I had the opportunity to watch the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie the weekend it was released, which proved to be a therapeutic moment, though not in the way you expect it to be. After all, the film is based off the horror game series of the same name, so you’re probably wondering as to why this movie meant a lot to me. Back when the game first came out, me and my younger brother were “traumatized” when we watched a YouTube video at a friend’s house; as you can infer, it was a video of the characters from the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, drawn in a grotesque and creepy manner to our young minds. It didn’t help that me and my brother loved going to Chuck E. Cheese’s but despised the animatronics and mascots there. Taking into account that the premise of the games was mainly being an overnight security guard of a restaurant filled with malicious robots, it was not great for us.
A significant period has passed since then, so me and my brother have matured and grew less afraid of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. However, I still can’t bring myself to play the games themselves nor watch videos about them without turning my head away from jump-scares, though that’s just me being a scaredy-cat overall. What fascinated more was the storyline, or rather confusing narrative, behind the games. Ultimately, watching the film let me reflect a bit on who I was when the first game came out, and focusing to the present where I’m in college and an actual Five Nights at Freddy’s movie released.
A character from a scene from the film (not spoilers) brought up how “drawings hold so much meaning to children”, which clicked with me considering I heard that very saying in one of my art therapy classes. Childhood trauma was hinted in the film and worked hand-in-hand with drawing, so I thought back to the images from the Handbook of Art Therapy by Cathy Malchiodi of applications like transference and spontaneous expression. Dreams also play an important role in the movie, and I couldn’t help but think back to psychoanalysis. I’m not saying that the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is filled with monumental art therapy techniques nor is it a psychological thriller, more so I found that my knowledge in art therapy concepts really added to my interest in a movie about a franchise that scared me when I was younger.
To commemorate the release of the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, I made fanart that reflected the “lore” of the franchise. Those who have an idea behind the narrative of the games or have seen the film will immediately understand what I am trying to convey in this drawing; to those who are viewing this post casually, I’ll let you interpret it. Overall, this piece took a lot of time and effort, and shows my growth when it comes to differentiation in character designs. It comes in a full circle when you realize I was terrified of Five Nights at Freddy’s from the creepy fanart several years ago, and here I am making art of the same franchise.