Five Nights at Freddy’s reviews call movie “dreary, convoluted & superficial”

Chris Tilly
The iconic Five Nights at Freddy's sign.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is now in UK cinemas, meaning reviews are live – and they aren’t good, with critics giving the video game adaptation a battering.

The Five Nights at Freddy’s game was released in 2014. While the movie version was announced in 2015. Meaning it’s taken the best part of a decade to get the movie made.

FNAF came out in the UK today, starts streaming on Peacock tomorrow, and hits US screens on Friday (October 27).

Unfortunately, judging from multiple early online reviews, the finished film is not good, with Five Nights at Freddy’s getting far from five-star reviews.

Five Nights at Freddy’s gets dismal first reviews

Here’s what the critics are saying about Five Nights at Freddy’s in the smattering of review that went live today:

GamesRadar: “‘This is going to be so much fun!’ cackles a villainous character at one point in Five Nights At Freddy’s, a big-screen adaptation of the popular video game in which animatronic monsters run amok in the remnants of an ’80s pizza joint. Alas, despite sharing the same producers and story ingredients as demon doll hit M3GAN, Emma Tammi’s puppet show only occasionally comes close to delivering on that promise.”

Digital Spy praises the film’s “standout sequence” involving a series of kills, before stating: “All of this promise quickly dissipates as Five Nights at Freddy’s settles into an overdone trudge of unresolved trauma and exposition dumps. There’s very little tension here and barely a trace of the game’s simple, yet terrifying, mechanic of shutting doors or turning on lights to keep animatronics away.”

Film Stories says: “What we end up with is a movie whose story is far too convoluted and superficial to leave any lasting impression. [Josh] Hutcherson is a forgettable lead and his performance isn’t helped by a shallow script that confuses heavy backstory for emotional depth. While Matthew Lillard is always a welcome addition to any film, playing Mike’s mysterious career counsellor here, Elizabeth Lail is helplessly underserved by a thinly written character. [Elizabeth] Lail’s Vanessa will hold some kind of importance to gamers, I’m sure, but as far as the film goes, it’s another wasted opportunity.”

The Independent: “The film’s script – despite having been co-written by [Scott] Cawthon, alongside [Emma] Tammi and Seth Cuddeback – discards this mystery in favor of the same tortuously drawn out, dreary portrait of ‘trauma’ we’ve seen a hundred times before. It makes for a lot less robot murder than you’d hope for, and even the carnage itself is severely hampered by the film’s efforts to land a bloodless PG-13 rating in the US. And for what? Most of the game’s fanbase are of drinking age by now – and it’s hard to believe anyone new will be converted by this broad adaptation.”

Five Nights at Freddy’s is in UK cinemas now, while the movie hits Peacock tomorrow and US theaters on Friday. For more on the film, check out the below articles:

About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: