Five Nights at Freddy’s Director Interview With Emma Tammi

Image: Blumhouse Universal

The wait is almost over for the release of Universal Pictures and Blumhouse’s Five Nights at Freddy’s.

io9 spoke to director Emma Tammi about the video game adaptation and how closely she worked with video game franchise creator Scott Cawthon. Keeping true to the spirit of the original Five Nights at Freddy’s was paramount. “We obviously knew we needed to land the jump scares that the game had become so famous for,” she said. “But on top of that, the game really creates such a creepy atmosphere that you were on the edge of your seat even in between all of the jump scares. So I really wanted to lean into that as well, in terms of the feel of the place and the eeriness in terms of gateway horror films.”

Tammi cited films like Carrie and Gremlins as touchstones for the feature centering on the possessed, run-down, creepy animatronics at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. “It’s like all the films that as a kid or teenager you watch that have that initial access, like with Carrie just being in high school,” she said. “And the horror of, you know, just that locker room opening scene, it’s a very relatable, everyday thing. And yet, you then work your way into this more dramatic horror landscape. And with Gremlins, these things start out furry and cute and turn into a little monster. So I think that those were [gateway horror] ones for me. I definitely feel like this movie has the opportunity to hopefully be a gateway to [be] some young audiences’ first dip into horror.”

Speaking more about how closely she worked with FNAF’s creator, Tammi explained that it felt like a collaboration as soon as she came aboard the film. “At the time there was an existing script that I read, and I kind of shared my thoughts and vision for what the adaptation could be with Scott, and got in line with what he was thinking as well. We started collaborating from there—and here we are, [we] made it all the way to the finish line.”

Five Nights at Freddy’s opens October 27.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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