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Why There Won't Be an R-Rated Cut of the Five Nights at Freddy's Movie
The franchise will remain a solid PG-13 for the time being, and there's nothing with that!
If you've been holding out hope for an R-rated cut of the Five Nights at Freddy's movie, then keep hoping.
Director and co-writer Emma Tammi recently dispelled persistent internet rumors concerning a gorier version of the video game adaptation (now playing in theaters everywhere and streaming exclusively on Peacock), which nabbed an official PG-13 rating for "strong violent content, bloody images and language." That's pretty much in line with the games, which are rated 12+ for "Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear ThemesFrequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence."
As you might have guessed, the main reason for a lower designation was to attract a wider demographic. And there's nothing wrong with that! Had it been rated R, the film probably wouldn't have broken as many box office records as it did.
Why there won't be an R-rated cut of the Five Nights at Freddy's movie
"We knew that some of the fan base would want an R-rated version of this film," Tammi said while in conversation with Forbes last month. "On the one level, we wanted to be inclusive of the younger audiences and knew we were going to hit the PG-13 rating, but for the audience that also wanted that level of violence, if you will, or at least insinuation of violence, we really wanted to still include elements that felt dark."
To that end, Five Nights at Freddy's leaves most of the graphic imagery up to the viewer's imagination — either cutting away from the animatronic slaughter, or else hiding it in silhouette. The gnarliest kill in the whole movie is probably the shadow of Abby's babysitter, Max (Kat Conner Sterling), getting chomped in half by Freddy Fazbear himself.
"Of course, there are a lot of dark elements to see in the lore, but in terms of some of the kills and everything, it was just all execution dependent," the filmmaker continued. "We really wanted to ensure that we were showing the right amount and doing creative things to insinuate what was happening or show what was happening without fully seeing it to still fit in that PG-13 category. I would say not to expect an R-rated version on this one," Tammi concluded. "We're really happy with how the PG-13 tone landed; it felt like the right fit for this particular film. We're sticking by it."
How to watch the Five Nights at Freddy's movie
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On the box office front, FNAF has accrued over $220 million worldwide, making it the second-highest grossing horror movie of the year after The Nun II. If we're just taking domestic sales into account, however, then Freddy's is the biggest horror movie of 2023 with $116 million from North American theaters alone.