Five Nights at Freddy’s director defends the game adaptation's PG-13 rating

Five Nights at Freddy's
(Image credit: Universal)

On the surface, Five Nights at Freddy’s seems like it checks all of the boxes of a terrifying horror movie. A claustrophobic setting? Yes. Mysterious disappearances? Yes. Jumpscares? Yes. Killer robots? Quadruple yes. 

Therefore, it might come as quite a surprise to viewers that the adaptation is actually rated a pretty moderate PG-13 in the US. But for Blumhouse, the studio behind the long-awaited adaptation, this was the intention all along. 

"Going into production we knew that we wanted to really stick [to] a PG 13 rating for this movie," director Emma Tammi tells GamesRadar+ when asked if they ever considered a gorier cut. "It felt like it was important and really exciting to be able to include a younger audience to come see this movie. But we also, of course, wanted to deliver on the scares and at least the implied violence of a kill, even if you don't see everything."

For Tammi, whose previous work includes horror western The Wind, this was an enjoyable challenge to get right. "I personally find it sometimes more fun and creative to figure out the way to show the thing without explicitly showing the thing or without graphically showing the thing," she adds. "It lets your mind go to even darker places sometimes than when you show all the gore in the guts. So, I was really excited about that rating, to be honest."

Five Nights at Freddy’s arrives in theaters this week, as well as hitting streaming platform Peacock on day of release in the US. Drawing inspiration from Scott Cawthon’s beloved game franchise, the movie follows Mike Schmidt, a security guard who accepts a night-time job at abandoned restaurant Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.

After some strange goings-on during his first shift, Mike finds out that its four animatronic mascots, Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy, come alive at night and kill anyone they encounter. The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson leads the cast as Mike, alongside Elizabeth Lail as Vanessa, a local police officer, Piper Rubio as Abby, Mike's younger sister, and Matthew Lillard as career counselor Steve Raglan. 

Five Nights at Freddy's arrives in cinemas on October 25 in the UK and on October 27 in the US. It will also be available on Peacock on the same day in the US.

For more scares, check out our guides to the best horror movies of all time and all of the upcoming horror movies to add to your calendars.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.