Just One Small Tweak Could Greatly Improve Five Nights at Freddy's

Just One Small Tweak Could Greatly Improve Five Nights at Freddy's
Image credit: Universal Pictures

From now on, this is our headcanon.


  • 2023's Five Nights at Freddy's was praised by fans of the original game and criticized by casual viewers.
  • Many reviews said that the movie was lacking in the writing department and that the story was too simple.
  • As it turns out, there was an easy way to make the story much deeper and fix some plot holes in the process.

Five Nights at Freddy's, which premiered in October of last year, received mixed reviews from fans of the original game as well as casual viewers and critics. While fans loved the movie for its amazing animatronic designs and numerous nods to the source material, critics found the writing and overall plot lacking.

As in the game, Josh Hutcherson's character, Mike, starts the night gig at the shuttered Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and soon discovers that the once-cute animatronics abandoned there are alive (and killing people). More than that, it turns out they are housing spirits of kids murdered by the pizzeria's owner, William Afton.

Just One Small Tweak Could Greatly Improve Five Nights at Freddy's - image 1

While this is a compelling concept, its development suffered from a too straightforward narrative, some plot holes, and a too low age rating, which resulted in a lack of gory or truly terrifying scenes.

Surprisingly, there's a simple way to increase the depth and impact of the story by changing just one small detail.

Fan Theory

Redditor u/OscKarthenerd noticed that a minor character in the movie made no sense, but actually had a lot of potential. That's how the fan theory that transformed into our headcanon was born.

Remember Balloon Boy, a creepy figurine that jumps out of nowhere a few times in the movie to scare Mike and provide comic relief? Well, what if that character is not just a prop, but actually possessed by the soul of a child killed by Afton?

The fan theory is that this child is none other than Garrett, Mike's younger brother, who was kidnapped years ago. In the movie, his disappearance plays a major role, as Mike is obsessed with it and even ready to risk his own life and the life of his sister to find out the truth about the crime.

Just One Small Tweak Could Greatly Improve Five Nights at Freddy's - image 2

Arguments For

If Balloon Boy is possessed by Garrett, it would explain a lot about the figurine’s appearances. He keeps sneaking up on Mike, and at one point materializes a taxi that has been to Mike's house. It seems the boy wants to be with his brother and follow him home, but sadly remains unrecognized.

Moreover, the actual presence of Garrett's soul would provide Mike with deeper development and the opportunity for closure. Saying goodbye to Garrett would help him shift his focus to protecting his sister, which comes out of the blue in the movie. The revelation of Garrett's fate is less than climactic. Afton makes a mocking confession and Mike decides to move on.

Argument Against

There is one argument against this theory. The film clearly states that the bodies of the killed children were hidden inside the animatronics, and that's why they can possess the mechanisms. Garrett's body would never fit into the tiny figure of Balloon Boy.

But there is one other mysterious character that breaks this canon. It's clear that the Cupcake animatronic is being haunted by someone beyond the five kids in Mike's dreams. Yet, it's too tiny for a child's body.

So we could take the theory further and speculate that even a fragment of a body could be tethering a soul to an animatronic. And that would actually help fill in some of the plot holes in Five Nights at Freddy's.

Who knows, maybe the sequel coming out in 2025 will make the Balloon Boy theory official as canon

Source: Reddit.

What do you think of the Balloon Boy theory?