Taking something family friendly and making it murdery is a tried-and-true horror trope. Chucky's a great example, so is Cujo. Hell, The Twilight Zone used a creepy ventriloquist dummy all the way back in the '60s. And now, the latest big screen project to go from G-Rated to G-Rotesque is Five Nights at Freddy's.
The animatronic nightmare is streaming on Peacock right now, with a US theatrical release date of October 27. And I had the thought that, after the movie, you might want to see other ways Hollywood has warped the wholesome into hellish. So, I made a little list.
Check out these five movies to watch after Five Nights at Freddy's, and let me know what you think. Oh, just make sure the kids are in bed before you press play.
Odds are you're probably not going to get closer to Five Nights at Freddy's than The Hug. Both films are set at pizza arcades (à la Chuck E. Cheese) and star demonic, blood-lusted robot entertainers (also à la Chuck E. Cheese). Stream this short on Hulu.
Right around the time Chuck E. Cheese was worming his little rat tail out of Hell, Stephen King was telling everyone what they already knew about clowns. Just a little while later, another story came out that was very much not It, but still equally correct about circus performers; Killer Klowns from Outer Space. If you like big, creepy animatronics who would only be deemed child-appropriate by an actual madnman, you can stream it on AMC+.
You'd think that the folks at Hanna-Barbera actually knew what kids would like, but nope, their answer was also "eldritch fursuits and cold, dead eyes." This is what Danishka Esterhazy leaned into for The Banana Splits Movie, a horror adaptation of HB's "kids'" variety show of the same name. Unfortunately, you're going to have to rent this one.
Unlike Chuck E. Cheese, malls actually were places for the whole family. Dad could go to Buck's, Mom to Fashionique, and the kids to Blazztoid, three stores I just made up but you were so ready to believe in. Speaking of the product of a broken mind, Chopping Mall is also about a robot gone rogue, though with blessedly less human features. Just like Five Nights at Freddy's, you can stream it on Peacock.
Pooka! and Pooka Lives!
I know, I know, I'm cheating. I said five movies and here I've gone and listed six. But I promise you the Pooka franchise is worth it. Plus, the first chapter in this story of a fad gone feral is set at Christmas time, so you can keep creepin' long after October 31 is over. Watch it for the holidays (or right now) on Hulu
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.