Everyone was shocked to learn that Universal would lift the review embargo for Five Nights at Freddy's on Friday, October 27, days after its release in some territories like the United Kingdom and Mexico.
Additionally, the studio recently announced its release on Peacock would be moved up to Thursday, October 26 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, a whole day before its theatrical release.
This has fans worried that Universal is expecting critics to give Five Nights at Freddy's harsh reviews.
Critic Reviews Pushed Up for FNAF
That would leave a 17-hour window between critic reviews being released publically and its streaming release on Peacock.
Thursday previews for FNAF will also be taking place in select theaters on October 26, creating a very short span of time for fans to gauge how good the film is before it's available to watch.
This also means several territories like the United Kingdom, where FNAF is releasing on Wednesday, October 25, will see the movie in theaters long before any reviews drop.
This potentially puts the movie's quality in a worrying spot. Though it is not a guaranteed sign, a studio moving its review embargo date as close to a movie's release as possible often signals a lack of faith in a project being well-received and could indicate that FNAF's quality might not be up to snuff for fans.
Will FNAF Be a Success or Failure Based on Reviews?
There is another primary reason that studios have such small windows between review embargos and a movie's release, which is to prevent spoilers from leaking out ahead of release.
It's doubtful Universal is hoping to prevent spoilers from circulating though, considering the movie will be released on Peacock a whole day before theaters, so fans have gravitated to worrying about the video game adaptation's quality.
However, despite some minor nitpicks from some fans, the trailers have been positively received.
Of course, there are rare cases of late review embargos not indicative of a movie's quality, such as Wonder Woman having its review embargo drop two days before its theatrical release. It's since become the best-regarded movie in the DCEU next to James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.
Five Nights at Freddy's will debut in theaters on Friday, October 27 and stream on Peacock at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 26.