Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Nightmare Fuel / Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2018_11_13_pokmon_detective_pikachu_official_trailer_1_youtube.jpg
Fainting is starting to look like a pretty good option right now.
Advertisement:

Moment Subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.


  • The Pokémon retain their cartoonish proportions while going for a more realistic texture, in order to make them look more like real-life creatures and less like cartoon characters. This strategy achieves... mixed results; some Pokémon look fine (with many praising how adorable Detective Pikachu's fluffier design is), while others look much less so. Some examples of the latter group:
    • Mewtwo takes the cake just on how unnervingly, unnaturally smooth it looks. It's not the hairless wrinkled skin or sparsely-furred velvety texture many fan interpretations have thought for a realistic Mewtwo: it's got a shiny, plastic-like look of polished rubber.
      • The effects team stated they used sphynx cat kittens as reference for Mewtwo's skin texture, then tried to blend that with the smooth "youthful" look it has in the anime. The result? Eldritch horror.
      • In-story, the freaky texture of Mewtwo's skin could well be the result of being grown in a lab instead of born naturally.
    • Mr. Mime, which already unnerves a lot of people, falls so deep into the Uncanny Valley that it's downright horrifying. It's not helpful that those blue things on either side of its head are rendered to resemble "fleshy protrusions" rather than Einstein Hair as most interpretations. It should be noted however that this is accurate to the series lore. (Granted, this being Mr. Mime, the whole effect might be intentional, but even so, it's disturbing.)
    • Advertisement:
    • Gengar is outright disturbing. Pause at the right time and you can see its large, yellow, teeth that take up too much of its body. Then again it is Gengar.
    • The Greninja prop suffers similarly from having an odd texture choice; its tongue has tastebuds that make it look too human, unlike a smooth frog tongue...
    • (Pictured) The hyper-realistic Charizard opening its jaws to bite (eat?) Pikachu is terrifying.
      • Not only that but the realistic scales resemble pieces of EVA Foam more than scales. It looks very weird.
    • The "Realistic textures" make the Pokémon resemble Ugly Cute stuffed animals at best. At worst, they look like taxidermy.
    • Machamp looks almost like Special Effect Failure. While Machamp and its family are supposed to have skin, the textures seem to be synthetic, meaning that it looks like one took a model from an PS1-early PS2-era Full Motion Video and placed it into the movie willie nilly. It looks heavily out of place.
    • Advertisement:
    • Many Pokémon have vacant eyes that are way too big.
      • Compared to the expressive eyes of Pikachu or the other eyes that have detail on them, Pokémon with highly stylized eyes look even worse. Ludicolo's eyes look like googly-eyes. This varies between Narm and Uncanny Valley when they suddenly move. What's more, Ludicolo has a visibly lazy eye. In the common reaction image, it looks like it's begging for death.
      • Even Pikachu's eyes look like they're made of glass. Coupled with how he is always staring the same direction in almost every shot, which makes the shots where his eyes move look even more unnerving.
    • Psyduck's vacant, too-far-apart eyes (they appear to be blank dots, but closer inspection reveals that it has white irises) can be pretty unsettling.
      • The textures look absolutely nothing like a duck. The result is that it looks more like a piñata.
    • Emolga's head is way too big for its body. Coupled with its lack of visible joints, it looks almost taxidermied.
    • Loudred's mouth is already way too big. But it looks even weird when you consider that, as a Pokémon, it has no internal structure.
    • Realistic glistening tongue textures return with the appearance of Lickitung in the train to Ryme City.
    • You thought that Aipom was cute in the anime and games? Not this film, especially with those teeth... to put it into perspective, there are no canines or molars - meaning that when you look at it with a still image, it's all incisors.
    • The Pokémon look weird in motion, too. When something has realistic texture, it just makes the fact that they walk on digit-less stumps with no joints stick out even more. When they're next to humans walking normally, seeing their giant heads and jointless arms look... WRONG.
    • Even the Pokémon based off of inanimate objects and plants look weird. They look almost inflated like balloons. Balloons with a fleshy texture.
  • The horde of Aipom got into Tim's office,especially the one that screams, attacks the camera and looks like it wants to tear Tim's throat out with its teeth. Which are all incisors.
    Korey Colman: Fuck pokéballs, he needs to be shot! That has rabies. They need to put that down.
    • Not to mention that the people of this world know what rabies is. Rabid animals in our world are dangerous and terrifying enough, so can you imagine a rabid creature capable of devastating elemental attacks, psychic powers,etc? That is a far more terrifying thought.
  • The scene where Lucy is taking photographic evidence of illegal experimenting with Pokémon on her cellphone in a darkened laboratory hallway with several closed hatches reminiscent of cryogenic chambers. Then they open, as a Greninja's webbed hand emerges out of one of them.
  • That damn Charizard. While the original media typically does a very good job of getting across the idea that a Charizard isn't something to mess with, the live-action version is every bit what you'd expect a fire-breathing dragon to look like. Aside from the bright orange scales, it looks less "kid's video game" and more Game of Thrones.
    • The Charizard has nothing on freaking Gyarados, every bit the terrifying sea monster spoken of in the Dex entries. Even Charizard ends up cowering before Gyarados' Surf attack.note 
  • The scar on Charizard's face was caused by Pikachu before the film began.
  • Did you think the classic beady eyes of a Ditto were creepy before, when they were mimicking other Pokémon? Have you ever thought about those same beady eyes peering out at you from a human face? Well, you’re in luck, and it’s every bit as creepy as one would expect.
    • It gets worse, Ditto is shown to be extremely intelligent (thanks in part to how extensively she's been altered genetically), moreso than any other Pokémon in the movie except Pikachu and Mewtwo - even capable of communicating via human language (through text), something Pokémon are explicitly stated to not understand throughout the film, and tries to murder Tim at the end. Unlike normal Ditto, she's also able to mimic Pokémon and people that aren't physically present, and her Ms. Norman form isn't seen anywhere else except her, meaning it's entirely possible she's not mimicking anyone and has simply made up that form (which also raises the question of what other forms could she take if she doesn't have to mimic).
    • And finally, she's never seen again after her Shapeshifter Swan Song (though likely only because she fainted).
    • Given Ditto's status in the fandom, it's not pretty far off to imagine that the pokemon-obsessed Howard did... things with his.
  • The heavily implied Family-Unfriendly Death of Dr. Ann Laurent - impaled by multiple shards of glass caused by Mewtwo's escape from its holding device, then smashed through an iron door.
  • The scene in the genetic engineering laboratory where, after finding slime on the floor, Detective Pikachu and Tim find Lucy and her Psyduck being suspended from the ceiling by a Greninja cocooning them in its tongue. The scene basically plays like something out of Alien.
  • After the heroes narrowly escape from the Greninja, the ground starts to warp around them and begin closing in on them. Eventually, it's revealed what's causing the ground to move: they're on top of a gigantic Torterra and that the "mountains" around the lab are even more of them. It's horrifying to see just how much these experiments have mutated Pokémon.
  • Mewtwo actually talking instead of using its psychic powers to communicate is an unnerving thing to see. Possibly deliberate to show how unnatural the forced mental takeover is.
    • And Mewtwo walking, especially since we're just so used to seeing Mewtwo flying and floating with psychic power,
    • His voice also has a Voice of the Legion quality to it, which can have him come off as creepier than in his past speaking incarnations.
  • Pikachu takes advantage of Psyduck's powers by causing him a headache that turns into a HUGE shockwave of psychic powers that wipes out the crazed Greninja following him and his friends. While awesome, it's unsettling to know that a goofy, innocuous-looking creature possesses such a dangerous, barely controlled power. Especially since other scenes show that Psyduck is aware of it and is happy to threaten others to get what it wants. To sum it up, Lucy spends every day with a living bomb and probably also has to cater to its every whim... what would happen if either Psyduck or its trainer (or both) were bad guys?
  • The scene in the climax, where Howard-as-Mewtwo is merging humans with random Pokémon. While this might not seem that scary, considering how awesome Pokémon can be, and Howard does have a point that Pokémon are superior to humans in certain ways. One has to remember that these people were forced into Pokémon bodies against their will. Not to mention that Pokémon come in all shapes and sizes, imagine how traumatizing it must be to be trapped in a four-legged stance, to be smaller than a human hand, heck, even being enlarged in size can be perceived as Baleful Polymorph.
    • We even get to see the reactions of at least two of the people trapped in this state—first we have Yoshida, looking genuinely confused and terrified when he finds himself in Snubbull's body and Lucy letting out a panicked "Psyduck!?" after merging with... well, Psyduck.
    • There's also the matter of what happens to the Pokémon in this scenario. Pokémon are much closer to human intelligence than a real life animal when they aren't explicitly of human intelligence in the case of Psychic types like Mewtwo. They're so intelligent that Howard mentions the R gas is necessary because it shuts off the Pokémon's higher thought processes to make room for a human mind. Howard's plan might be be scary for humans but it's utterly nightmarish for Pokémon, who are living through an animal version of Get Out.
  • Tim's terror when he's dangling out the window is palpable. Ditto has just blown him out a window and he's barely holding on by his fingertips. Ditto could finish him off in seconds but instead chooses to sadistically toy with him by turning into a Cubone and very slowly breaking his grip one... by... one...
  • The substance known as "R" in general, an experiment Gone Horribly Wrong and somehow manages to find its way on the streets.
    • We get our first taste of it when Tim finds a vial in Harry's office and unwittingly opens it. He opens a window to let it clear out and some of it spreads to some nearby Aipom, leading them to briefly attack Tim and Pikachu.
    • The fight club scene where Charizard's owner Sebastian uses a vial of "R" to get him to fight more fiercely, pretty much turning him into a berserker, not helped by the fact Pikachu's amnesia prevents him from using his moves which almost gets him killed. Then in the chaos, Sebastian reveals he had more and they all end up leaking out of his coat by accident, causing ALL the Pokémon in the building to go nuts and attack their owners.
    • Eventually, we find out the substance was created from Mewtwo's Psychic power when they had it in captivity the first time, and R acts as a conduit of sort for Howard's plan. As mentioned above, the gas shuts off the Pokémon's brain functions, save for its more feral instincts, which essentially clears their minds completely. Once Howard takes control of Mewtwo through a neural device, he uses his power along with the gas to fuse humans into their Pokémon—and, what's more, enact this plan at a parade by filling all the balloons with said gas. By the time Tim gets to him, still thinking his son was the culprit, Howard has pretty much got the preparations set and quickly puts his plan into motion.
  • Once Howard does get Mewtwo's body, he flat out admits to nearly killing Harry just for not agreeing with his plan via the Greninjas from earlier and quickly sets about trying to kill Tim for the same reason. And keep in mind, his plan was to help humanity evolve via the Pokémon merging, but it's pretty obvious he can't practice what he preaches and was more trying to ascend into a godlike state.
    • That said, Howard-Mewtwo is terrifying in itself, not only for the fact he's controlling the Pokémon like a puppet, but also that he's more than willing to abuse his power for his own benefit (starting with trying to dispose of Tim), even if he believes that his intentions are benevolent. The fact that Mewtwo is one of the most toughest Pokémon around contributes a lot to why he was dead set on using him. Best shown in the climax when Pikachu slams him with a Volt Tackle and all it does is briefly stun and knock Howard-Mewtwo into a building; he swiftly recovers and was on the verge of killing Pikachu right there, if not for the fact that it allowed enough of a distraction for Tim to remove the neural device from Howard's main body and separate his consciousness from Mewtwo.
    • Though Pikachu does nearly go splat when Mewtwo inadvertently drops him in his dazed state once freed from Howard's control (they were in the air at the time); luckily, Mewtwo snaps out of it in time to catch him.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report