At the screening to this movie iteration of the iconic teenage video game – you saw the main problem first hand.
Even though several of the games are around the Age 12 bracket – and in some circumstances played by kids even younger – the movie has garnered a 15 certificate. Which lead to multiple youngsters not being able to enter the film, as they’d turned up at the cinema assuming it was a 12A.
And in that lies this film’s main problem.
Bar a couple of gory moments, it could have easily hit the 12A certificate akin to the majority of the games.
Which leaves this recreation of Freddy and co, not really being one thing or the other.
That said, it remains incredibly faithful to the character design from the games, and churns out a decent-enough story with one or two iconic jump scares thrown in.
When Josh Hutcherson’s (The Hunger Games series) troubled security guard, Mike Schmidt, accepts a night-time job at the once-successful – but now-abandoned – Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, he discovers four animatronic mascots come to life and attempts to kill anything that is on the premises after midnight.
Unfortunately, the anxiety-ridden Mike has to take sleeping pills on the job, in a long-suffering attempt to ‘remember’ the face of the man who kidnapped his little brother a dozen or so years earlier. To make matters worse, when his little sister Abby’s (Piper Rubio) babysitter fails to turn up on his third night on his new job, he has to take her in with him, which really awakens Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy.
And things are further compounded when young police officer Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail from TV series You) drops by to let Mike know that several kids mysteriously vanished on the premises years before – with Abby next on their list.
But despite it being a bit uneven – it’s generally fairly placid stuff bar around ten minutes of horror elements – there’s a noteworthy emotional story at its core, as we feel Mike’s pain with his brother’s disappearance.
And Blumhouse – the team behind many genre series – definitely manage to pay homage to the uber-popular franchise.
Those two components just about pull it through – or it would just have been mediocre fare – and makes this a solid first entry in the series.
And after it’s blockbuster opening weekend there’s no doubting you’ll be seeing more of Freddy and friends very soon.
ESP Rating: 3/5
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: JOSH HUTCHERSON, ELIZABETH LAIL, PIPER RUBIO, MARY STUART MASTERSON, KAT CONNER STERLING & MATTHEW LILLARD
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 49 MINS
DIRECTOR: EMMA TAMMI
Go to www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux