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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Twin Takes Mediation: Five Nights at Freddy’s movie creates online quarrels

Poster used to promote Five Nights at Freddys
Blumhouse Productions
Poster used to promote “Five Nights at Freddy’s”

Twin Takes columnists Griffin and Reed Larson-Erf, with guest James Prizant

Reed: So, Griffin and I watched that new movie, Five Nights at Freddy’s

James: As did I.

Griffin: …And the votes are in:

Reed: It’s awesome!

Griffin: It’s lousy! 

Reed: It’s a gripping, suspenseful ghost story!

Griffin: It’s a poorly dialogued non-reflection of the original games! How can you stick up for it when you haven’t played the games!?

James: You’re both right; the movie’s a solid piece of work, but it isn’t perfect. Can we agree on that?

Reed: What?! How can you say that?

Griffin: Of course not! Have you even seen the movie?

James: Of course I have! And I know everything there is to know about the original games!

Griffin: So are you showing your bias?

Griffin and Reed Larson-Erf
James Prizant


Reed: Hold on–first, let’s make sure we agree on the film’s plot. Five Nights at Freddy’s is based on the popular Five Nights at Freddy’s series of horror video games by indie game developer Scott Cawthon. The movie follows Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson), a man struggling to hold down both a job and custody of his young sister, Abby (Piper Rubio). Mike becomes a security guard at the now-defunct Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza with help from his career counselor Steve Raglan (Matthew Lillard). Freddy’s is a Chuck E. Cheese-style family restaurant that closed after a string of young kids went missing there years prior.

Griffin: We begin to learn how this pizzeria was an ’80s fun haven, featuring the kids’ favorite furry friends, Bonnie the bunny, Chica the chicken and her cupcake, Foxy the pirate fox, and their leader, Freddy Fazbear. We also learn, in part from the helpful yet suspicious Officer Vanessa (Elizabeth Lali), that these animatronics are possessed by the very children who went missing so many years ago, who were really murdered at the restaurant. They attack almost anyone who visits the run-down pizza place–which soon includes Mike, Abbey, and Vanessa, who must defend themselves. 

Reed: It’s like if the Chuck E. Cheese robots were possessed and trying to kill you!

James: Good! At least we agree on the plot! I think that if we can agree on another thing about this movie, it’s that the animatronics are absolutely the best part! They’re so ominous, and mysterious, and–

Griffin: And they don’t open their mouths! For plenty of the other characters, that’s the first mistake. At one point, Mike rescues Abby from a terrible robotic fate…and then the action fully pauses so he can deliver a ridiculous apology for the kind of guardian he is! His dialogue is equally unrealistic while he’s talking to an unconscious friend in a hospital room at the end of the movie.

Reed: I’m with James, Griff. The robots are easily the crux of the movie’s terror! They’re formidable to look at–tall, bulky, with the ability to give mechanical glares. I actually think their silence is a creative choice; they’re especially scary when they say nothing at all! Surely the fear they induce can override any sub-tier dialogue.



James: Not only that, but the modeling is impeccable! Those movie animatronics look so close to their video-game counterparts! I think we can all agree on that, surely.

Griffin: Well, sure, the robots match the games…but that weird buzz saw Freddy’s mask doesn’t! I bought a ticket for Five Nights At Freddy’s, not Saw X.

James: I’ll admit, that thing is a bit weird, but hidden deadly robot technology, no matter how unrealistic, isn’t new to this franchise. I will admit though, I did want to see that mask put to good use. 


“The Fort Scene”

Griffin: What about that one scene where the animatronics just build a fort with Abby, Mike, and Vanessa? After all the time this movie spends building up our fear of these robots, they send it right down the drain! 

James: Well, remember, Griffin, these ghosts are just kids, so they’ll make friends with other kids and do silly things with them. I’ll agree with those who say the tone shift from fear to fun was very strange, but there is a reason for that scene to exist.



Griffin: What about the soundtrack? Some songs were too fandom-specific, others were ’80s but not famous ’80s. 

James: Well, one thing you need to remember is that this movie needs to be entertaining for both diehard purists and average moviegoers. So, they need to include relevant ’80s music and music that only fans will recognize; why can’t we be happy that this pleases everybody? They included ’80s beats like Iggy Pop’s “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” and “Talking in Your Sleep” by The Romantics, which I’m sure the average person can appreciate. And of course, it’s difficult to include the video game’s soundtrack and fan-made songs into the movie and have it make sense, so what better place to put them than where they ended up, in the credits?

Griffin: Will people even recognize those old ’80s songs? Why couldn’t they include songs from Electric Light Orchestra or hits like “Take on Me” from A-Ha? Other ’80s franchise-specific movies did that easily!

Reed: Well, maybe not all viewers needed that, Griff. “The soundtrack was actually one of the best parts of the movie in my opinion,” Junior and FNaF fan Dhun Patel said.”

James: Another thing you have to remember when watching or reflecting on this movie is that this isn’t a Disney production or anything like that, so the resources that Blumhouse has is very limited. Movies like the 2023 Mario movie could do it because they had Illumination and Nintendo money in their back pockets, so we should be happy with what Blumhouse was able to provide.

…I would say the movie is a solid 7.5 out of ten.”

— Junior and FNaF fan Dhun Patel

Cameo (Spoiler)

Reed: And there’s a lot that they did provide! For instance, they gave a role to famous YouTuber MatPat, whose digital essay channel (The Game Theorists) helped popularize the original Five Nights at Freddy’s games! His cameo as a chatty waiter is sure to make fans of the games squeal with joy. Patel said, “I’ve only been a FNaF fan for only about a month, but I have been watching MatPat for a very, very, very long time, and I loved hearing his ‘…it’s just a theory’ line. It made me light up with a smile.”


Griffin: Wait a second…Reed, do you feel like we’re missing something?

James: What? What’s going on?

Reed: Oh my Cawthon, you’re right, Griff! Quick! We need a sum-up!

Griffin: Care to do the honors, James?

James: Overall, I’d give Five Nights at Freddy’s a C+. It’s not everything fans of the game might have dreamed of, and at times it falters in both dialogue and actual scariness. That said, it stays as loyal as possible to its source material, and for horror lightweights who won’t be bothered by details that weren’t as scary as they could have been, this could definitely be a fun watch. 

Griffin: I agree, you made some good points, James. And I think that’s everything! 

Reed: Five Nights at Freddy’s–it may not go down in horror history, but if it doesn’t make you smile every time you drive by a Chuck E. Cheese, you weren’t paying enough attention!

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About the Contributors
Griffin Larson-Erf
Griffin Larson-Erf, Reporter
Griffin Larson-Erf is a junior at Niles North High School. When not writing for North Star News, he can be found reading, writing fiction, and being confused for his twin brother.
Reed Larson-Erf
Reed Larson-Erf, Reporter
Reed Larson-Erf is a Junior at Niles North, joining North Star News for the first time this year. He enjoys reading, writing, watching Doctor Who and Arnold Schwartzenegger movies, and any chance he gets to make his friends laugh.

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