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The Five Nights at Freddy's rating isn't what you're expecting

No "guts and gore", but still scary and impactful.

FNAF Chica
Image credit: Universal Pictures

There's been quite a lot of talk surrounding the Five Nights at Freddy's rating over the past few months. Of course, longtime fans of the horror video game series want things to get bloody and disturbing, but at the same time, a huge part of the franchise's fandom is very young, and Hollywood studios typically want to bring in as much cash as possible.

What is the Five Nights at Freddy's age rating?

The Five Nights at Freddy's age rating will be PG-13, which means "Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers."

As for how FNAF pulls off its thrills with a PG-13 rating - ahead of the movie's debut later this week on Peacock and in cinemas, FNAF director Emma Tammi had an answer for the fans.

During an interview conducted at NYCC 2023, Inverse asked Tammi about her approach to adapting such a beloved property, working with the intimidating Jim Henson Company-made animatronics almost every day on set, and much more. Eventually, the discussion shifted to the matter of the age rating, and her words regarding this might soothe many fans: "We were trying to push it as far as we could while still retaining that PG-13 rating. That meant the kills needed to be executed in a certain way."

Apparently, the filmmakers' trick was to use shadows and sound design in some occasions to convey the nastier murder moments, presenting them in "an impactful way without showing any gore."

Tammi's comments on the use of shadows is especially interesting, as she later brings up F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922) as a big inspiration. Many horror classics have done a lot with very little, and toying with shadows and sound can often be more effective than shoving blood and guts in the audiences' faces. A great example of this was M3GAN, the killer doll feature that made $179 million worldwide earlier this year on a $12 million budget. The theatrical cut was PG-13 and still offered plenty of thrills and memorable kills. In fact, the Blumhouse co-produced feature shares even more similarities with the Five Nights at Freddy's movie, so we could be looking at a comparable box office performance.

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.

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Fran Ruiz