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The truth about a bloodier version of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’, explained by its director

Five Nights at Freddy’s, The adaptation of the popular video game saga of the same name is one of the most curious success stories at the box office in 2023: a horror movie with hardly any blood, aimed at a youth audience (its rating is PG-13, not recommended for children under 13 years of age) that has turned family drag into one of the keys to its high collection.

By not restricting its audience to adults, Blumhouse has more than made profitable this modest production of 20 million budget with more than 217 million dollars raised worldwide, despite the fact that the theatrical release was simultaneous with its streaming release through the platform Peacock.

The 76% drop in collection in its second week in theaters from the United States certifies that the large influx of the first weekend was sustained mainly by fans who have grown up with the franchise’s video games FNaF created by Scott Cawton. Once these spectators have passed through the box office, they will recover a film with little interest for people outside the franchise.

Perhaps the approach of a horror film starring animatronics of anthropomorphic animals with murderous urges attractive in itself, but the film Five Nights at Freddy’s With its hesitant narration and lack of stimuli beyond the recognition of characters, it does not take advantage of the opportunity to attract previously uninitiated viewers to its cause. Only preach to the converted.

Is ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ for children?

That dedication means never being distracted from its highest objective: the family audience. That’s why The violence and deaths are mostly out of shot, without being shown explicitly on camera although all kinds of savagery occur in the narration. In the film, Josh Hutcherson plays the security guard of an abandoned pizzeria whose animatronic pets They come to life with bloody intentions.

But the slaughter never turns the screen red. A decision that is in line with the tone of the original video games, that they were not betting on excess blood and gore as much as on atmospheric restlessness and the gloomy design of their animatronics, and that they intended to make the film more accessible to an audience that would have been reluctant if it had been more violent. This also explains that we should not expect a more explicit montage.

“We knew that part of the fans would want an R version [para adultos] of this film, but we wanted to welcome younger viewers so we were aware that the PG-13 rating was the goal,” he said. Emma Tammi, the director of Five Nights at Freddy’s, in an interview with Forbes.

“I wouldn’t say that you can expect an R version in this case. We are really happy with how we have achieved the PG-13 tone. We think it is the most appropriate for this specific film and we are going to keep it,” he concludes.

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