‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Director Defends PG-13 Rating and Tells Fans ‘Not to Expect’ R-Rated Cut: ‘We’re Sticking’ to the Rating

Horror fans hoping the PG-13-rated “Five Nights at Freddy’s” might go the “M3GAN” route and release an R-rated cut on streaming at a later date are not in luck. Director Emma Tammi has stated in several interviews ahead of the film’s release that her film was always designed to be PG-13 and an R-rated cut is not in the works. Rumors have circulated online that Universal will eventually release an R-rated “Freddy’s,” but Tammi is denying such claims.

“We knew that some of the fan base would want an R-rated version of this film,” the director told Forbes. “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.”

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“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,” she continued. “I would say not to expect an R-rated version on this one. 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.”

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is based on the video game franchise created by Scott Cawthon, which released its first entry in 2014 and quickly rocketed to massive popularity. Throughout the different games, players are tasked with surviving an onslaught of hostile animatronic characters inside the haunted Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza restaurant. The film adaptation stars Josh Hutcherson.

In a separate interview with Total Film magazine, Tammi said she wanted her “Freddy’s” adaptation to be a “gateway” horror film for teenage audiences, thus explaining the PG-13 rating.

“Going into production we knew that we wanted to really stick [to] a PG-13 rating for this movie,” director said. “It felt like it was important and really exciting to be able to include a younger audience to come see this movie. But we also, of course, wanted to deliver on the scares and at least the implied violence of a kill, even if you don’t see everything.”

“I personally find it sometimes more fun and creative to figure out the way to show the thing without explicitly showing the thing or without graphically showing the thing,” she added. “It lets your mind go to even darker places sometimes than when you show all the gore in the guts. So, I was really excited about that rating, to be honest.”

Universal and Blumhouse’s horror sensation “M3GAN” opened in January with a PG-13 rating and grossed $181 million worldwide on a $12 million production budget, making it hugely profitable for the studios. It was originally conceived as an R-rated horror movie, but a decision was made during the test screening process to shift to a PG-13 rating to widen the potential audience. Universal ended up releasing an unrated version on Peacock later on.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” opens Oct. 27 in theaters and on Peacock from Universal Pictures.

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