Five Nights at Freddy’s is finally coming to the big screen. Proof recently arrived in the form of a teaser trailer. Though sparse on details, most likely intended to wet the appetite of fans starved for this long-promised picture, what flashes on screen is enough to think it could be good.
The teaser for Five Nights at Freddy’s begins with an old horror, the VHS training tape. That may date me a touch, but I remember having to watch such videos. The chilling accuracy of this recreation risked triggering retail PTSD. Everything from banding to static snow, the cheesy acting of the onscreen instructor, it all comes together in a marvelous way.
The cheery video trainer introduces anyone watching to Freddy Fazbear. Brief glimpses of a cuddly animatronic bear with his equally adorable band flash into view. However, as they merrily sing, the scene shifts sharply to a rundown, seemingly abandoned building.
Enter Josh Hutchinson as the hapless security guard, a role fans of the game will recognize. For those unaware, Five Nights at Freddy’s is an adaptation of a wildly popular video game. Released in 2014, the simple yet frightening title virally rose to epic heights in the online pop culture pantheon. At one point, it was a must play horror game, and its legendary jump scares earned FNaF a cult following. Several YouTube gamers owe their career to Let’s Play style videos featuring Five Nights at Freddy’s.
The simple but hauntingly effective concept is clearly on display in the film’s teaser. A montage of images reveal the dark interior of an abandoned kiddie arcade and pizzeria inspired by the real life rat themed franchise Chuckie Cheese. More importantly, the familiar wall of tv screens featuring gray, grainy CCTV footage of the animatronic creatures soon to seed nightmares.
The camera pushes in on a perfect recreation of a camera feed straight out of the game. It’s the eerie sight of Bonnie the Bunny and Chica the Chicken. Human characters appear including Matthew Lillard as Michael Afton. An exposed animatronic endoskeleton foot stomps down. We see a red eyed Freddy on the prowl. Hoping to hide, a frightened child sinks into a ball pit. There’s a particularly tempting terror as Hutchinson struggles against restraints, about to be shredded by the blender-like maw of a mechanical monster.
As the title appears, a tune reminiscent of the music box from FNaF two plays. It reminds those aware that the franchise has plenty of lore to build upon. Although some might argue the ship has long since sailed on a Five Nights at Freddy’s film, the teaser for this October release may renew hope.
It’s always possible this will be a sleeper hit just like the first game. As big as the franchise got, it blew up over time, and maybe the movie will follow a similar route. No doubt fans of the game are going to flock first, but if they approve, then Five Nights at Freddy’s is sure to take off.