movies to watch before five nights at freddy's

Movies To Watch Before Five Nights at Freddy’s

Latest posts by Fredrick Ochami (see all)

Let’s get one thing straight: the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is one of the most anticipated horror movies of the year.

With a stellar cast, a producer who researched the source material, and a big budget–$36 million is nothing to sneeze at for a horror movie based on an indie game–the anticipation couldn’t be higher. I can’t wait until October 27, 2023, to sit down and watch this horror movie in all its glory.

However, there’s just one problem: the movie is still months away.

If, like me, you’re also waiting restlessly, and the FNAF games can’t scratch that cinematic itch, I have a list of movies to watch before Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Bottom Line Up Front

These movies will fill that FNAF-shaped hole in your heart. From horrific to twisty, they all offer something you might experience in the FNAF movie when it finally comes out. They include:

  • Willy’s Wonderland
  • The Banana Splits Movie
  • M3GAN
  • It
  • Chopping Mall
  • Puppet Master
  • Annabelle
  • Chucky
  • Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000
  • Dolls
  • Dead Silence

How I Chose The Movies

Setting

FNAF heavily features isolation, so I searched for movies where the main characters were in locations or situations where they couldn’t call for help.

Challenging Enemies

While you can disable or trick the animatronics in FNAF, defeating them is tough. So, I searched for movies with similarly immortal foes.

Possession

While only some movies here feature possession, I chose a few that explore the concept similarly to FNAF, e.g., through haunted dolls or entities.

The Essential Movies To Watch Before FNAF Releases

Willy’s Wonderland

This is a comedy horror film starring Nicolas Cage. Willy’s Wonderland follows Cage’s character, a drifter who spends one night at an abandoned family entertainment center. However, the center contains eight animatronic mascots out for blood.

Similarities to FNAF

Willy’s Wonderland is the most similar movie to FNAF I’ve seen. The similarities include the following:

  • An abandoned entertainment center. Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza was also neglected and unoccupied when Mike Schmidt first took the night security guard job.
  • Animatronics. They are the bread and butter of Five Nights at Freddy’s and the villains in Willy’s Wonderland.
  • The silent protagonist. Nic Cage’s character barely speaks in Willy’s Wonderland, similar to the player characters in the early FNAF games. However, from what I can tell in the trailer, Josh Hutcherson’s character in the upcoming FNAF film has plenty of dialogue.
  • Possession. In both films, the animatronics have been possessed. However, while murdered children possess the FNAF animatronics, a cannibalistic killer and his followers possess the Willy’s Wonderland animatronics.

Differences from FNAF

Not everything about Willy’s Wonderland mirrors FNAF. The differences include:

  • The primary villain. The real villain in FNAF is a human character, William Afton. However, the primary villain in Willy’s Wonderland is Willy, the lead animatronic possessed by a serial killer. Willy coerced the locals to offer human sacrifices so he could stop murdering the locals.
  • The atmosphere. Willy’s Wonderland is more action-packed as Nicolas Cage’s character easily dispatches the animatronics in creative ways. However, FNAF is more suspenseful and mysterious, offering a slow burn instead of action thrills–at least, that’s what I gathered from the trailer.
  • The target age profile. Willy’s Wonderland has bucketloads of gore, which I love–but that also makes it better suited to adult audiences. However, FNAF sparingly uses gore while ramping up the tension, which makes it more accommodating to a younger audience–like The Conjuring.

Why I Recommend Willy’s Wonderland

Suppose you’re looking for a fun, gory way to experience FNAF without all the seriousness. In that case, you’ll have a good time with Willy’s Wonderland. Additionally, most movies Nicolas Cage has featured in over the past few years have been golden.

The Banana Splits Movie

Before the FNAF movie or even Willy’s Wonderland, The Banana Splits Movie was the closest we got to experiencing the terror of killer animatronics.

The film is set in a timeline where the Banana Splits show ran for 50 successful years. It follows Harley Williams, a young fan of the Banana Splits show. Harley and his family go to watch a live taping of the show on his birthday, but mayhem ensues when the animatronics go on a killing spree.

Similarities to FNAF

Like Willy’s Wonderland, The Banana Splits Movie is similar to FNAF in significant ways:

  • Animatronics. Yep, both films feature killer animatronics.
  • Parts of a bigger franchise. While The Banana Splits Movie forges its path, it’s still in the same universe as the original kids’ show. Likewise, the FNAF movie is part of a bigger universe that includes video games, graphic novels, and more.

Differences from FNAF

Despite the common elements, The Banana Splits Movie also has differences:

  • No isolation. Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza is an abandoned location, so the only occupants are Mike Schmidt and his sister–though Vanessa occasionally visits. However, The Banana Splits Movie’s Taft Studios still runs, full of people.
  • It’s funnier. The FNAF movie has a serious tone. However, its counterpart packs in humor–almost to a fault.

Why I Recommend The Banana Splits Movie

This movie flips the original TV show from kid-friendly to adult. It’s gory, has killer animatronics, and is fun. If you enjoyed Willy’s Wonderland, you will have a blast with The Banana Splits Movie.

M3GAN

After her parents die, 8-year-old Cady moves in with her aunt Gemma. A roboticist, Gemma develops a humanoid robot doll called M3GAN and pairs it with Cady. However, M3GAN starts thinking independently and soon kills anyone who harms Cady or tries to tear them apart.

Similarities to FNAF

At first glance, M3GAN is not similar to FNAF. However, they are alike in two essential things:

  • Production House. Both films come from Blumhouse Productions, with Jason Blum handling production duties.
  • Animatronics. M3GAN is not technically an animatronic. However, she functions the same way. Additionally, she soon becomes a homicidal maniac.

Differences from FNAF

  • Originality. The FNAF movie draws inspiration directly from the popular video game franchise, which already has a dedicated fan base. However, M3GAN introduces an original concept.
  • Narrative Focus. The FNAF movie emphasizes unraveling animatronics’ mysteries and hidden lore. However, M3GAN is more action-oriented and direct, without a mystery to unveil. However, the lore can develop if the sequels are successful.

Why I Recommend M3GAN

M3GAN offers a fresh take on the horror genre. The film introduces a new villain with a standalone story, and it can become an entertaining franchise. In fact, a sequel has already received the green light.

It

This is a 2017 horror movie about a supernatural killer clown targeting kids. Based on Stephen King’s iconic novel, It focuses on a group of outcast kids calling themselves the Losers’ Club. They encounter a sinister shape-shifting entity called Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Pennywise preys on their fears, and they must confront their deepest terrors to defeat him.

Similarities to FNAF

It shares several similarities with the upcoming FNAF movie that make it a compelling watch:

  • Childhood fears. Both It and FNAF tap into the fears and vulnerabilities of children. They explore the darkness that lurks beneath seemingly innocent settings.
  • Supernatural entities. Like the animatronics in FNAF, Pennywise is an otherworldly creature that torments and hunts its victims.
  • Isolation and suspense. It and FNAF create an atmosphere of isolation and tension, with characters trapped in confined spaces and forced to confront their fears.

Differences from FNAF

Despite the similarities, It has standout elements that set it apart from FNAF:

  • Coming-of-age narrative. It focuses on the personal growth and bonds formed among the young members of the Losers’ Club.
  • Mythology. FNAF has one of the most complex mythologies and lore in any franchise. In comparison, It is tame.

Why I Recommend It

It is a masterful adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, delivering a blend of horror, ’80s nostalgia, and compelling character arcs. The performances are exceptional, and the film deftly balances terror and heartfelt moments. The movie also made me jump out of my skin the first time I watched it. It is a must-watch before FNAF premieres (and I dare you to watch the movie and its sequel back-to-back).

Chopping Mall

Chopping Mall is an ’80s horror film in a shopping mall with state-of-the-art security robots. However, a lightning strike makes the robots malfunction, turning them into bloodthirsty killers. The robots hunt down young employees trapped inside the mall.

Similarities to FNAF

Chopping Mall should be on your watchlist for these similarities with FNAF:

  • Technological horror. Both Chopping Mall and FNAF explore the fear of technology gone awry. Machines we should be comfortable around turn homicidal, and destroying them poses a considerable challenge.
  • Isolated setting. The security guards in FNAF are confined to Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza (or whichever Fazbear-owned establishment they find themselves in). Similarly, the characters in Chopping Mall are trapped within the walls of a shopping mall, battling against murderous robots.
  • Survival. In both films, the protagonists must use their wits and resourcefulness to survive the night while being pursued by seemingly unstoppable foes.

Differences from FNAF

While Chopping Mall shares similarities, it also has a few differing elements:

  • ’80s campiness. FNAF has a somber tone, but Chopping Mall embraces the cheesy, over-the-top ’80s horror style with exaggerated characters and gory practical effects.
  • Fast-paced action. Compared to the suspenseful FNAF, Chopping Mall has a more action-packed approach with intense chase sequences.

Why I Recommend Chopping Mall

Chopping Mall is a fun and nostalgic ’80s horror flick with elements of technology, slasher horror, and campiness. The movie delivers entertaining kills, a fast pace, and a retro charm you will appreciate. I recommend it for a gorier (but lighthearted) experience while waiting for the FNAF movie.

Puppet Master

Puppet Master is a horror film that follows a group of puppets animated by an ancient Egyptian spell. Each puppet has distinct abilities and quirks, but they follow their evil puppet master.

Similarities to FNAF

Puppet Master shares several similarities with FNAF that make it an intriguing addition to your movie marathon:

  • Haunted dolls. Just like the FNAF animatronics, the puppets in Puppet Master are inanimate objects brought to life through supernatural means.
  • Sense of dread. Both Puppet Master and FNAF create an atmosphere of unease and suspense, generating a constant sense of impending danger and horror.
  • Expansive franchise. FNAF and Puppet Master are massive franchises. Puppet Master has multiple sequels and spin-offs, so you can freely explore the other movies–extremely underrated compared to horror franchises like Chucky and Friday The 13th.

Differences from FNAF

Puppet Master introduces various elements that set it apart from FNAF:

  • Voodoo and ancient curses. While FNAF touches on supernatural elements and possession, Puppet Master delves deeper into voodoo practices and ancient Egyptian curses.
  • Focus on puppetry. As the title suggests, Puppet Master places a strong emphasis on puppetry and the art of manipulating animated dolls.

Why I Recommend Puppet Master

Puppet Master offers a unique blend of supernatural horror, puppetry, and an expansive franchise that will keep you engaged and eager for more. With its inventive creature designs, atmospheric settings, and twisted nostalgia, Puppet Master provides a chilling and nostalgic experience.

Annabelle

Annabelle is a spin-off film from The Conjuring Universe, focusing on the creepy and evil doll Annabelle. The film follows a young couple who unwittingly invite supernatural forces into their home after obtaining the doll.

Similarities to FNAF

Annabelle has notable similarities with FNAF that make it a compelling choice for you:

  • Haunted child-friendly characters: Annabelle and the animatronics in FNAF are seemingly innocent, child-friendly objects that become vessels for evil entities.
  • Paranormal horror. Annabelle and FNAF delve into paranormal horror, exploring supernatural forces and the chilling consequences that consequently unfold.
  • Sense of dread and suspense. Annabelle and FNAF foster a pervasive sense of fear and uncertainty. Their characters are constantly on edge, and so are we.

Differences from FNAF

While Annabelle shares similarities with FNAF, it also stands out through these elements:

  • Supernatural investigations. Annabelle incorporates elements of paranormal investigations and the involvement of demonologists. It also connects to The Conjuring universe and expands the lore beyond a single film.
  • Modern setting. Annabelle takes place in a contemporary setting, while the FNAF movie’s setting should be in the early 90s.

Why I Recommend Annabelle

Annabelle provides a chilling and atmospheric experience, delving into the haunting tale of a possessed doll and the terror it inflicts upon its owners. If you love paranormal horror and enjoy a healthy dose of supernatural terror, you shouldn’t skip it.

Child’s Play

The Chucky franchise centers around the iconic killer doll called Chucky, possessed by the soul of a notorious serial killer. In the first film, Child’s Play, Chucky wreaks havoc as he tries to possess a young boy. The films blend horror, humor, and suspense while following the doll’s reign of terror and the desperate attempts to stop him.

Similarities to FNAF

Child’s Play shares several similarities with FNAF that make it a thrilling addition to your movie marathon:

  • Haunted kid-friendly characters. Chucky and the FNAF animatronics come to life maliciously and torment the poor souls who cross their paths.
  • Cat-and-mouse chase. In Child’s Play and FNAF, the protagonists engage in relentless pursuits with their malevolent pursuers.

Differences from FNAF

While Chucky shares similarities with FNAF, it has its distinct elements:

  • Source of possession. Chucky’s possession comes from voodoo rituals, while FNAF’s possession comes from Remnant.
  • Focus on one antagonist. While FNAF has multiple villains, from the animatronics to William Afton, Chucky centers around a single villainous doll. This lets us deeply explore Chucky’s personality and motives.
  • Increasingly self-aware. As the Chucky franchise progresses, it becomes increasingly self-aware and meta. However, FNAF has always taken itself seriously, from the video games to the novels–and the movie follows in the same footsteps.

Why I Recommend Child’s Play

The Chucky franchise is worth watching, with horror, humor, and a memorable primary villain. If you want to watch another franchise where supposedly child-friendly characters become dastardly villains, Child’s Play will scratch that itch.

Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000

Chuck E. Cheese is among Five Nights at Freddy’s inspirations, so I had to include this movie. Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 is a family-friendly film following friends who participate in an intergalactic race to keep the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant from closing down.

Similarities to FNAF

While Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 differs dramatically in tone from FNAF, they do share some notable similarities:

  • Animatronic entertainers. Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 and FNAF feature animatronics inside an entertainment environment, albeit with different intentions and genres.
  • Nostalgia. Both franchises tap into nostalgia, appealing to those who grew up with animatronic characters in restaurants.

Differences to FNAF

Chuck E. Cheese offers a different tone and audience appeal compared to FNAF:

  • Family-friendly adventure. While FNAF delves into horror and suspense, Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 is a lighthearted, family-friendly adventure for all ages.
  • Setting. Chuck E. Cheese takes place in the distant future, unlike FNAF’s relatively contemporary setting.
  • Emphasis on friendship and fun. While FNAF explores fear and survival, Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 focuses on friendship, determination, and the power of fun and imagination.

Why I Recommend Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000

Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 shows animatronics as they were meant to be: child-friendly and fun for the entire family.

Dolls

Dolls is a classic horror film involving a group of people stranded in a mansion during a storm. They discover the house’s owners are doll makers, and their creations are far from innocent. The dolls are alive and have a nasty side.

Similarities to FNAF

Just like FNAF, Dolls has:

  • Child-friendly characters turned evil. Both films play on the concept of innocent-looking dolls or animatronics turning evil.
  • A haunted location. Like Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza in FNAF, the mansion in Dolls houses supernatural threats.
  • Supernatural entities. The dolls in Dolls and the animatronics in FNAF are possessed by human souls.

Differences from FNAF

Despite the similarities, Dolls sets itself apart from FNAF in several ways:

  • Gothic horror setting. Dolls uses a classic horror setting: an old, isolated mansion instead of the retro entertainment center in FNAF.
  • Magic vs. Technology. While FNAF’s animatronics are more sci-fi horror, Dolls leans towards magic and the supernatural.
  • Possessed Criminals vs. Children. While the animatronics in FNAF are possessed by the souls of innocent children murdered by William Afton, the puppets and dolls in Dolls are possessed by the imprisoned souls of evil criminals.

Why I Recommend Dolls

If you love the concept of seemingly innocent toys turning malicious, Dolls will provide an entertaining and chilling viewing experience.

Dead Silence

Dead Silence is a supernatural psychological horror film revolving around the legend of a ventriloquist, Mary Shaw. After being accused of kidnapping a young boy, she was hunted down by townsfolk who cut out her tongue and killed her. They buried her with her “children,” a collection of homemade dolls. As a ghost, she seeks revenge through her dolls.

Similarities to FNAF

Dead Silence is similar to FNAF in various ways:

  • Haunted dolls. Like FNAF, Dead Silence uses haunted dolls (or puppets, in this case) to drive the horror.
  • Vengeful spirit. Mary Shaw in Dead Silence and the children’s souls in FNAF seek revenge for their unjust deaths.
  • A deep backstory. Just as FNAF has a complex lore, Dead Silence also has a backstory about Mary Shaw and her dolls.

Differences from FNAF

Dead Silence also differs from FNAF in these ways:

  • Supernatural ghost story. While FNAF does involve spirits, Dead Silence is a more traditional ghost story with elements of folklore.
  • Mood and Atmosphere. Dead Silence maintains a consistently eerie and unsettling tone, while FNAF utilizes jump scares and elements of suspense and mystery.

Why I Recommend Dead Silence

If you’re intrigued by the haunted doll element in FNAF, Dead Silence will appeal to you with its spooky ghost story and haunting visuals.

FAQs

Question: What Movies Are Like FNAF?

Answer: Several movies exist, similar to Five Nights at Freddy’s. The closest ones include Willy’s Wonderland, The Banana, Painted in Blood, and M3GAN.

Question: Will The FNAF Movie Be Faithful To The Game’s Storyline?

Answer: While the upcoming FNAF movie should be faithful and capture the essence and atmosphere of the original horror video games, it has already taken creative liberties like changing characters.

Question: Where Can I Watch The FNAF Movie?

Answer: On release, you can watch the FNAF movie in cinemas and on the Peacock distribution network on October 27, 2023.

Movies To Watch Before Five Nights at Freddy’s: Conclusion

As we wait for the highly anticipated FNAF movie to release, the films I’ve listed should keep you occupied. Not all of them are too similar, but they all share similarities you might like.

If nothing else, I suggest you watch Willy’s Wonderland and The Banana Splits Movie as they best capture the terror of animatronics. However, the other recommendations are still great.

So, grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and embark on a horror-filled journey until we see Freddy and co. on the big screen.

Read More FNAF Movie Related Articles and Spoilers We Know of So Far:

FNAF Movie – What We Know So Far
Who Is Directing The FNAF Movie?
FNAF Movie Cast Guide

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