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Why are the animatronics evil in Five Nights at Freddy’s?

Why are the animatronics evil in Five Nights at Freddy's? Here's how the FNAF animatronics became possessed and murderous according to the game and movie lore.

freddy fazbear, chica and bonnie in the fnaf movie

Why are the animatronics evil in Five Nights at Freddy’s? Sure, the animatronics roaming Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria get a little quirky at night. But how far does it go?

We know from the video games and upcoming trailer for the new movie that the animatronics in Five Nights at Freddy’s have a bit of a bloodlust — especially when it comes to long-suffering security guards. But ahead of the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie release date, we want to dig a little deeper into the lore behind these surprising movie villains.

So, why are the animatronics evil? Were they always evil? How did they go from a novelty restaurant mascot to killing machines? Here’s everything you need to know.

Why are the animatronics evil?

The animatronics are evil because they’re possessed by the spirits of children murdered by William Afton.

William Afton, co-founder of the pizzaria, used the charming Chuck E. Cheese-like animatronics to cover his murderous intentions. In 1985, five children went missing while visiting Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza with their parents.  This string of disappearances, the Missing Children Incident, led to the pizzeria being closed and the animatronics being abandoned.

But the children were never missing — they were kidnapped and murdered by William Afton, with their bodies subsequently stuffed inside animatronics like Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Golden Freddy.

In the FNAF-verse, a substance called Remnant is released every time a child dies. It’s a physical manifestation of that child’s memories and soul, which, when released, caused them to possess the animatronic their body was stuffed inside.

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Because these children were murdered, they’re full of vengeance and want to kill their attacker. They mistake every adult security guard who enters the pizzeria for Afton, which leads to them going on a murderous rampage out of a misguided bid for revenge. So, they aren’t exactly evil. But you wouldn’t want to be in a room alone with them.

For more on the video game movie, check out our guide to the Five Night’s At Freddy’s movie cast and characters. Or, keep things spooky with our listicles breaking down the best horror movies, best ghost movies, best slasher movies, best zombie movies, and best body horror movies.

You can also head to our sister site, Pocket Tactics, to find out more about the FNAF games themselves.