Five Nights at Freddy’s: Differences between game & movie lore

Jasmine Valentine
Five Nights at Freddy’s movie expected to have 3-hour runtime

There are some key differences between the video game and movie lore in Five Nights at Freddy’s – here’s what you need to know.

With the creators stating that they took their time with the movie in order to satisfy fans, Five Nights at Freddy’s now arrives on screen in October.

As per the film’s synopsis, “a troubled security guard begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. While spending his first night on the job, he realizes the late shift at Freddy’s won’t be so easy to make it through.”

Even though the movie stays true to the video game’s story, there are some notable changes along the way. Here are the differences between game lore and movie lore in Five Nights at Freddy’s explained. Warning – spoilers ahead!

Five Nights at Freddy’s game lore

FNAF game and books

The bulk of the Five Nights at Freddy’s video game lore stems from the first four games before the franchise splits off into more niche releases.

In Five Nights at Freddy’s 1, players are introduced to the majority of the storyline that viewers see in the movie adaptation. Freddy’s has fallen into disarray because of five children who were taken by serial murderer William Afton. In the game, Afton’s involvement is made quite clear, whereas this is kept a secret for most of the movie before being revealed at the end. Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy are all present, along with the same layout of the restaurant and the security office.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 sees the introduction of Balloon Boy, alongside the original game’s animatronics. Through minigames, players learn more details about the children’s murders, leading to a mysterious figure known as ‘Purple Guy.’ The name Purple Guy doesn’t come up in the movie, and neither do the decommissioned characters that are replaced by the end of the game.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is where we get back to movie lore, thanks to the arrival of the ‘Springtrap’ animatronic 30 years after the events of game 1 (who’s also known as Yellow Rabbit). Heavily featured in the film, Springtrap has the ghost of Afton, who has also been revealed to be Purple Guy, inside him. In the movie, Afton is still alive, having taken on the role of careers advisor Steve Raglan (Matthew Lillard) in opening scenes.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 switches up lore entirely by introducing a brand-new location. Players take on the role of a child in their bedroom, using a flashlight to check their room and corridors for the animatronics. A crying child is introduced here as well, who has sustained trauma following the “Bite of ’83.” In this event, a child was accidentally killed by an animatronic, causing our character to have a total fear of them. Though there are similarities, Abby’s (Piper Rubio) doesn’t really mirror this setting, and the storyline isn’t featured.

Other video game releases

From here, Five Nights at Freddy’s video game lore extends into releases beyond the pizzeria.

Sister Location is a game that explains how Afton was the creator of the animatronics seen in Five Nights at Freddy’s, with his daughter’s soul supposedly possessing a smaller animatronic called Circus Baby. This predates the establishment of the Fazbear restaurant chain, but there are potential Easter egg links to Circus Baby herself. It’s also worth noting that in the movie, Vanessa appears as Afton’s daughter rather than Elizabeth (although weirdly, that is the actress’ real name).

In Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator, players take control of Afton’s son, Michael. The animatronics are now worse for wear, resulting in scrap versions of them being built – the most notorious of which is Springtrap’s scrap version, Scraptrap. Though it remains to be seen if Scraptrap will make an appearance in the future, there’s something to be said about the fact that Mike’s (Josh Hutcherson) surname is never mentioned during the movie. Is he Michael Schmidt as credited, or is he in fact Michael Afton?

Five Nights at Freddy’s movie lore


In the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie lore, the biggest difference is the storyline surrounding Mike and Abby – which is never mentioned at all in the video games.

Mike takes on the role of our unassuming security guard, but comes with family trauma that isn’t explored in the video game. After being let go from his previous job, Mike is anxious about taking care of his sister Abby, over whom he has sole custody. Through conversation, Mike implies that his parents are no longer alive, but the pair do have an aunt that they both dislike called Jane (Mary Stuart Masteron). In the movie, Jane is taking legal action against Mike to get custody of Abby, although neither Mike nor Abby wants this to happen. Jane ends up propositioning Abby’s babysitter Max (Kat Conner Sterling) to trash the pizzeria in order to try and get Mike fired, which she ends up doing with her brother and some friends. All four of the group end up being killed by Freddy and the other animatronics.

While the story of the ghost children remains consistent with the Five Nights at Freddy’s video game lore, there’s an extra component in the movie. When Mike was younger, he watched his younger brother Garrett (Lucas Grant) be kidnapped by an unknown assailant. Throughout the movie, Mike frequently dreams of his brother, wanting to find out who attacked him. The ghost children also appear in these dreams, eventually attacking Mike and asking for Abby in exchange for information on what happened to Garrett. Mike initially allows this before regretting his choices and trying to rescue Abby. Abby believes that the ghost children are her friends, having drawn them in pictures previously. After both have been duped by the kids, the pair ultimately survive in the long run.

Police officer Vanessa (Elizabeth Leil) is also a huge component of the movie, trying to save Mike from the fate she knows is around the corner. Never too far away from the pizzeria, her knowledge of the derelict restaurant is unmatched. It’s later revealed that she is the daughter of the Yellow Rabbit, who is actually William Afton. Afton had previously been seen in the film as Steve Raglan, Mike’s career advisor.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is out now, while for more on the movie, check out the below articles.