After conquering the world of video games with sequels and spin-offs, Five Nights at Freddy's made the leap to the big screen with a film adaptation. Despite poor reviews, it excited fans and was a box office success. This was possible thanks to the references and inspirations that shaped the story and the way it was narrated.
The live-action film drew much inspiration from Scott Cawthon's original video games, including jumpscares and the design of the terrifying animatronics. However, it also used other films and cult works as reference points to create its atmosphere and build the tone of the story.
The Inspirations Behind the Five Nights at Freddy's Movie
Previously, director Emma Tammi confirmed that productions like Carrie and Gremlins helped define the tone of the horror film. Additionally, the darker world to which the story transports us resembled that of the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, while the youthful style comes from the works of Steven Spielberg.
Incredibly, the Five Nights at Freddy's movie also drew inspiration from two other cult films from the 1990s and 2000s: Casino by Martin Scorsese and Donnie Darko by Richard Kelly.
In an interview with Forbes, filmmaker Emma Tammi stated that Josh Hutcherson, who portrays Mike Schmidt in the movie based on the independent video game, drew inspiration from the psychological horror classic Donnie Darko to define the tone of his performance. In the interview, she also emphasized the importance of drawing references from other productions.
"There were many [inspirations]. One that Josh referenced when I first talked to him, and that was very apt, was Donnie Darko. He referred to that in terms of his performance. But that's such a fun and unique tone, and it was one of the reasons why it felt important to pull references from different types of films and filmmakers," commented the director.
Emma Tammi also confessed in the interview that she drew inspiration from the crime drama Casino by the acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. Although the style of this production is very different from Five Nights at Freddy's, she used it as a reference for camera movement.
"As far as camera movement goes, I was hugely inspired by the shots in Casino by Scorsese, among other things that you wouldn't necessarily think are the exact composition for [Five Nights at Freddy's]. I think that created a unique and dynamic combination," highlighted the American director.
Five Nights at Freddy's received very poor reviews
Unfortunately, that amalgamation of inspirations and styles seems to have been one of the main problems of this production. Upon its debut, the film received dismal ratings, as critics criticized the uneven tone, narrative, and lack of effective scares.
However, the FNAF movie received support from fans, allowing it to be a success in theaters and become the most successful horror film of the year.
But tell us, what do you think of this adaptation? Did it meet your expectations? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.