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Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Creates Animatronics in Five Nights at Freddy’s Starring Josh Hutcherson

From the global box-office hit “Hunger Games,” Josh Hutcherson stars in “Five Nights at Freddy’s”, a thrilling survival movie as he takes on the role of Mike, an unemployed security guard with a checkered past who has stepped up to become the guardian to his young sister.

(from left) Bonnie, Freddy Fazbear and Chica in Five Nights at Freddy’s, directed by Emma Tammi.

From the horror game, the film now introduces the audience to a seemingly harmless set of animatronic stage performers in an abandoned amusement park that comes to life when darkness strikes.

With a lot on his plate, Mike accepts an overnight watchman gig at a shuttered Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, where the animatronic stage performers have a strange habit of moving about in the night.  When Mike was 12, his younger brother Garrett (Lucas Grant) was taken by an unknown man from a park while Mike and his parents were only yards away. Mike has been haunted by that event—and searching for his brother and his brother’s kidnapper—ever since. Even in his dreams. “Mike’s a guy with the weight of the world on his shoulders,” Hutcherson says. “He’s acting as this father figure, while at the same time dealing with his own deeply personal trauma.”

(from left) Foxy, Chica, Freddy Fazbear and Bonnie in Five Nights at Freddy’s, directed by Emma Tammi.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the world’s premiere creature effects house, created the animatronic and puppet effects for the film. They are the iconic creators behind such cultural touchstones as Sesame Street, Dark Crystal, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Babe.

(from left) Cupcake and Chica in Five Nights at Freddy’s, directed by Emma Tammi.

As for performing with the animatronic creations from the legendary Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, Hutcherson says the experience was nothing less than jaw-dropping. “Watching them come to life was incredible,” Hutcherson says. “They have this texture and quality that only Henson can do. As an actor you actually get something physical and real to interact with. My character is supposed to be haunted by these things, and now I have a creature in front of me that, in the right light, is terrifying.”

(from left) Mike (Josh Hutcherson) and Abby (Piper Rubio) in Five Nights at Freddy’s, directed by Emma Tammi.

Although the film has plenty of fantastical moments, Hutcherson focused on the humanity inside the story. “Because the world of Five Nights is larger-than-life, we wanted to find a way to ground these characters,” Hutcherson says.

Game creator and film producer Scott Cawthon was wowed. “Josh Hutcherson brought such a grounded realness to his role,” Cawthon says. “When I watch him, I really believe that this is a guy just doing his best to take care of his little sister. He is immediately likeable and relatable, and you want him to be successful in what he is setting out to do.”

From Universal Pictures (Ph),  Five Nights at Freddy’s opens November 1 in cinemas nationwide.

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