SALT LAKE CITY (See It or Skip It)– Video game-movie adaptations have been on a roll this year with shows like The Last of Us, or the extremely successful Super Mario Bro. Movie. Since superhero films have been taken seriously in terms of story and embracing the genre and lore of the characters, that has in turn transitioned to many of our beloved video games. One game, Five Nights at Freddy’s, takes place inside a shot-down Chuck-E-Cheese-style building where the animatronics come to life, killing their victims who dare come inside. Film critic Patrick Beatty had the chance to speak with the director of the film adaptation, Emma Tammi, to learn more about the making of the film.
I want to talk first about the practical effects of this (the animatronics) What first made you take on this project and what were the “absolutely we have to keep this right in line with what the game was?
I was really excited to come on to this project both because of the fanbase I knew was hungry for this game, but also cause I thought the world was so ripe for a genre movie, and so fun which is not always the combination that you get stepping into a horror film. This really had so many unique elements- and I think for the fanbase we knew we really needed to get it right for them and for a wider audience that we wanted it to be accessible as well. We were really lucky to have Scott Cawthon who created the game, and the lore and the franchise in our corner helping us make the film and get it right for the fans
I love the tone balance between the humor and more terrifying moments. Even in some parts during a murder scene, you’re laughing because maybe an animatronic eye twitched or felt out of place. How did you strike that balance?
I think every scene was it’s own alchemy of things. Like you said, sometimes it was the subtlty of a little aniumatronic movement that would make all the difference. I think we were trying to incorporate as much personality into every scare, and by personality I mean really referring to the animatronics and the uniqueness that is Five Nights at Freddy’s and making sure that we cultivated the humor, alongside the scares.
With the games, they don’t explain a lot. You’re exploring as you’re going, and you get some snippets of the story. How did it feel to be able to bring in a fully fleshed-out story, and you would continue it?
To me, as a filmmaker that’s always the thing I’m looking for Is characters that have depth and nuance and great story arcs. We were trying to make that for this film as well, plus all of the amazing lore and franchise elements that we had to bring in. I think that these characters are phenominal and intersesting and I would want to keep seeing what next adventures they end up going through if we were lucky enough to make some more of these films.
Final Question, if you were to be an animatronic character yourself, what animal would it be, and would you have a name?
Oh my gosh, that is a great question! Imma go with Koala…and I might need a little more time to think of the name… maybe to Walla for short.
Five Nights At Freddy’s is in theaters and streaming on Peacock now, make sure you check it out!