Video game begets 'dark' horror film that inspires little fear - Catholic Courier
People dress in giant bunny, bear and chicken costumes. Characters Bonnie, Freddy Fazbear and Chica appear in a scene from the movie “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” (OSV News photo by Patti Perret/ Universal Pictures)

Video game begets ‘dark’ horror film that inspires little fear

NEW YORK (OSV News) – A child-abduction theme lends a dark undertone to the turbid horror film “Five Nights at Freddy’s” (Universal). Adapted from cowriter Scott Cawthon’s video game franchise by director and script collaborator (along with Seth Cuddeback) Emma Tammi, it’s a dreary affair that inspires more boredom than fear.

Haunted by the long-ago kidnapping of his younger brother, troubled security guard Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson) has developed a spotty employment record. So, when offered a job as night watchman at Freddy Fazbear’s, a once-popular but now abandoned combination pizzeria and gaming arcade, he reluctantly accepts.

One feature of Freddy’s was an ensemble of life-sized cartoon-figure robots designed to entertain youthful patrons. Unfortunately, these automatons turn out to be haunted and it’s not long before they’re menacing not only Mike but his introverted, much younger sister Abby (Piper Rubio) as well as Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail), a local police officer he has recently befriended.

Film has little bloodletting and only momentary gore

Though the carrying-off-of-kids topic is treated seriously, there’s still a whiff of exploitation in its deployment to the seemingly frivolous end of merely building up a creepy atmosphere. The filmmakers do go relatively light on the bloodletting, though, which comes in only fleeting intervals.

Other objectionable elements, moreover, are rare. So older teens determined to subject themselves to this glum experience can do so without much harm.

Reviewer finds the film dreary and boring

Just like their elders, however, they’ll discover that, while the gore is momentary, the boredom is continuous in this dreary, downmarket would-be thriller. In the end, these “Five Nights” don’t add up to much.

The film contains brief bloody violence, gruesome images, mature themes and a few crude expressions. The OSV News classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News.

Tags: Movie Review
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