A Five Nights at Freddy's designer clapped back at fan criticism over the look of the film's terrifying animatronics.
After years as a cult-hit horror video game franchise, the world of Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria is finally coming to the big screen from Blumhouse Pictures.
The film follows Mike Schmidt (played by Josh Hutcherson), a fledgling security guard who takes a job at a haunted condemned pizza place and arcade and comes face to face with a band of murderous animatronic animals.
These decrepit felt-lined murder bots have become synonymous with the series and were going to be key for fans looking forward to the film adaptation.
Five Nights at Freddy's Designer Takes Issue Over Fan Criticism
Speaking in a recent interview, Robert Bennett - a creature designer who worked on the Five Nights at Freddy's (FNAF) film - addressed fan critiques about the look of the movie's central band of animatronic animals.
Bennett brought up the fan criticism as a part of a conversation in the latest issue of SFX Magazine, recounting that for the most part "everything [he's] seen has been superpositive," but called out one fan for "wish[ing] they’d show the actual animatronics, it’s all CG:"
"Everything I’ve seen has been superpositive. I know there was a big to-do about the red eyes in the poster, but once again, that’s one of the fan lore things that I didn’t even know about. I watched a couple of YouTube reaction videos to the trailer. This one guy was like, “It looks great, but I just wish they’d show the actual animatronics, it’s all CG.”
The FNAF designer retorted, "Well, no," the production had actually used "costumes and nothing was touched up with digital:"
"Well, no, it was all our costumes. Everything in that trailer is our costumes and nothing was touched up with digital. So it’s fun that the fans appreciate how accurate they are."
Going deeper on the animatronics design for the film, Bennett remarked he "approached it just as a fan of movies," trying to "stay as true to these characters as [he] could" for their on-screen looks:
"I approached it just as a fan of movies. There are certain IPs that I love and when a movie is made, it’s either they nail it or it so misses the mark that you don’t even want to watch it. But as a fan, you want it to be the thing that drew you in to begin with, you don’t want a variation of it. So I wanted to stay as true to these characters as I could."
"We received digital files straight from [franchise creator] Scott [Cawthon]," Bennett revealed, working off of them for the big-screen takes on the FNAF world:
"We received digital files straight from Scott [Cawthon] and that’s what we’ve worked off. But it really was my intention to nail them as game-accurate as we possibly could. It was gonna be a challenge to create them regardless, and there was no reason to deviate from these designs because they’re so good to begin with. I think that is more of a challenge to create a one-to-one replica of the thing than to deviate, because once you deviate then you can make excuses of why you did it that way. But when you do it as accurately as you can, I think that’s the most fun."
Will Five Nights at Freddy's Work as a Movie?
Critics have yet to sound off on Five Nights at Freddy's, and audiences are still weeks away from seeing the films, so it is unknown if the big-screen adaptation will be a hit or not.
However, all the elements seem to be in line for a fun spooky time at the movies.
Even the animatronics (CG or not) have been rendered faithfully. These terrifying haunted animated have always sported a bit of a bizarre look and feel, but that is kind of the point.
The scariest part of the Five Nights at Freddy's always has been having one's beloved happy-go-lucky childhood characters come after them with deadly intent.
And that is something the FNAF movie seems to have nailed.
While the overall quality of the rest of the film remains to be seen, if one studio is going to succeed in a campy terrifying rendition of this beloved gaming franchise, horror masters Blumhouse feel like the right pick.
Five Nights at Freddy's is set to hit theaters and Peacock on Friday, October 27.