- If it weren't for the director's decision to preserve some of the light-heartedness from the 1967 film, the idea of a live-action adaptation of a book that follows an orphaned human child in the wilderness among predators is very frightening! The trailers show that most of the main animal characters tower over Mowgli, some of them even bigger than their real life counterparts, and look like monsters.
- The scenes with Kaa in the teaser trailer. Scarlett Johansson pulls off playing an enormous python better than you would think.
Kaa: Let go of your fear now...Trusssssst...in me...(opens her mouth wide and lunges at the viewer, devouring them)
- In one TV spot, she brings Mowgli closer and starts to gape her maw. There's no ambiguity here - she intends to eat him right then and right there.
- Kaa's hypnotic eyes. In the original, they were silly and psychedelic looking, but here they're legitimately creepy looking, essentially consisting of her eyes slowly cycling through different colors. Even weirder, it turns out that they also have projections of the past in them; whether this is part of her hypnosis or just Mowgli's perspective is so far unknown.
- This interactive advertisement. Brr...
- Kaa's lair and introduction invoke Paranoia Fuel to the Nth degree; her lair is surrounded by trees covered in coiling, snakelike branches and vines. For the first few moments of Mowgli's time there, all you can hear is her voice with no indication of where it's coming from. With this combination, it gives the feeling that Kaa could be anywhere in that forest, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
- Made even more effective if you see the movie in an IMAX theater, where during this scene, Kaa's voice seems to come from several different places...
- Kaa herself. Unlike her animated counterpart, she does not have any humorous moments, and she acts like a child predator. She came dangerously close to eating Mowgli, and it was only thanks to Baloo that he managed to survive his encounter with her.
- Perhaps the creepiest thing about this scene is that when it's over, we never see her again. But it's implied that she's still alive.
- Includes a meta subversion, as a previous voice-acting only by Johansson had her being warm, soothing, and nurturing. Here, that same voice now serves opposite, nightmare purposes.
- Viewers who are expecting Kaa to show up can get very creeped out before it even happens. The whole scene takes place in a dimly-lit section of the canopy with thick branches and vines everywhere. Then Kaa's voice comes in seemingly from everywhere. It's at this point that you start looking around—you KNOW that there's a giant snake SOMEWHERE in these trees but you don't know where. Then, if you're paying attention, you'll see that some of the vines have started moving....
- Fridge Horror: Kaa's voice seemingly comes from everywhere because, being so gigantic, Kaa is everywhere.
- The way the hypnosis is used. Kaa shows Mowgli the flashback...and when the flashback ends, he's tight in her coils, as if the audience was hypnotized along with him.
- Shere Khan appears just as menacing as his 1967 counterpart, if not more so, due to the animals being portrayed through photo-realistic CGI.
"Does my face not remind you of what a grown man can do?"
- His face appears to be scarred and one of his eyes is a milky white color.
- "He'll come back, and I'll be waiting." So wicked, and even more wicked is his grin during the clip that accompanies the line.
- Shere Khan in general, because not only can he kill practically any other character without effort, but he's shown to be able to turn in an instant from suave and polite to a raging savage. You never know what he's going to do in any given scene, except that a sudden, violent death for one of the other characters is a distinct possibility.
- The heart-stopping Jump Scare he pulls on Mowgli near the buffalo heard. One moment you're idly strolling through the jungle, and before you can even blink, a five-hundred pound killing machine is hurtling towards your throat. Truth in Television; As big as they are, Tigers are masters of stealth, and they often catch their prey before they have a chance to react.
- Many viewers can probably guess what's about to happen by how tense Bagheera starts acting while calmly telling Mowgli to run. Yet the attack is so fierce and sudden that it's likely to jolt even those who are bracing for it. He appears out of frikin' nowhere, already in mid pounce, right in Mowgli's face! If Bagheera hadn't been quicker on the draw, the man cub would likely have died before even realizing he was in danger.
- King Louie in this version is a Gigantopithecus (although they went extinct long before humans showed up) almost as big as King Kong who went through a bit of Adaptational Villainy. The reason for this is because orangutans (his cartoon counterpart) arent native to India. He menacingly chases Mowgli around the monkey city in the trailer. A far shot from the goofy, harmless antagonist he was in the animated film.
Mowgli: I can't!
- The fact that he goes from being a pretty chill guy to almost nuts with rage when he thinks Mowgli is just withholding the secret of fire.
Louie: You can't or you won't?
Mowgli: I can't!
Louie: YOU WILL!
Now don't try to kid me, mancub
- Louie declares that he will protect Mowgli for a price, and Mowgli says he's got nothing to give the ape. Louie cracks a really sinister, mean-looking sneer as he suggests otherwise.
- Think Christopher Walken's steel-blue eyes are already creepy? Try seeing them in an otherwise orangutan-like face. Hello, (deliberate) Uncanny Valley...
- Heck, they somehow managed to make his goofy little song legitimately creepy; it's still as bouncy and jazzy as ever, but there's that underlying sinister tone to it that shows that he's not quite as nice as he appears. Plus we have delightful lines like this:
I'll make a deal with you
What I desire is man's red fire to make my dream come true
Now give me the secret mancub
c'mon clue me what to do!
Give me the power of man's red flower so I can be like you!
Louie: "Where you going, mancub?... You don't have anyone now. I'm your only hope; I can make it real good for you here."
- Just like Kaa above, the scene where Louie heads off Mowgli's escape gives off definite child predator vibes.
- During the sequence in which Louie is chasing Mowgli, through the ruins, there is a moment where Mowgli thinks he has lost the great ape and turns the corner to see Louie right there waiting.
- Shere Khan's murder of Akela. He first approaches Akela menacingly, only to casually lie down and chat with the alpha. After he learns from Akela that Mowgli has left, at first it seems like the tiger is going to leave the wolves alone. However, he ferociously turns on Akela with teeth and claws and THROWS the alpha wolf off the cliff.
- When the film follows up later at the wolf pack's valley, the first thing shown are vultures picking at bones, implied to be Akela's corpse. Shere Khan uses Desecrating the Dead to further break the wolves.
- The vultures are absolutely not being used for comedy in this Disney version.
- In the latest teaser featuring Shere Khan, you can see him lying down with the wolf pups, who appear to be playing with him. It makes a truly disturbing sight, seeing those innocent puppies playing around with a deranged killer, not knowing any better. It's also a frightening and chilling Adult Fear moment.
- Though it is well deserved, the death of Shere Khan is this. It's a known fact that cats almost always land on their feet when they fall from a height, so in the film, as Shere Khan falls from the tree towards the firey jungle floor, his body starts twisting around so that he can land on his feet. He likely got a very good look at his impending demise.
- The monstrous demonic scream he lets out counts as well.
- On a subtler level, Shere Khan talking to Raksha's pups. He acts very kindly and gentle to them, while he's not-so-subtly implying that their mother doesn't love them and that Mowgli wanted to kill and replace them. At the same time, he's silently hinting to Raksha that if she gets in his way, he'll kill her children. It's especially chilling because it comes shortly after his brutal murder of Akela, so we know how quickly he can turn from charming to savage.Shere Khan: "I think they like me."
Shere Khan: "Do you know what happens to her own chicks? They starve, and die from neglect. All because a mother loved a chick... (turns to face Raksha) who wasn't her own."
- And on a more subtle, Adult Fear-inducing level, when Raksha calls them back he effortlessly traps one behind one paw... then lets him/her go for no other reason than to remind Raksha she can do absolutely nothing to protect her cubs from him. The icing on the cake is that during all of this, he never ONCE breaks eye contact with Raksha.
- The story he tells them of the cuckoo bird is filled with Implied Death Threats and Adult Fear.
- Cut to a cuckoo bird screaming in the face of its much smaller "mother"
- Baloo is strangely more of a jerk in this version. Especially when Mowgli gets attacked by a swarm of bees. Sure, hes voiced by Bill Murray, but that doesnt excuse anything.
Nightmare Fuel / The Jungle Book (2016)