Five Nights at Freddie's (2023)
Okay, so my last mammoth horror long weekender of Spooktober couldn't have started more predictably. If you're reading this, then you already know the plot, so I'm not going to go into any length about it.
As much as the makers would prefer you didn't know, the root of this is very simple, it was what made the videogame(s) of the same name such an eye-watering success. The real question now is if Josh comes off better than a (literally) speechless Nicholas Cage who did much the same thing, even if his movie only cost twenty percent of the budget of this one.
And it's a good twenty-five minutes in before Josh gets so much as the chance to sit down in front of that notorious bank of security cameras, not before we have been given a backstory that we really didn't need, or want, most likely. He's troubled by dreams of the abduction of his brother at a young age and his imagined responsibility for it.
When the initial game was released, FNAF was a very independent effort, made by a little known chap called Scott Cawthon (who also develops the script here) who now has more money than the GDP of a small African nation. He tapped into a viral goldmine, played by your favourite YouTube stars as well as my youngest child. I mean, it was so popular, even I had a go once. Once was enough though, truth be told.
For every subsequent game released, they became less independent and more polished, culminating most recently in a fully-fledged fluorescent bells and whistles experience that armies of gamers flocked to, just like every iteration up to that point. This movie then, was just an inevitable event waiting to happen.
Doubtless, the fans of the franchise will love it, even if it doesn't spend too much time signalling their loyalty. There's enough here to make players wistful, though maybe not satisfied. Those coming just for the horror really should know better.