Five Nights at Freddy’s is a hallmark in video game horror, following a security guard who must escape the demonic animatronics ready to murder him. After spawning numerous sequel games and spin-offs, the franchise has finally birthed its first live-action film. Blumhouse was a natural fit for such a project, and Emma Tammi (The Wind) was brought on to direct from a screenplay she co-wrote with Seth Cuddeback (Mateo) and game creator Scott Cawthorn.
Though Five Nights At Freddy’s amplifies the role of human characters, lending more focus to security guard Mike and his little sister Abby, the most important aspect for the team to get right was the visual aesthetic of the animatronics. With Cawthorn intimately involved from the start, the production had ever tool at their disposal to bring Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, Cupcake, and Foxy to life for the fans. There are also many more animatronics waiting in the wings of other games, and the projected box office of the movie suggests sequels will have the chance to tackle them.
Screen Rant had the opportunity to visit Universal Studios Hollywood and attend an event celebrating Five Nights at Freddy’s, where we sat down with director Emma Tammi and project supervisor Robert Bennett. The duo explained how working on the movie converted them into fans of the FNAF franchise, then shared the precepts they kept in mind for crafting the creepiest possible renditions of the animatronics — making sure to stay faithful to Scott Cawthorn’s vision throughout. Check out a snippet of our Blumhouse adventure and read the interview below:
Screen Rant: How much were each of you fans of this IP before you were on board, and how much research did you have to do to really get involved?
I know that you really wanted to stay true to the animatronics of the game, so what was the hardest and most challenging part about that, really recreating what you saw?
Emma, what’s it like having to seamlessly insert the animatronics into the story with the real people and blend those two together?
Speaking of tone, you’ve worked on things like Fraggle Rock, which is quite different than Five Nights at Freddy’s. What is the chord that you have to strike to make these creatures that could easily be cuddly or just kooky really, truly creepy?
We’re getting to know these guys in this movie. Hopefully, there will be more movies with more animatronics from future games. Do you have one each that you’re most excited to get your hands on?