Chuck E. Cheese may have figured out scary robotic monsters aren't the best idea for kids, but will Five Nights At Freddy's mania ever actually die down? We had a VR entry and an AR mobile title this year, and rumblings have been heard of a bigger budget AAA title in the works
After taking my three year old to a Chuck E. Cheese a few months back, I can see why that company recently made the decision to ditch the animatronics, and how they became the inspiration for a whole horror genre.
Those things are way too creepy up close in the dim lighting of a kid's arcade. It's not hard to understand why FNAF's animatronics have made kids see the ones at their local kids pizza joint a little differently.
Freddy's marches on. Of course there was also supposed to be a movie, but franchises like this go on long, meandering paths from being optioned to actually getting filmed and released. The last word was that a script was thrown out in 2018 and there simply hasn't been much news since.
In other words, if you don't have a VR headset and don't care for mobile games, you probably can't expect a ton of new FNAF content at the moment.
That's alright though, because there are still plenty of scary animatronic creatures in the existing franchise who would like to stuff you inside a metal suit if they can get their cold claws on you. Let's take a look at the seven absolute scariest!
Seriously, is there a better FNAF animatronic monster than Foxy? No, no there is not.
He was always the one to look out for due to his super fast rush out of Pirate's Cove. Foxy would actually go faster through the hallways if you checked his usual areas more often.
That diabolical gameplay twist separated the wheat from the chaff in nights two and three of the original Five Nights At Freddy's, revealing who had the fortitude to make it to the end and who would end up watching Let's Plays.
The Funtime Foxy redesign in Sister Location got some good scares in as well.
Having to deal with that old timey camera flash sound effect when traveling through the pitch black Funtime Auditorium was such a classic horror movie trope that I'm not sure why it took so long to appear in the series. Funtime Foxy's face also comes apart in five different segments in a most unsettling way, upping the scare factor even further.
So here's the thing -- the titular Freddy Fazbear himself isn't actually all that scary on his own. It's when you cycle away from his position for a minute and then check back that he brings the fright.
Freddy's tendency to suddenly be staring directly into the camera when you check backstage can be bloody terrifying if you don't realize its coming. In the first game, I found that sudden change to the otherwise static camera images more frightening than many of the actual jump scare deaths.
The Nightmare version of Freddy is even more scary when he shows up despite remaining motionless in his jump scare, as all those extra sharp teeth certainly make an impression!
The horror of this baby robot is less in the actual animatronic design itself -- although it is disturbing to see that very human looking doll tear its own face apart - and more about the voice.
Kicking off Sister Location, the two Bidybab whispering to each other while you hide under a desk is easily one of the creepiest moments in the whole series. That scene is made all the more effective since you have to actually grab and fight to hold the door closed while they try to get inside.
That's a change to the gameplay that hadn't happened in the series up until that point, and it really drove the dread home to see their eyes poking through the holes in the desk.
While the rest of the animatronics clearly look like metal versions of adorable and cuddly animals, Springtrap goes a whole different direction. That direction is purely into nightmare fuel territory.
Springtrap looks more like a rotting corpse than a bear or chicken, and according to the lore, may actually house the decomposing remains of child killer William Afton.
More than just looking like something only a madman could come up with, Springtrap is more menacing because he can enter any room as well as travel through the vents in FNAF 3. Coupled with the fact that he actively tries to hide from you, Springtrap is a devious and frightening villain when he appears in the series.
Most of the Five Nights at Freddy's animatronics are scary in their implications or in the fact that they move when they absolutely shouldn't. Ennard is just flat out scary on his own, totally independent of any story points.
This hybrid monstrosity hits all the terror beats -- clown motif (already terrifying), tentacled things with no set form, and animatronic robots that want to tear you apart.
If that movie ever does get made, I look forward to seeing this awful thing undulating down a hallway towards a poor, doomed protagonist at some point.
I'll be honest here -- I never found the original Bonnie to be all that scary in any of the games, but the altered Nightmare version in FNAF 4 gets the job done.
Upgraded Bonnie is the perfect accompaniment to the change in location with the fourth main entry in the series, looking very much like some kind of nightmare creature that would scare children wandering around in the dark.
Row after row of teeth give off the impression of some kind of mechanical killer shark, and Nightmare Bonnie is scarier than normal because it get you in the middle of the room rather than just leaping out from the side doors.
On his own, this little cuddly rabbit thing isn't all that scary, even in his infrequent jump scare segments. Where Plushtrap really gets to shine is in the Dark Rooms level of FNAF VR: Help Wanted.
Seeing any of the Five Nights at Freddy characters all up close and personal in VR adds another layer of fear to the game no matter where they are seen. While the stationary maintenance sections are nerve wracking exercises, its the Dark Room level that pushes your paranoia to the max.
Not knowing where Plushtrap is coming from and having to rely on sound to stay alive before he jumps out of the darkness makes this one of the most frightening animatronic sequences in FNAF history.
That's it for our look at the seven scariest Five Nights At Freddy's characters!
Hopefully we re-ignited your love for this offbeat series and got you to re-install one of the entries or hit up your favorite Let's Play clips to relieve the best jump scare.
Which FNAF animatronics do you find the most terrifying, and who are you hoping to see more of in the next game release or the eventual movie launch? Sound off in the comments below and let your fandom fly!