It’s taken years to get here, but the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie we’ve all anticipated is finally here, from Blumhouse Pictures and director Emma Tammi. The film is set at an abandoned family entertainment center and stars Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt, a security guard coping with past traumas while accepting a graveyard shift at the FEC, where he discovers that the facility’s animatronic creatures come to life and kill anyone who is on the grounds after midnight.
Tammi was the third director publicly attached to the film over its years-long production. Still, the filmmaker revealed in a conversation with The Playlist that the principal photography happened this year. “We started shooting February 1st, and we wrapped early April,” said Tammi. “We were really excited to hit a Halloween release, but it meant we had to work fast without jeopardizing quality. It’s fun to be talking about the project so soon after finishing it.”
The game series of the same name, which serves as the film’s source material, premiered roughly a decade ago and now comprises an expansive number of entries. “It’s amazing to have retained this level of popularity for this long and still bring in new fans now,” said Tammi. “We’ve got fans who have been playing the game for ten years now. We had some amazing gamers who came to visit the set who were older, and then there were younger fans who were making their first entry into it. It’s really intergenerational, and with the movie, we had that same opportunity to make an intergenerational event.”
Tammi did not speak directly to whether or not Blumhouse was planning sequels to her film, but she acknowledged that there’s plenty of untouched ground within the game series. “There is so much lore,” said Tammi. “We could never include it all in just one film; I’m sure we couldn’t cover it all even with ten films. But then there’s always something for the fanbase to talk and theorize about. I think it’s the conversations that keep the franchise going.” Concerning the nature of capturing the feeling of the video game on screen, Tammi added, “discovering new details and clues, and figuring out how you can alter the course of something, is very participatory. The game feels very immersive, and I wanted the film to feel the same way.”
Tammi elaborated further on how her filmmaking was tailored to fit this experience for fans of the games. “It operates on a couple of different levels,” said Tammi. “One is making sure the visual language is helping us get inside the characters’ perspectives and experiences, making us connected to them. Without that connection, going on that journey lacks attachment and emotion. Beyond that, we felt like there was an opportunity to create some iconic imagery inspired by the franchise. We wanted it to be beautiful and creepy at all times.”
“Five Nights at Freddy’s” hits theaters today. Check out our full interview with Emma Tammi below, where the director also discusses the inner psyche of Mike Schmidt, the film’s twisted dream sequences, how The Newton Brothers’ score added an essential atmosphere to the film, and more!