse backed the hit satirical horror M3GAN, another movie involving robotics gone mad, which was a critical and box office hit. Surely that's a good omen for the incoming Five Nights at Freddy's movie?
5. The creature experts at Jim Henson are responsible for Freddy and his pals
Genre aficionados will get a real kick from the influence of Jim Henson's Creature Shop who have designed Freddy and his morbid entourage in the movie. Yes, we're talking about that Jim Henson, the late puppet expert who created both The Muppets and Sesame Street. And frankly, we love the fact that there's an implicit Muppet connection pervading this new horror movie.
Founded by Henson in the late 1970s, his Creature Shop company distinguished itself through its memorably macabre designs that pervaded many classic family movies in the 1980s and 1990s. This includes the likes of The Dark Crystal (1982), Labyrinth (1986) and Babe (1995).
All of the movies cited above defined their respective generations via the use of expressive practical effects that interacted seamlessly with additional live-action elements. Need we say more as to why Freddy and his pals are in very good technical hands?
Are you brave enough to take the next step? Click the link below to book your tickets for Five Nights at Freddy's. The movie is released at Cineworld on October 25th.