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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 5, 2023



‘FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S’ is based on a survival horror video game first introduced in 2014 and became very popular. 

player assumes the role of a security guard in a pizza parlor called Freddy’s. He must survive the night without being killed by the animatronic mascots that come to life at night to kill people.

In the movie, they expanded the story and Mike is now played by Josh Hutcherson, former child actor who first starred in the romcom “Little Manhattan” in 2005 when he was 10 years old. As a teener, he is best known for the “Hunger Games” series.

As Mike in “Five Nights”, he loses his job as a security guard in a mall when he attacked a man who he thought was kidnapping a boy, who turned out to be the boy’s real dad. 

He did this because he has a traumatic experience as a child when his younger brother was abducted while they were in a park.

He is now taking care of his younger sister, Abby (Piper Rubio) and their Aunt Jane (Mary Stuart Masterson) wants to get custody of Abby so she can get Abby’s monthly custody payments from the government.

Mike’s job adviser, Steve Raglan (Matthew Lillard), offers him to be the night watchman at Freddy’s Pizzeria, which used to be a very popular family entertainment center but is now rotting in disuse.

He initially refuses, but the threat of his sister being taken away from him, since he is down on his luck, makes him to ultimately agree to accept the job.

Mike falls asleep while on the job and dreams of five children who seem to have seen his brother being kidnapped. 

He wakes up and meets a female cop, Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail, “You”), who tells him that the pizzeria was closed down after five children customers disappeared while they’re in the restaurant. 

Mike’s Aunt Jane wants him to lose his job as a guard, so she can get Abby away from him. She then hires some goons through Abby’s babysitter to raid the place and blame it all on Mike. 

But the pizzeria’s mascots come to life and kill the bad guys, which includes Abby’s babysitter. The mascots are Bonnie, Chicas, Foxy, Mr. Cupcake and Freddy Fazbear himself. 

Since she no longer has a babysitter, Mike is forced to take Abby along with him to Freddy’s. This eventually leads to the film climax when the mascots want to take Abby with them and Mike has to do everything to protect her.

In the process, Mike discovers what really happened to the missing children and later meets the serial killer who took them. 

There is also a twist about the relationship of the lady cop with the killer that is quite shocking.

The video game has a number of jump scares that it endeared it to its players. 

The movie, produced by horror production company, Blumhouse, is sadly not scary at all. The revelation that the menacing mascots are actually possessed by the ghosts of the missing dead children doesn’t even help forward the convoluted story.

Badly paced, it takes about 40 minutes before any action happens.

But despite the fact that it’s a boring movie, it is a big box office hit in the USA, proving that the game already has a built in  audience that is just waiting for its big screen version.    

In all fairness to Josh Hutcherson, he is convincingly committed to his role as the bewildered Mike.

We hope this movie will get him more future assignments, like more Freddy sequels since the movie is doing well at the U.S. tills right now.

The movie is reminiscent of the 2021 movie “Willy’s Wonderland” which is also set in an abandoned pizza parlor ala-Chuck E Cheese style (we used to frequent this place with our kids when we were living in Upstate New York.)

It starred Nicolas Cage as a janitor who also gets to fight animatronic mascots (8 of them) in the movie. So “Five Nights” is really quite a rehash minus Nicolas Cage.