After 9 years of rumors, plans, canceled schedules, and fans’ hopes, the movie based on the famous “Five Nights at Freddy’s” franchise is finally on the horizon! It releases 27th of October, and the trailer has already been released, keeping all fans excited. As is always the case with the fandom, it has become the starting point for countless theories and searches for clues in the trailers. Of course, fans are excited to see the characters they grew to love and the animatronics that have been recreated faithfully to the original canon.
While not everyone might recognize the name of the franchise nowadays as it is past the peak of its popularity, there was a time when “Five Nights at Freddy’s” could be named a cultural phenomenon, especially among the younger generations. It is an indie franchise developed mostly by the talent and dedication of one man, Scott Cawthon. The first installment in the series was released in the summer of 2014 and was based around a night guard at a children’s pizzeria trying to navigate his working week. During his shift, he would be hunted by 4 animatronics, mechanical beings with an endoskeleton and a carcass representing various animals, with their lead being Freddy Fazbear.
With the passing of time and new installments, the franchise grew to be very complex and rich in lore while still keeping a lot of it vague. This led to endless theory-crafting becoming one of the most well-known activities in the fandom, as every new entry, be it a game, a book, or even a teaser, would create endless speculation on the part of the fans about where the story could possibly go. Each release would leave more questions than answers, leaving dedicated fans to speculate up to this day. With the new release of “Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach,” the franchise’s popularity is somewhat returning, and the movie will no doubt further play into it.
The trailer itself is riddled with mystery but reveals a lot about the plot. The premise is classic when it comes to FNAF, with a man by the name of Mike searching for a job and ending up as a night guard at “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.” There are added elements, however, as he is not alone in this ordeal and has a younger sister and a police officer to help him. The animatronics are seen in action, presumably already killing someone. While much of the cast’s roles are kept in secret, the main characters are already in the spotlight, with Matthew Lillard as William Afton, the murderer of five children and presumably the owner of the restaurant, and Josh Hutcherson as the protagonist, Mike Schmidt. So, what can fans expect from the movie?
The difference in canon: While the movie will, no doubt, be based upon the story of FNAF games with various re-occurring characters and story beats, the timeline and the events will not be entirely the same. This is a common practice for Scott Cawthon. He began it when writing a novel trilogy based on his games but taking place in another universe with some differences in the cast. This is done so that the game timeline can remain mysterious, with other media only providing occasional clues. There are already some signs of a different canon in the movie, such as the name of Mike’s sister being Abby instead of Elizabeth like in the game and Vanessa, a character who shouldn’t even be born until later being present.
Animatronics: This is obvious, but it still deserves mention. The animatronics shown in the trailer looks incredible, accurately representing their appearance from the game. The eye color on the posters was changed to red, but it doesn’t detract from their overall presentation. The main four were expected by fans, but a welcome surprise from the trailer is the appearance of Springbonnie, an animatronic that is destined to become the prison and carcass of the main antagonist, William Afton.
Family drama: Another staple of the franchise alongside horror and animatronics is the chaotic family dynamic of the Afton family, as it includes a murderous father and three children who are all troubled in one way or another. Most of them also eventually become animatronics with their spirit possessing them. While the family dynamic may be different in the upcoming Go movie, it will surely retain its chaotic nature. It is likely that the main antagonist will be revealed to be the father of Mike and Abby, turning the pizzeria into grounds for a family reunion.
Atmosphere: Jumpscares may be scary with how unexpected they are, but they would not work without the constant presence of a rather haunting atmosphere. The contrast between a place that should be welcoming and happy for children and adults alike to the abandoned halls covered in darkness works flawlessly. Occasional sounds like the fan and the echoes of the animatronics serve to keep the player focused and always horrified of what may come at any moment. The animatronics themselves are designed with the uncanny valley effect in mind, looking both humanoids and like the animals they are supposed to represent, but they retain the horrifying aspect of them. For the movie to become successful, this atmosphere has to be retained.
Spring lock accident: When it comes to the culmination of the movie, most fans are expecting a spring lock accident, which will cause the murderer William Afton to get crushed alive inside an animatronic, becoming a cyborg by the name of Springtrap. This is one of the series’s most iconic moments, introduced in the third installment and still serving as a turning point for much of the FNAF story. The appearance of Spring Bonnie's costume suggests that William will wear it during the movie, making his catastrophic merge, in the end, all the more likely. It would make for a powerful moment to culminate the movie.
Here is the rundown of the major things one might expect from “Five Nights at Freddy’s movie. Obviously, there is a lot more to discuss and to look forward to in this film, such as references to the games and books. All in all, fans have a lot of reasons to get excited about the upcoming movie.
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