NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Evan B

A terrified security guard is unscrewing the vent to an air duct, hoping to escape from something. The camera pans over a set of monitors showing various rooms in a family entertainment center called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria (similar to Chuck E Cheese’s). The guard is captured and knocked out. When the guard regains consciousness, he finds he is strapped to a chair. A bear shaped mask with sharp gears and springs is slowly lowered onto his face as he screams….

A mall security guard named Mike (Josh Hutcherson) is waiting in line to buy some lunch when he sees a man scoop up a little girl and carry her away. Mike pursues the man and violently tackles and beats him. It turns out the man was simply the girl’s dad, and Mike is fired. He meets with a career counselor (Matthew Lillard) who offers him a solo job as a night security guard at Freddy’s. The counselor explains that Freddy’s has been closed since the 1980s, but the owner won’t sell and retains a single guard so to make sure nobody vandalizes the place overnight. The counselor thinks this will be a good fit for Mike since he won’t have to interact with others (noting Mike’s long history of being fired from jobs). Mike declines, saying he isn’t available to work night shifts.

Mike returns home where there’s an eviction notice on his apartment door. He enters and says hi to the babysitter, Max (Kat Conner Sterling). He greets his younger sister Abby (Piper Rubio), who is busy drawing. Mike is raising Abby on his own. That night, Mike goes to sleep underneath a poster depicting a Nebraska forest and listening to a cassette tape of nature sounds.

In Mike’s dream, he is with his parents and a younger brother named Garrett. They are camping in the woods in Nebraska. Mike loses track of his brother while they play and when Mike finally finds him, Garrett is being abducted. Mike is powerless as Garrett is driven away in a stranger’s car.

The next day, he attends a meeting with his Aunt Jane (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Jane’s lawyer. Jane is trying to get custody of Abby, likely so she can receive the government aid for raising her. The caseworker sides with Mike for now, noting that he is in the center of all the pictures that Abby draws (indicating he is the center of Abby’s world). However, the caseworker tells Mike that he needs to get a job in order to keep custody. Having no choice, Mike calls the career counselor and accepts the night security job at Freddy’s.

Mike leaves Abby in Max’s care and goes to the closed pizzeria. Mike finds and watches an old cassette tape that shows Freddy’s as a fun family environment. Mike is startled when he finds a small statue of a Balloon Boy in a locker. He soon falls asleep and again dreams of his Garrett’s abduction. This time, however, a group of kids wearing animal or pirate costumes is in his dreams. Mike asks who they are, but the children run away. Mike wakes up and returns home.

Cutting to a diner, Jane is meeting with Max and Max’s brother Jeff. It turns out that Jane hired Max to look through Mike’s belongings while babysitting to find incriminating evidence Jane can use against Mike in the custody battle. Max says that Mike has nothing to hide, other than he sleeps an abnormal amount of time. Jeff and Jane then concoct a plan to ransack the pizzeria so that Mike will be fired yet again.

That night, Mike brings the Nebraska poster and tape of nature sounds to his job and falls asleep. Entering his dream of Garrett’s abduction, he again encounters the strange children. The kids again run away, but Mike catches one of them and demands they tell him who they are and what they know. The kid scratches Mike on the arm with a pirate hook before he wakes up to the sound of someone at the door. Mike opens it to find Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail), a police officer whose beat covers Freddy’s. She goes inside and clearly knows the place, saying she went there as a kid and it used to be the happiest place on Earth. Vanessa notes that Mike has a scratch on his arm (in the same place he was scratched in the dream) and bandages it. Vanessa says that Freddy’s was shut down after some kids went missing there in the 1980s. She then takes Mike to the entertainment room and turns on the power. There, a number of animatronics power up. There is Freddy (a bear), Chica (a chicken), Bonnie (a purple-colored rabbit), Foxy (a pirate fox) and Mr. Cupcake (a smaller animatronic that is a talking cupcake). The animatronics sing and dance before the power goes out. As the pair leave Freddy’s, Vanessa mentions that no security guard has ever lasted in the job.

After the duo leave for the day, Max, Jeff, and two of their friends break in. They begin stealing valuables and messing the place up. The animatronics awaken and begin moving off the stage. One of the friends finds Chica and Mr. Cupcake. Chica throws Mr. Cupcake at him and it eats his face off. The other friend is stalked and eventually killed by Bonnie when the animatronic smashes his head repeatedly into a door. Mr. Cupcake and Foxy catch Jeff (and he’s later seen dead in a room with spare parts). Max sees a child running through the pizzeria. She follows the child into a room where she sees the Freddy animatronic. The child’s voice calls out from inside the animatronic and Max walks over to get a better look. Freddy then comes to life and chomps Max in half.

The next day, Vanessa stops by Mike’s house and meets Abby. She tells Mike about the break-in and claims he left the doors unlocked. She then hands Mike a bottle of his sleeping pills she found there and asks why he has them. Mike confides that he’s still wracked with guilt over Garrett’s abduction. His parents died soon thereafter, leaving him to take care of Abby. He’s been purposefully forcing himself to dream about the abduction in hopes that he’ll remember some clue that will lead him to find the abductor. He explains that by falling asleep looking at the Nebraska poster and listening to nature sounds he saw and heard at the time of the incident, he is able to force himself to dream of the abduction. He says his dreams have never been as vivid as when he’s been sleeping at the pizzeria.

Since Max is not around (having been killed), Mike is forced to bring Abby to Freddy’s. After putting Abby to sleep in a small pillow fort, cleaning up the damage caused by the break-in, and getting scared once again by the Balloon Boy statue, Mike goes to sleep. Abby wakes up before him and begins wandering the pizzeria.

In Mikes’ dreams, he asks the kids if they are the ones who were abducted in the 1980s. They confirm that they are. When he asks who abducted them, they point to a drawing of a rabbit they made in the dirt. Mike is then awoken by his sister’s screams. He runs to find her surrounded by the animatronics. But they aren’t attacking Abby, they are tickling her. The animatronics clearly like Abby, and she gives them hugs and pictures she made. On the way home, Abby says that the animatronics are inhabited by ghosts, and the ghosts are causing the animatronics to move.

The next night, Mike and Abby return to find Vanessa already there. It becomes clear that Vanessa knows the animatronics are sentient. The humans and animatronics play games. Mike eventually finds some time to have a private talk with Vanessa. She is angry at Mike for bringing Abby to Freddy’s. To show how dangerous the animatronics can be, she takes Mike a back room. There are the animal outer shells and electronic skeletons that are placed inside the shells. The shells are locked to the electronic skeletons using a spring mechanism that clamps onto the skeleton (thus the mask with gears and springs at the beginning). If clamped onto a human, it would almost surely kill them. She then warns Mike to stop looking for Garrett’s abductor and never to bring Abby back to Freddy’s.

Not willing to give up on his job and chance of finding out what happened to Garrett, but also unwilling to endanger Abby, Mike calls Joan and gets her to babysit while he goes to work. In his dream, one of the mysterious children finally agrees to talk to Mike. The child confirms that they are the same children that had been abducted like Garrett, and that they are now the ghosts who possess the animatronics. The child offers to let Mike have happy dreams where Garrett and Mike’s parents are still alive. All they want in exchange is to play with Abby… forever. Mike initially accepts the deal, but then changes his mind. The kids attack him in the dream and, when Mike awakens, he is knocked out by Foxy. Meanwhile, Freddy shows up at Mike’s apartment and knocks out (or possibly kills?) Jane. He asks Abby to come with him to the pizzeria to play, and she agrees. The pair get into a taxi, freaking out the taxi driver (cameo by Cory “CoryxKenshin” Williams).

When Mike recovers, he is strapped to a chair with the killer Freddy mask from the beginning of the film being lowered onto him. He manages to escape with the aid of Vanessa, who mysteriously appears. Vanessa explains that a man named William Afton created Freddy’s and wore a yellow bunny suit to abduct and kill children, including Garrett. When police began investigating, he hid some of the children’s bodies in the animatronic suits. When William found out that the children’s ghosts later possessed the animatronics, he corrupted them into thinking he was their father. Mike realizes the danger Abby is in and asks Vanessa to help save her. She tearfully says she can’t help, but gives Mike info on a way to sneak into Freddy’s. Vanessa also says the animatronics can be incapacitated by electricity and hands him a taser.

Mike sneaks into Freddy’s and watches as Chica takes Abby to a back room. Mike tases Freddy and Bonnie before following Chica into the back room. There, he sees Chica and Mr. Cupcake trying to load Abby into a marionette-like animatronic. Mike interrupts and tasers the , while Abby wriggles out of the suit just in time to avoid being impaled by the spring lock mechanism. The siblings embrace and Mike says he would never give up Abby.

As they are going to leave… the yellow bunny arrives. It begins fighting Mike as Foxy chases Abby. Just when it seems that Foxy will capture Abby, it is tased by Vanessa. The officer then confronts the yellow rabbit, calling him “dad.” The rabbit removes its mask to reveal himself as the career counsellor. He changed his identity from William Afton after Freddy’s was closed.

Vanessa pleads with her dad to stop what he’s doing, but William coolly walks up to his daughter and stabs her. Meanwhile, Mike tells Abby to remind the animatronics of who William really is. Abby draws a picture depicting William in the yellow bunny suit killing them. This undoes William’s corruption, and the animatronics attack William. In the scuffle, the spring lock mechanism is activated and it impales William. As the madman bleeds, he screams out to Mike that “he’ll be back,” he “always comes back.” The animatronics then drag William to the back rooms. Mike and Abby drag Vanessa out of Freddy’s.

Some time later, we see that Mike and Abby’s relationship has improved. They stop by the hospital to visit Vanessa, who is in a coma. At home, Abby says she feels bad that the ghost children are now truly alone as William is no longer paying security guards to spend the night there. Abby asks if they can one day visit Freddy’s again, and Mike responds that maybe someday they will. Meanwhile, at Freddy’s, William is still alive, though trapped in the bunny suit.

In a post-credit scene, the taxi driver is startled when he turns to the back seat, only to find the Balloon Boy statue sitting there.