Five Nights At Freddy's is fucked up. And I love it. Even more than the game itself, I love how it has become a staple for young gamers. My nephews (10 and 7) act as my informants in what the kids of today are interested in. Lots of YouTube personalities, Minecraft, Pokemon and this thing, a creepy game about a kid's pizza place that certainly bears no resemblance to Chuck E. Cheese's where the messed up animatronics come to life every night to torment the overnight security guard.
Blumhouse picked up the property a while ago when Monster House's Gil Kenan was attached. Mr. Kenan isn't on board anymore, but he's been replaced by an interesting director: Chris Columbus (per Deadline).
Columbus made his name in the Amblin circles in the '80s. He wrote Gremlins and Goonies for Spielberg, went on to direct Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire in the '90s and then hit the jackpot when he was the first to bring Harry Potter to the big screen. You can argue the quality of those first two Potter movies all you want, especially compared to the later, more mature, films, but there's no question Columbus did a masterful job casting the characters and setting up a visual language that would define the series.
He's been in a bit of a slump post-Potter. I'm not a fan of his Percy Jackson film and his last directorial outing was Pixels, so... yeah.
There's a question to tone, but since the Five Nights At Freddy's adaptation is at Blumhouse I imagine they're not going to shy away from the horror side of this story. To ignore that would be to completely miss the point of the game's success. The imagery can be soft, it doesn't have to be an R-rated movie or anything, but the reason the game became a phenomenon was the tension it built as you looked from camera to camera as you tried to keep an eye on the horror show slowly creeping toward you.
A Gremlins tone is actually pitch perfect for this thing. Take the horror seriously, but keep it fun and not too emotionally scarring. But how much of that perfect Gremlins tone was Joe Dante and how much was the script? Can Columbus do it?
I guess we'll find out!