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A Parent’s Guide to Five Nights At Freddy’s (FNaF)

A Parent’s Guide to Five Nights At Freddy’s (FNaF)

The new Five Nights at Freddy’s film has been long-anticipated by gamers worldwide. Set in the 90s, the film alludes to events from the 1980s and before. It follows a newly hired security guard, Mike, at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria who is in desperate need of a steady job so he can take care of his young sister, Abby, after the death of their parents.

Throughout the film, we learn about Mike’s backstory. When he was twelve, he watched his younger brother, Garrett, get kidnapped right in front of him. He has been searching desperately for the man who took him, even teaching himself to direct his dreams. Abby, his sister, is special in her own way. She spends all day drawing, refusing food and nearly nonverbal. He wants to take care of her, however a lack of money and the stress of searching for his brother’s kidnapper makes it hard for him to fight his aunt, who wants to take Abby away.

Both Mike and Abby will be caught up in the world of Freddy’s, and each will have a role in the final showdown.

This film does have some violence, which may be inappropriate for younger viewers. Spoilers at the end of this post.

What are the FNaF games about?

The “Five Nights at Freddy’s” (FNaF) series is a collection of indie horror games created by Scott Cawthon. The games have gained immense popularity not just for their jump scares but also for the intricate and mysterious lore that has captivated fans and theorists alike. Here’s a brief overview of the games’ storylines and underlying lore:

Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNaF 1)

Set in the fictional pizzeria “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza”, players take on the role of a night security guard. The animatronics at the pizzeria – Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, and Foxy the Pirate Fox – become active at night and exhibit malevolent behaviors. It’s hinted that these animatronics are possessed by the spirits of children who were previously murdered at the establishment.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 (FNaF 2)

This game serves as a prequel to the first and introduces new animatronics. The lore deepens with the introduction of the “Puppet” or “Marionette”, which is believed to be the first animatronic possessed by a child. This child’s death sets off a chain of events leading to multiple children being murdered and their spirits possessing other animatronics.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 (FNaF 3)

Set 30 years after the original game, players are in a horror attraction based on the mysteries of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The main antagonist is Springtrap, an animatronic containing the corpse of the murderer responsible for the child deaths, often referred to as the “Purple Guy”. The game delves into the tragic history of the “spring-lock suits”, which are wearable animatronics that played a role in various in-game deaths.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 (FNaF 4)

This installment provides a more personal story, focusing on a young boy who experiences nightmarish visions of the animatronics. These visions culminate in a tragic “Bite” incident. The lore suggests this “Bite of ’83” resulted in the boy’s death, further tying the spirits of children to the animatronics.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location

Set in a location different from Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, this game introduces “Circus Baby’s Pizza World” and its animatronics. The lore delves into the Afton family, particularly William Afton (the Purple Guy) and his daughter, who becomes intertwined with the animatronic known as Circus Baby.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Pizzeria Simulator & Ultimate Custom Night

These games expand on the fate of William Afton and his family. The lore suggests a cyclical purgatory where Afton is tormented by the spirits of the children he murdered.

Five Night’s at Freddy’s: Security Breach

Set in the Mega Pizzaplex, a massive entertainment complex, “Security Breach” deviates from the traditional stationary gameplay of previous FNaF titles. Instead, players can freely roam the expansive multi-level facility. The Pizzaplex is adorned with neon lights, boasting attractions such as arcades, laser tag arenas, and large animatronic stages.

The game introduces several new animatronics, including Glamrock Freddy, Glamrock Chica, Montgomery Gator, Roxanne Wolf, and the mysterious Vanny. Vanny, also known as the “Reluctant Follower”, is a human antagonist under the influence of the malevolent animatronic, Glitchtrap (believed to be a digital manifestation of William Afton, the series’ primary antagonist).

In “Security Breach”, players primarily take control of Gregory, a young boy who finds himself trapped in the Pizzaplex after hours. With the help of Glamrock Freddy, Gregory must navigate the facility, avoid hostile animatronics, and uncover the dark secrets of the Pizzaplex. The game emphasizes stealth and evasion, with players using various tools and hiding spots to avoid being caught.

The lore of “Security Breach” ties into the broader FNaF universe, with references to previous events and characters. The game’s narrative, combined with its atmospheric setting and revamped gameplay mechanics, offers both a fresh experience for newcomers and a deep dive into the series’ mysteries for longtime fans.

As with all FNaF titles, “Security Breach” is filled with hidden lore, easter eggs, and secrets that have spurred fan theories and discussions, further enriching the enigmatic world Scott Cawthon has created.

Throughout the series, various mini-games, hidden messages, and easter eggs provide hints and clues to the overarching narrative, which has led to numerous fan theories and speculations. The series’ lore is a complex web of tragedies, betrayals, and vengeful spirits, making it a standout in the realm of indie horror gaming.

The Books

The “Five Nights at Freddy’s” (FNaF) universe has expanded beyond games to include several books. These books delve deeper into the lore, provide alternate perspectives, and sometimes offer standalone stories that enrich the FNaF universe. Here’s a brief overview of some of the primary books:

The Silver Eyes Series:

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes (2015)

The story is set in 1995 and follows Charlie, the daughter of the original owner of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. She reunites with her childhood friends on the anniversary of the tragedy that tore their lives apart. When they find themselves back at the pizzeria, they uncover dark secrets from the past.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Twisted Ones (2017)

Charlie is now attending college, trying to move on from the events at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. However, when a series of murders bearing similarities to those of the past occur, she finds herself drawn back into the world of animatronics.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Fourth Closet (2018)

Continuing the story, Charlie and her friends delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the animatronics and confront unsettling revelations about the events that have transpired.

Fazbear Frights Series:

This is an anthology series that features short horror stories set in the FNaF universe. Each book contains multiple tales, and while some stories tie directly to the games’ lore, others are more standalone in nature.

  1. Into the Pit (2019)
  2. Fetch (2020)
  3. 1:35 AM (2020)
  4. Step Closer (2020)
  5. Bunny Call (2020)
  6. Blackbird (2020)
  7. The Cliffs (2021)
  8. Gumdrop Angel (2021)
  9. The Puppet Carver (2021)
  10. Friendly Faces (2021)
  11. The Prankster (2021)

There are additional entries to this series, with each book introducing fresh horror tales related to the FNaF world.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Freddy Files (2017)

This guidebook offers a deep dive into the games, providing character profiles, gameplay tips, and theories about the series’ lore.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Survival Logbook (2017)

Presented as a logbook for night guards at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, it contains space for readers to record their own experiences and thoughts. It’s filled with character art, quizzes, and various activities, but also possesses hidden lore clues and puzzles for fans to decipher.

The books add layers of depth to the series, revealing new aspects of the lore, introducing fresh characters, and offering different perspectives on familiar events. They have been well-received by fans, as they provide both engaging narratives and deeper insights into the mysteries of the FNaF universe.

The Film

“Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Movie” is a chilling adaptation of the popular video game series. The plot centres around a night security guard, Mike (Josh Hutcherson) at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a family restaurant by day and a place of unspeakable horror by night. The animatronic characters, beloved by audiences during the day, come to life in the darkest hours, carrying with them a sinister secret. Mike must survive five harrowing nights in the establishment while uncovering the truth behind the eerie occurrences. The film weaves together elements of horror, mystery, and suspense, offering a thrilling cinematic experience.

The movie “Five Nights at Freddy’s” skilfully exploits its video game roots, imbuing the narrative with an atmosphere of creeping dread and tension. The protagonist’s role as a security guard serves not only as a nod to the original game’s setup, but also as a clever narrative device. It confines him within the claustrophobic environment of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, heightening the suspense and amplifying the horror elements.

The animatronic characters, with their dual roles as playful entertainers and terrifying nocturnal predators, are the film’s crowning jewel. Their transition from mechanical jesters to menacing threats is handled with a deft touch, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. The movie also doesn’t shy away from exploring the eerie backstory of these characters, adding layers of mystery and intrigue to the narrative.

Further enhancing the cinematic experience is the film’s exceptional craftsmanship. The visual effects that bring the animatronics to life are outstanding, striking a balance between realism and nightmarish fantasy. The sound design, too, is notable for its effectiveness in amplifying the atmosphere of escalating fear.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Movie” transcends its video game origins to deliver a horror movie that is both terrifying and engaging. Its combination of horror, mystery, and suspense, coupled with its high-production values, mark it as a standout entry in the horror film genre.

Is It Appropriate for Kids?

Despite the captivating narrative and high production values, “Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Movie” and its originating video game series are not recommended for young children. The horror and suspense elements present in both the game and film can prove to be too intense for an immature audience. They revolve around uncanny animatronic creatures coming to life at night with malicious intent, a premise that could be particularly frightening for young minds, potentially leading to fear, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

Moreover, the sinister backstory of the animatronics, which is subtly alluded to throughout the game and movie, can be both disturbing and difficult for children to comprehend. Such narratives often involve themes of death and violence, which are not suitable for a young demographic.

Considering these factors, it is generally advised that the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” video game series and film adaptation should be reserved for teenagers and above. Specifically, those aged 15 and above are more likely to be able to handle the horror elements and complex narrative. Even then, the suitability can vary depending on the individual’s maturity level and sensitivity to horrifying content.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the content of these games and films before deciding whether it is appropriate for their child or not. Utilizing resources such as age ratings, content descriptors, and reviews can aid in making an informed decision. Ultimately, the aim should be to ensure that the media consumed is appropriate for the child’s age, maturity level, and personal comfort.

Movie Spoilers

The film has several violent scenes which may be inappropriate for young viewers. However, overall, it is not a very gory movie. Most of the violence is only alluded to or shown in shadow. There is a small amount of blood in the film. The main character gets attacked a few times. Some bad guys are eaten by animatronics, and you’ll see a bloody handprint through some glass. A woman gets eaten, and her body is cut in half, though it is completely in shadow with no gore. And you do see some dead bodies with blood on them, the worst of which is a man with part of his face taken off.

Beyond these things, there are supernatural elements to consider. The animatronics are haunted by dead children, and we see their ghosts several times. The movie is mostly relying on creating tension for the viewer, and they do a good job at keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. Most of the violence is implied through this tension as well as recall of past events.

Abby, the main character’s sister, seems to have some clairvoyant powers and is able to see what others cannot. Her drawings are prophetic.

There are many jump scares through the film, which are not terribly scary, but for younger children they may be.

As for the story, a lot of it does not make sense, and much of the lore isn’t explained. It relies on the viewer being familiar with the games beforehand, which can be annoying for those who come into the movie with no knowledge.

Final Thoughts

As a parent who knew only a few details before going in (courtesy of my children), I found the movie silly and confusing. I enjoyed certain cameos only because of the Youtube channels my kids watch. I took my 10 and 12 year old boys to see it, but I left my 5 and 9 year olds at home.

That said, I would personally be comfortable with the younger children watching the film as long as I sat near them and could cover their eyes for certain scenes. I don’t think the horror is especially bad on this one for my children, as they have played the games and enjoyed being scared. But each parent must make an informed decision based on their own kids maturity levels.

As a whole, I’d rate the film as 2 stars. I found the performances from the actors to be excellent, but the story was confusing and made no sense in parts. The “reveals” at the end were also extremely obvious right from the beginning, and I was disappointed that I spent money to go to the theater to see it when it was also debuting on Peacock at the same time.

I highly suggest you think hard before taking kids to see this, but I also don’t think the violence is any worse than many video games kids play these days.