Freddy’s Fridays (2023) Review
With a title like Freddy’s Fridays, it’s obvious this was meant to cash in on the release of Five Nights at Freddy’s. And with the length of time that film took to actually get made both of the other knockoffs, The Banana Splits Movie and Willy’s Wonderland ended up preceding it to release, so Freddy’s Fridays has the mockbuster slot all to itself.
Todd (Jase Rivers, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain) is bringing an escort named Anastasia (Chrissie Wunna, Dragon Fury, Kingdom of the Dinosaurs) home. She doesn’t seem overly concerned when he brings her not to his apartment but to a basement full of candles, chains, and a book with an eye in the middle of the cover. She even reads from it, which is a big mistake. Four figures appear and hack her to pieces as Todd watches.
Detective Lila Jones (Danielle Scott, Spider in the Attic, Return of the Salem Witch) has been working on the disappearance of several other ladies of the night, but what Anna’a sister Connie (Alexandra DeCaluwe, Steps and a Move) tells her is her first solid clue, the name of the agency she worked for which results in her getting Todd’s name.
Her roommate looks Todd up on social media and finds a post saying he’ll be at an exclusive kinky hookup club on Friday. Said roommate has a membership which she lets her use to find and follow Todd.
Now if this is sounding more like a Hellraiser sequel than Five Nights at Freddy’s you’re correct. Apart from one of the figures having eyes that look like they came from an animatronic figure, Freddy’s Fridays has nothing to do with the film it’s cashing in on. Which, all things considered, may actually be a positive development.
Director Ben J. Williams (The Viking Revenge, Death in the Darkness) and writers Charlie and Tom Carter certainly don’t stray far from the formula though, a policewoman going undercover as a hooker despite her boss and her boyfriend’s lack of enthusiasm, “Girls like that go missing all the time”, she’s told by multiple characters.
The club is one of those where people sit doing huge lines of coke in plain sight and the root of the problem is a spooky-looking book that people read out of to summon demons. In the case of Todd to get rich, in the case of his victims to become sacrifices In one unintentionally hilarious scene Lila’s boss (Matthew Baunsgard, The Area 51 Incident, Legend of Lizard Man) disregards her story as the book lays on his desk winking at him.
The creatures, as I mentioned, don’t look like animatronics and two of them are actually costumes from other Jagged Edge productions. There’s the Scarecrow from Amityville Scarecrow and its sequel and Humpty Dumpty from the two or is it three films in that franchise? Of the other two one looks like a dollar store version of one of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space and the other looks like an evil version of Huckleberry Hound.
Freddy’s Fridays is surprisingly gory for a film from Scott Jeffrey with some decent kills, including a pair of decapitations. Unfortunately, while much of the gore looks practical, the obvious CGI blood spray takes the edge off the final results. Despite that, I am happy to see them actually putting the kills on the screen, if that trend continues then something good will have come from the Winnie the Pooh debacle.
The result is one of the better films to come off of Jeffrey and Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s assembly line. Freddy’s Fridays still isn’t much more than watchable, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to laugh when the heroes start beating the demons down with a golf club and baseball bat. But at least it isn’t the kind of unwatchable bilge that frequently bears their names.