There’s a reason why “FNAF”-related content tends to perform so well across platforms: it is the kind of game that meshes well with audience backseating, similar to “Outlast” or “Amnesia.” Even if you’ve never played “FNAF,” simply watching someone else play it is equally effective thanks to the immersive nature of the gameplay, coupled with the short duration of the games (at least compared to most objective-based games in the genre). Moreover, every “FNAF” experience is potentially unique. For instance, the latest DLC for “FNAF Security Breach,” “Ruin,” follows the same storyline and timed scares for every player, but the nature of the experience is intensified by the way in which the player chooses to use the V.A.N.N.I security mask (which exposes the player to AR objects and The Entity).
Blumhouse’s “FNAF” adaptation might be reflective of the franchise’s ethos if done in a faithful manner, which obviously means that some of the deep-seated lore needs to be sacrificed in favor of a more simplified storyline. The film will hold special significance for fans of the games, but even within this community, expectations are bound to shift around based on one’s individual exposure to the franchise. Another integral aspect of “FNAF” are the theories surrounding the storyline, which often seems deceptively simple if taken at face value. Case in point: Innumerable fan theories about the perpetrator during The Bite of ’87 incident have been put forth, and while it’s unlikely that the film will address similar theories exclusively, Easter eggs might be scattered about for good measure.
Circling back to whether the film’s PG-13 rating is enough, let’s look into the nature of standard “FNAF” gameplay, and why the adaptation doesn’t require an R rating to recreate the atmosphere of the games.