AVS Discussions
  Go Down

Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review

Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review
« on: December 31, 2023, 05:05:19 PM »

Studio:  Universal Pictures
Release Date:  12/12/2023
Rating:  PG-13
Film Grade:  C

The Story:  Mike is kind of a loser.  Unable to hold a job for any length of time, he finds himself taking the role of a security guard just so he can retain custodianship of his little sister, Abby.  Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza has been abandoned for years, but the owner has a sentimental attachment to it and wants to make sure it remains intact and protected.  Seems like a cushy job, but it isn’t long before Mike finds out that the old restaurant isn’t as lifeless as it should be.

My Take:  The movie is based on a popular video game series that I’ve never played and am only distantly aware of, so I can only base my review on the movie itself and not from a fan’s perspective.  The games do have an enthusiastic following, so I was curious about the movie; a big thanks to David for sending me a copy for review.

As a horror movie, this one is filled with the typical tropes one would expect to find in a setting reminiscent of an abandoned Chuck E. Cheese or Showbiz pizza attraction.  The animatronics are just a step away from creepy as-is, so crafting a movie around it should be an easy win.  And while it does use those elements, the movie doesn’t fully take advantage of them.

Part of the problem is what we’ve seen quite often in films like this, which is grafting on a family element that isn’t fully fleshed-out and ends up taking screen time from the horror part of the story.  When done well, it can add extra depth to the characters and the story, adding to the audience’s engagement.  When done poorly, it can make things feel disjointed and unfocused.  The latter is what we have here.  This might be due to the movie having three different writers listed, as it doesn’t feel like a fully coherent story. 

As messy as the family element is, it might be the best part of Josh Hutcherson’s performance as Mike.  His concern for his sister comes through strongly and defines his character more than any horror aspect of the story.  This is due less to the strength of that family part of the story than to the underuse of the creepy Freddy’s environment and background.  The rest of the roles feel underdeveloped and shallow, but the actors do what they can with them.  It was good to see Matthew Lillard back on screen in a horror movie, even if he doesn’t get much screen time.

Video:  As one would expect, the film is really dark for most scenes. The interior of Freddy’s is often minimally lit, but details were still easy to spot, and the action never got lost in murkiness.  The occasional neon lights popped when shown, the other sets have a very natural and lifelike appearance to them.

I took a peek at the standard Blu-ray for comparison, and it looked great, there was a bit more detail in the 4K version, but I wouldn’t call it a night and day difference.  Both presentations were fine, although neither was outstanding.

Audio:  Kudos to the studio for including the Atmos soundtrack on both the standard and 4K copy of the movie.  It’s good that they did, because this is a really nice immersive mix.  Things like overhead lights buzzing and ticking, PA speakers, and musical cues are all well-used to build a coherent soundstage.  The musical soundtrack is a fun mix of 80’s horror-synth and fit well with the throwback theme of the movie.

It uses the tops extensively and effectively, and wides are used more often than most soundtracks.  One thing that I check for in any movie that has outdoor scenes is whether or not they place bird sounds in the tops, and I’ve finally found one that does.  There are both chirps and fluttering wings above the audience, a simple touch that adds a sense of realism that is so often overlooked.

Special Features: 

  • From Game to Big Screen
  • Killer Animatronics
  • Five Nights in Three Dimensions

Final Verdict:  The movie did surprisingly well at the box office even though it was released simultaneously on Peacock, pulling in $137M against its estimated $20M budget, virtually guaranteeing that we’ll see a follow-up. 

That said, it’s safe to say that I’m not the target group for this film.  I’ve only been to a Chuck E. Cheese once (a mistake early in the dating stage with my future wife, which she somehow managed to look past), and I’ve never played any of the Feddy’s video games.  The movie is better-suited for the younger set, feeling akin to a Scooby-Doo adventure.  The setting was ripe for terror but produced little in the line of chills or scares. 

It's tempting to compare it to the similarly themed, Willy’s Wonderland starring Nicholas Cage, but other than the settings, they have little in common.  Willy’s features a bare-bone script paired with ultra-violent action scenes, while most of the violence in Freddy’s is off-screen or shown in shadows.  Neither take full advantage of the potential of their setups.

If you’re looking for a mildly fun movie, this is worth a spin, especially if you’re watching with a younger crowd.  There’s nothing groundbreaking or unexpected here.  The mystery part of it was obvious from the start, but it does include many of the standard elements you’d expect to see in this kind of a movie.

Fun Fact:  While the movie shares many traits with Chuck E. Cheese, those animatronics will soon be a thing of the past.  The company started phasing out the furry bands from various locations in 2017 and by the end of 2024 the only remaining location to see them will be in Northridge, CA.

https://uni.pictures/FNAF_HomeEntTrailer

My Review System:
JVC DLA-RS3100 4K Ultra High-Definition Front Projector
Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 117” Width with Infinitely Variable Height
Monolith by Monoprice HTP-1 16 Channel Processor with Dirac Live
Monolith by Monoprice 7x200 Watts Amp
Monolith by Monoprice 3x200 Watts + 6x100 Watts Amp
JBL Studio 590 for Left, Center, Right, Wides, and Rears
JBL Studio 580 for Side Surrounds
JBL Studio SCS 8 for Tops
JTR Captivator 1400 Subwoofer X 4
Panasonic DP-UB420 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
NVIDIA Shield Android TV - 4K
Xbox One X
HTPC Running madVR (work in progress)
Remote: URC MX-780
Mini DSP 2X4 HD controlling all subwoofers
APC S15 Power Conditioner with Battery Backup
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

Re: Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2023, 05:47:11 PM »
Thanks for the review Scott. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

bmoney

  • *****
  • 2484
Re: Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2023, 08:14:50 PM »
I was like huh? My son loved it. I read the lore then watched again. And it made much more sense. Not terrible. But not great either. It’s going to be a three 
Film series. 
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

Re: Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2023, 08:54:12 PM »
I was like huh? My son loved it. I read the lore then watched again. And it made much more sense. Not terrible. But not great either. It’s going to be a three
Film series.
That would explain why the kids seemed to like it.  I didn't look into the lore at all, but my assessment is the same as yours, not terrible or great, just average.

It did interest me enough to watch future installments, so that's a positive.  Hopefully they can put together a tighter script, as the filming process for this one was a bit chaotic, with multiple writers and directors attached to it at different times.
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

Re: Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2024, 12:42:37 PM »
That would explain why the kids seemed to like it.  I didn't look into the lore at all, but my assessment is the same as yours, not terrible or great, just average.

It did interest me enough to watch future installments, so that's a positive.  Hopefully they can put together a tighter script, as the filming process for this one was a bit chaotic, with multiple writers and directors attached to it at different times.
My son-in-law works for Universal and they were pleasantly surprised at how well this did in theaters. It was very unexpected. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

TRainH2O

  • *****
  • 899
  • Analog guy living in a Digital world
Re: Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2024, 04:28:01 PM »
Thanks for the review.

I was completely clueless about Five Nights at Freddy's until my BFF's son started creating freelance video content using the FNaF characters. They are pretty bizarre and a bit disturbing, but they get millions of views on YouTube. 

Now, I'm just mostly clueless.

Re: Five Nights at Freddy's (2023, 4K UHD Blu-ray) Review
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2024, 07:30:11 PM »
My son-in-law works for Universal and they were pleasantly surprised at how well this did in theaters. It was very unexpected.
Was the surprise due to it being on Peacock at the same time, or did they just have low expectations for theater returns?  I'm guessing it's the later, which prompted them to put it on Peacock day-and-date in the first place.  And that it went through such a tumultuous development.
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

  Go Up
 

SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2024, SimplePortal