For an article on the FNAF film, a red lit sign reads "Freddy Fazenbear's Pizza" as an animatronic brown bear wearing a hat waves his hand. A green splat is next to the text "30%" and a red and white striped carton of popcorn icon is next to the text "88%."
Illustrated by Emily Daugherty, Ohio State University

Five Nights at Freddy’s” — Frightful Easter Eggs

Look out for these easter eggs as this fan-favorite horror game finally releases on the big screen.
November 10, 2023
8 mins read

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” (“FNAF”) is an extremely beloved horror video game that has taken the gaming world by storm since its 2014 release. Recently adapted for the big screen, the film brings new frights to the theater while building upon the game’s terrifying setup.

“FNAF” takes place at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza both in the game and in the film. The game is a first-person point-and-click horror game where the player plays as Mike Schmidt, who is stuck in a terrifying “Toy Story” meets Chuck E. Cheese scenario. Animatronics come to life at night and attempt murder in the world of Freddy Fazbear. It’s a Halloween game favorite of many because (speaking from firsthand experience) it is absolutely terrifying. The game series maintains suspense and horror with faulty electricity, old and dirty animatronics and overall, just through the atmosphere the game provides. 

With the release of the first game, YouTubers such as Markiplier, Jacksepticeye and MatPat of GameTheory and GTLive started to rise in popularity due to their frequent playthrough videos.

In the new film, Mike Schmidt is played by none other than Josh Hutcherson (best known for his role as Peeta Mellark in “The Hunger Games”). Other notable cast members are Matthew Lillard (“Scream”), Elizabeth Lail (“You”), CoryxKenshin and a cleverly concealed cameo from the one and only Matthew Patrick of Game Theory. The cast of the film did a phenomenal job with the roles, Hutcherson in particular with his portrayal of Mike Schmidt. 

Scott Cawthon, the creator of the “FNAF” games, had a direct hand in the making of the film, much to the delight of fans. Because of this, the movie is incredibly lore heavy and designed for fans of the game. While story is definitely added to the film, Cawthon did a great job with maintaining the atmosphere his games created. The film especially covers the first game of “FNAF”’s lore well. 

A few fun easter eggs from the film are easy to spot if you’re already a fan of the games. There are some all throughout the film, though some are harder to notice than others. Here’s a few of the spoiler-free easter eggs from the film:

6 A.M. 

One of the easiest to spot is Mike’s clock going off at specifically 6 a.m., which is the designated “safe time” in the “FNAF” games. When the clock strikes 6 a.m., Mike’s night shift at Freddy’s ends and he’s safe to go home. 

Dream Theory

A theory that used to be incredibly popular in the “FNAF” fandom is that everything that makes up the first three games (except for the minigames within them) is a dream. This theory has since been disproven, but there’s a nod to it in the film. That nod is Mike’s obsession with dream theory and a book he’s seen reading several times at the beginning of the film.

Sparky the Dog

Sparky the Dog is a bit of an urban legend for the “FNAF” fandom. It came around because of an incredibly well-edited fan image that portrayed an animatronic dog. This quickly became a source of debate if Sparky the Dog was real or not. Many viewed it as a hidden sixth animatronic. 

Sparky the Dog is referenced twice in the film, first in a restaurant named Sparky’s Diner and second by Sparky the Dog having his own animatronic outfit in the parts room.

Balloon Boy

Balloon Boy, often referred to as BB, is one of the many animatronics in the “FNAF” game series, and is seen several times in the film. The character makes his first appearance in the “FNAF 2” game and in the film makes an appearance as a small figurine that jumpscares Mike a few times. 

A lot of these easter eggs are fun little nods that you wouldn’t otherwise catch unless you know to look for them. 

Audience Participation

Another fun part of the film is how engaging it is for the audience. When I went to see it in theaters, the whole crowd was screaming at cameos and commenting on the film the entire time. It was definitely an audience filled with fans of the game. Cawthon worked incredibly hard to build a community for his games and he did a wonderful job of it, especially with all of the popularity it has had with the release of the movie. 

The story of Mike, Abby and Vanessa is absolutely thrilling and chilling. While the film gets negative reviews, particularly for lack of scares, the movie maintains a classic horror movie feeling. It’s definitely a cult favorite for a reason, however. If you aren’t a fan of the games, you may not necessarily enjoy it because it can be a bit predictable at times. It’s definitely more of a “The Sixth Sense” type of scary than it is a “The Conjuring” type of scary. 

Blumhouse produced the film, and they did a great job of maintaining a classic horror feeling. “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a pretty standard horror flick with a PG-13 rating. It’s a great watch for teens and anyone wanting a thrill but not something too intense. There isn’t much gore, which makes the film more enjoyable, in my opinion. Without spoiling too much, there’s a lot of sensitive subjects in relation to the death of children. It’s definitely a bit demented for those who are more sensitive to those sorts of topics. Overall, the film handles dark content thoughtfully.

It’s a movie that I would highly recommend for fans of the game. It’s a great film for people who enjoy the concept of their childhood nightmares come to life. Even for people who have never played the video game, I’d recommend giving it a shot.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is now available to watch in theaters or streaming exclusively on NBC’s Peacock.

Natalie VanHecke, University of Texas at Dallas

Contributing Writer

Natalie VanHecke

University of Texas at Dallas


"Natalie is a Literature major at the University of Texas at Dallas. When she’s not writing or studying, she can be found curled up with a good book and her dog."

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