Five Nights at Freddy’s Parent Guide
The biggest surprise in this movie is the lack of profanity. Heaven knows, there are no unexpected elements in the recycled plot.
Parent Movie Review
Mike (Josh Hutcherson) is not living his best life. As a child he witnessed his brother’s unsolved kidnapping. Then in adulthood, his mother died and his father vanished, leaving him responsible for his unusual sister, Abby (Piper Rubio). Amping up the stress is his horrific Aunt Jane (Mary Stuart Masterson), who seems determined to get custody of Abby, if only for the state childcare benefit check. Mike has also recently lost his job.
Desperate to keep what’s left of his family together, Mike finds himself taking a night shift security job at the old Freddy Fazbear’s, an abandoned family entertainment center. Known for inexpensive pizza and musical animatronics, Freddy’s has been closed since the late 80s – but still needs a night security guard, ostensibly to keep vagrants out of the building. Strange things are happening at Freddy’s, and Mike might need to worry more about what’s locked inside with him than what might be prowling outside.
You know what’s really embarrassing for this movie? Despite being a brand name product, it’s much worse than the knock-off. Willy’s Wonderland, starring the incomparable Nic Cage, is a better movie by almost any metric. It has almost the exact same premise, but it manages to make it entertaining. This film, on the other hand, frequently loses sight of its own idea and spends entirely too much time wallowing in Mike’s tragic (and yet somehow banal) backstory. Characters don’t so much have personalities as embedded plot points, and dialogue frequently makes little to no sense. You’re just stuck shambling along as the writers try to figure out how to bring this train wreck to a tidy conclusion – but don’t hold my breath.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is far too insipid for anyone over the age of 11 to want to watch it, but the PG-13 rating is well earned – mostly for violence. There is a surprising lack of profanity; however, parents are unlikely to be thrilled with the level of gore. Most of the murders happen off-screen, but people still get beaten, mauled, cut, and laterally bisected on screen. Nothing new for horror films, but not necessarily something you want your fifth-grader watching before bed. Nothing like an evening at the cursed Country Bear Jump Scare Jamboree to get that juvenile adrenaline running.
If I’m being honest, my swear count might not be entirely accurate. The bland familiarity of the tropes the film violently excretes borders on the soporific. I didn’t doze, but I did frequently catch myself thinking fondly of more interesting and less aggravating things – paint drying, grass growing, my own slow decomposition. Heck, I think I’d actually rather spend a night in an abandoned Chuck-E-Cheese than watch this again. The smell of congealed grease and parental exhaustion isn’t my favorite, but it beats enduring the writing in Five Nights at Freddy’s.Directed by Emma Tammi. Starring Matthew Lillard, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release October 27, 2023. Updated October 26, 2023
Watch the trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Rating & Content Info
Why is Five Nights at Freddy’s rated PG-13? Five Nights at Freddy’s is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for strong violent content, bloody images and language.
Violence: A man is severely beaten in front of his child. Individuals are cut, struck, and bitten by large animatronics. A character is bit in half. A character is stabbed. An individual is crushed in an animatronic suit. Some dead bodies are seen. There are frequent references to child abduction and murder.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There is one use of scatological profanity and regular use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated October 26, 2023
Related home video titles:
Obviously, Willy’s Wonderland is going to be your best bet, although it comes with a lot more negative content. Other recent video game adaptations on the big screen include Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Uncharted, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Mortal Kombat, Monster Hunter, and Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Younger horror fans might enjoy other spooky PG-13 entries like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, M3gan, or Mr. Harrigan’s Phone.