Blumhouse has shared the teaser trailer for the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, premiering this October, and it raises some questions about what it has in store for fans.
Freddy Fazbear has changed a lot over the course of the series. There have been eight video games released in the main series since 2014, and half a dozen spin-offs that build out the lore of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. So far, the movie seems to pull most of its content to the first few games—but a closer look shows that we could be in for a whole lot more than a basic adaptation.
We shouldn’t need to warn you about spoilers, but just in case—game spoilers ahead!
Josh Hutcherson stars as Mike Schmidt, the protagonist of the original Five Nights at Freddy’s game. Hired as the latest night guard at the children’s birthday facility, he comes face-to-face with the crew of murderous animatronics. Possessed by the vengeful spirits of children who were murdered on the premises years prior, Freddy Fazbear and his friends kill any human they encounter after dark—stuffing them into a spare animatronic suit where they meet their own grisly demise.
However, the trailer also features some characters from other points in the canon timeline. Matthew Lillard appears as William Afton, one of the business’s founders and, incidentally, the serial killer who murdered five children in the facility’s back room. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Lail is credited as Vanessa, a character introduced in the game’s fifth installment, Five Nights At Freddy’s: Help Wanted. Thing is—there are more than thirty years between the first and fifth games in the FNAF series and, by the time Vanessa is introduced to plot, Afton is long dead and roaming Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza as a ghost.
Vanessa and Afton co-existing isn’t exactly a surprise. Help Wanted shows Vanessa working with Afton’s ghost to continue his work and claim more victims. She’s one of the main villains in the latest installment, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, acting as a security guard while Freddy Fazbear actually becomes a protagonist. However, the other “glam” animatronics—glamatronics, if you will—from the game don’t make an appearance in the teaser, so it’s likely not a huge factor in the plot.
The key is going to be how Mike and Vanessa are worked into the story together. Will Vanessa already be a dangerous enemy, someone who will turn on Mike in the duration of the film? Or will the movie take place earlier in Vanessa’s personal timeline, paving the way for a potential sequel?
On the whole, I was pleasantly surprised by the trailer. Since FNAF has been meme-ed and parodied so much online—cue the TikTok audio, “Freddy, you’re supposed to be on lockdown!”—I was expecting more of a dark comedy than a real horror movie. For the moment, the FNAF film seems to be taking itself relatively seriously, CG animatronics aside. It should be interesting to watch the movie toe that line as we get more information on the plot.
In the meantime, if you do want to watch a dark comedy about murderous animatronics, you should check out Willy’s Wonderland. It’s Nicolas Cage in a play on Five Night’s at Freddy’s, which is already a play on Chuck E. Cheese. AKA—hilarious.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is currently scheduled to release on October 27, 2023, both in theaters and streaming on Peacock.