The first Five Nights at Freddy’s (also known as FNaF) game came out in 2014 and did so well for itself that it ended up sparking a franchise. Now the survival horror game about killer animatronics is being made into a movie. The film will be a Blumhouse production, with Chris Columbus (Gremlins, The Goonies, Home Alone) set to write, direct and produce. The game’s creator Scott Cawthon is also on board as producer alongside Columbus and Jason Blum.
In the games, you play as the security guard of a family restaurant chain famed for its animatronic mascots (think a fictionalised Chuck E.Cheese). At night, you must defend yourself as the animal mascots come to life and roam around the restaurant floor. The series quickly became popular for its ability to frighten, thanks mostly to its abundance of jump-scares. It earned itself a very vocal fanbase, particularly among teens.
— Blumhouse (@blumhouse) February 12, 2018
As Blumhouse is well known for horror films, we can guess that they’ll be sticking close to the game’s creepy tone. The addition of Columbus may seem at odds with this direction, however, as he tends to make family-friendly films. Still, he could add the right amount of quirky, silly charm the movie needs. It is about clockwork puppets, after all.
With past films like The Bicentennial Man and the first two Harry Potter movies under his belt, it’s clear that Columbus films can create interesting non-human characters. It would be great to see the use of animatronics and costume in the movie to create the unsettling lead characters, rather than CGI.
Video game movies have a track record of being disappointing, so it’s hard not to be a little skeptical until we hear more. When a game becomes a movie, it usually ends up losing much of what made it unique in order to make it more ‘film-like’. The premise of Five Nights at Freddy’s is weird enough though that hopefully this doesn’t end up happening.