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Five Nights at Freddy's surprisingly young fanbase is saving the movie from horror obscurity

This movie owes its impending success to folks too young to see it on their own.

Four of the animatronic monsters from Five Nights at Freddy's
Image credit: Universal Pictures

The SAG-AFTRA strike that has gripped Hollywood for months doesn’t just prevent actors from showing up to set – it also prevents them from engaging in any marketing for their work. This ranges from interviews to posting about their movies online to wearing costumes from struck work on Halloween. It has been a serious blow to many recent releases, with actors unable to use their platforms to generate buzz and get fans in seats, but Five Nights at Freddy’s has an ace up its sleeve – its rabid fanbase.

Despite the film’s PG-13 rating in the US, Five Nights at Freddy’s has a remarkably young fanbase considering the content of the games. Most discovered the game due to the many Let’s Plays and reaction videos posted to sites like YouTube and have been drawn in by the so-ugly-they’re-cute characters. As a result, the studio doesn’t need to rely on actors like Matthew Lillard to promote the film because literally every kid with an internet connection is ready and able to talk your ear off about the incredibly dense lore and the twisted characters that haunt Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza at night.

Having an existing fanbase is likely what attracted Blumhouse Productions to the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise in the first place, but they probably didn’t predict that it would save the movie from being lost in a packed Fall film season. Even without the cast to promote it, Five Nights at Freddy’s has generated significant buzz ahead of its impending release in cinemas and on streaming services. The hype has grown so intense that other companies are doing the marketing for them. Suddenly, what could have been an easily overlooked, niche horror film into one of the most exciting Halloween releases in recent years.

The Five Nights at Freddy's phenomenon is lasting longer than five nights. Get up to speed, with how to stream the movie, details on the characters and lore, getting to know the FNAF animatronics, how it fits in the canon of the games, talks of sequels, how Chuck E. Cheese is responding, and even a guide to how to play all the FNAF games.

Can't get enough? We have have recommendations for five movies to watch after Five Nights at Freddy's.