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The Five Nights At Freddy’s Movie, What Has Been Changed?

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Since I first discovered the games in 2015, I have absolutely adored the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. So much so that I spent hours of my time watching every single FNAF video made by Game Theory, researching the lore of the games and books, I even made an entire PowerPoint detailing its lore.

In May of this year, the first trailer was released for Five Nights at Freddy’s, the movie, and I was ecstatic. The movie was first announced in 2015, and 8 years later it would finally be released. Despite my excitement, I was also quite skeptical, I was unsure of how they could adapt such a complex universe into a movie format.

On the 26th of October, it was finally released in the cinemas, and it was quite an interesting movie, to say the least. As someone who’s loved the FNAF universe since 2015, I’ve compiled my thoughts on the movie from a lore perspective.

If you plan on watching this movie, there will be spoilers below.


The Five Nights at Freddy’s universe consists of 9 games and 28 books, detailing all the lore for the series. The main story revolves around William Afton and his children, Michael (the main protagonist), Elizabeth, and the crying child (his name remains unknown). William Afton was the creator of Freddy Fazbear’s pizzeria, alongside his business partner Henry Emily (the overarching protagonist). During the time of 1983 to 1993, William Afton went on a spree of murder. Whilst his primary motives are unclear, most theorize that he was trying to find a way to save Elizabeth and The Crying Child, who were killed by his animatronics. Others theorize that he was fueled purely by jealousy and revenge (personally I think it was a mix of both). One of his victims would end up being the daughter of Henry Emily, Charlotte. It should be noted that before people knew William Afton’s name, he was nicknamed ‘The Purple Guy’, due to his purple appearance in the FNAF 2 and 3 minigames. It turns out that, due to a substance called remnant, William Afton’s victims would go on to possess the Freddy Fazbear’s animatronics. Sometime after the events of FNAF 1, William Afton attempts to dismantle the animatronics after he realises this, but it only ends up releasing the spirits from their metallic tombs, allowing them to take revenge on Afton. William runs into a back room where there’s a wearable animatronic suit known as Golden Bonnie, which he attempts to wear to fight back. The suits are known to be incredibly fragile, and one wrong move can be fatal, which is exactly what happens to William Afton, as he’s ‘killed’ by the suit, and left to die.

There’s a lot more story to the games and books, the summary above is only the events from 1983 to 1993, however, the actual timeline goes until the 2030s.

This story is massively altered for the FNAF movie, and whilst I understand the need to leave things out for the sake of time, I think some parts of the original story could’ve gone unchanged.

I particularly didn’t like the handling of William Afton and Mike Schmidt. Whilst the acting for these characters was good, there were some omissions made for the movie that I didn’t like too much. The first being the changed relationship between William and Mike. In the games, it’s revealed that the name ‘Mike Schmidt’ is just an alias, and he’s actually Michael Afton. In the original FNAF universe, Michael goes to the various pizzerias to undo the crimes his Father had committed, whereas, in the movie, the nightguard is simply there due to a job recommendation, which I found disappointing considering how FNAF’s story is largely centered around the story of the Afton family.


Another issue I had with this movie was William Afton’s role within it. Although Matthew Lillard’s acting as William Afton is incredibly good, I thought the character could’ve had more story given. Whilst I understand that it would be hard to fit a full backstory in for William Afton, his motivations are part of what makes him such a scary antagonist, a person who was blinded by jealousy and revenge. In contrast, the FNAF movie Afton doesn’t really seem to have a motive.


Something that sort of ties into the last two points was the relationship between the animatronics and William Afton. In the lore, William Afton’s reaction to finding out that his victims were possessing his animatronics, was to dismantle them. Whereas in the movie, the animatronics are manipulated by Afton to do his work for him. Additionally, the nightguard in FNAF 1 (Michael Afton) is attacked due to the animatronics mistaking him for William, whereas William Afton in the movie is seemingly in control of the animatronics and is the person who directs them to kill. I personally didn’t like this change, as it isn’t faithful to anything to do with the Five Nights at Freddy’s lore. It also doesn’t fit William Afton as a character, as he isn’t depicted as a Machiavellian villain throughout the games or movie for that matter. In my eyes, it would’ve made more sense to take inspiration from the Good Ending in FNAF 3 (the one where the spirits are released from the animatronics).

One final choice that I didn’t understand was the decision to move the year from 1993 to the early 2000s for the movie, it seemed like a very random change to make.

Whilst I thought it was a fun movie to watch I felt the story lacked and I was frustrated with the decision to leave certain parts of the lore out of the narrative. However, it’s also important to note that most people who’ll watch this movie are not going to care about these things, as not everyone is as obsessed with FNAF’s lore as I am, I just wanted to voice my thoughts as someone who’s been so connected to this franchise for an incredibly long time.

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  • KaiNov 22, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Valid opinion. I have only watched the first like 15 minutes of it, and it threw the lore out the window entirely, to the point where I don’t really want to watch it. At least the movie isn’t cannon to the lore.