Let’s talk about: that Monster Hunter Movie footage

I stumbled across this all thanks the Monster Hunter subreddit (credit to Dystify, zxc74171, JouleS88).

The first thread I saw about this footage was here.

There was a gif of the footage, and deeper within that thread (which wasn’t the first on the topic but the first I had seen/read) was a link to the youtube video which was a tiny bit longer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duK8okgQNIU

This youtube poster mentions that it comes from another youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70b9H12sGcY

Looking into Mr X. FX leads to a website loaded with all sorts of behind the scenes footage and featurettes of several released films (including ones shown in the demo reel, such as crimson peak).

Mr. X effects has several prior Anderson films on their credits, namely several of the Resident Evil films. This also helped substantiate my belief that this is indeed legit early effects footage or at the very least testing footage for the models.

Just to be extra sure I went to imdb, searched crimson peak, and checked the work history of one of the visual effects artists (Kieth Acheson: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4106112/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr221)

Sure enough he has a credit for Mama, one of the films shown in the demo reel and listed on the Mr. X website, listing him as (effects animator: Mr. X).

With all of this I would say that this footage is legit.

It may yet still be a relatively early production piece, but the monster hunter fans have already started picking at it. So we might as well do the same!

We know from an interview with Deadline that Paul WS Anderson plans for part of the story to take place in ‘the real world’ (which is a choice I will complain about after seeing the film… probably). So the fact that we’ve got a pair of dragons rough housing in a mall doesn’t seem too out of place with the given info.

The two beasties we see brawling are Gore Magala, introduced in Monster Hunter 4/4U as the ‘flagship monster’ in the glowy purple and black and then we have Rathalos, the franchise equivalent of Pikachu in that it’s in every goddamn game, in the red and fiery.

Gore Magala is known for it’s “frenzy virus” which drives other monsters berserk and can negatively affect players as well, unless they manage to do enough damage while afflicted, and then it becomes a buff. A nitpick that came up in the reddit thread in regards to this menace is that the eyes appear to be visible, which in the games doesn’t occur. The Gore Magala is known for having under-developed eyes and it thus immune to flashbombs. However a few posters commented that it looks like it could be a manifestation of the frenzy virus, or just the films representation of it.

The ruby-hided reptile also has a few nitpicks too, ones that are a bit more substantial than Gore Magalas. At the end of the clip the Rathalos lands and folds its wings in. But instead of keeping them horizontal as it does in the game, the wings dip down a bit. This gives the appearance of the Rathalos leaning on the forelegs for support, something the creature never does in the video games.

In fact there are other monsters who do this though, in specific the Tigrex. The wing fold animation in the clip is followed up by a muted roar (as we only have generic dramatic music in the background). This animation also mimics that of the Tigrex. So some folks are a bit concerned about the accuracy of the monster representations going forward.

Now in most cases, this would be just ‘fan nitpicking’. Many may think this is just people wanting perfect fidelity to the source material. I’d like to think we are generally past that as pop-culture consumers, considering the liberties Marvel likes to take with its films, etc.

But for Monster Hunter the animation and physical presence of the adversaries is a bit more important. The animations are tells for what the monster is about to do next. It can take several attempts before a player can learn how a monster behaves. While this isn’t super crucial to a film, it may end up throwing off players who come to the franchise because of the film (although more than a few people on the Monster Hunter subreddit are pretty sure this movie isn’t going to be bringing on any new fans, considering how not great the Resident Evil movies were received)

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