‘Poltergeist’ Director Gil Kenan Signs on For ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Movie
If you haven’t heard about the Five Nights at Freddy’s series, have a chat with the video game aficionado in your life and they’ll tell you all about it. A smash hit on both computers and mobile devices, these games cast the gamer as a security guard in a Chuck E. Cheese-style family restaurant...where the animatronic animals come to life at night...and try to kill you. Now, the film adaptation of the series has found a director in Gil Kenan, best known for Monster House and this year’s remake of Poltergeist.
The news comes to us via Deadline, who report that Kenan will also co-write the screenplay with Tyler Burton Smith, a writer whose previous credits belong entirely to video games. They’re going to have a lot of free rein when it comes to this project – there is little-to-no story to be found in any of the Five Nights at Freddy’s games, just dread and jump scares and dread and jump scares. Oh, and jump scares.
The games (and there are four of them now, all produced within the past year) put the player in a claustrophobic security room, allowing them to observe the rest of the building through a series of security camera feeds. You never actually see those murderous robots move, but they will progress toward you on other video feeds when you’re not looking. Approximately 99% of the games’ effectiveness comes from desperately rotating between the various screens, trying to prepare yourself for when these things suddenly appear (and no, you’re never ready). We imagine the film adaptation will increase the cast and add some actual storytelling, but a movie that is entirely about a hapless security guard under siege by evil animal robots certainly sounds ambitious.
This will be Kenan’s third horror movie in a row and we hope he brings his Monster House sensibilities to the table. His Poltergeist was fine at best, a modestly effective but entirely forgettable riff on a much better movie. Five Nights at Freddy’s is no video game masterpiece, but it’s creepy and clever enough to warrant a little more care than most video game adaptations.