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The best thing about the JP raptors
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|Subject: The best thing about the JP raptors Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:43 am|| |
After watching a few clips from the first movie, I realized why JP's raptors work. It's not the feathers or lack thereof, it's the buildup. From the first scene, the raptors are described as uncanny experts in murder, able to ambush and rend their prey to shreds. When the endorsement team meets Muldoon for the first time, we get more info on how they use brainpower in testing the fences for weaknesses. And when we finally see the raptors, they move with the intent and poise characteristic of a serial killer. This is apparent in the book "The Making of Jurassic Park" where Spielberg though of the raptors as "man-eating Bengal tigers" rather than monsters. What do you guys think?
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|Subject: Re: The best thing about the JP raptors Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:18 pm|| |
Yes, the build-up for the Raptors in JP was brilliant. Before you even fully see them for the 1st time, you have:
- the opening scene in which a Raptor kills a worker and seems like an unstoppable creature, and you see only the eye (which looks creepy)
- Grant in the Badlands talking to the kid about how the Raptors are clever and dangerous predators, scaring the kid
- a worried Grant asking "You bred Raptors?"
- the Raptor killing the cow and we only hear the sounds
- Muldoon saying how intelligent the Raptors are, and how dangerous the Big One is
- the first thing Muldoon asks when they find out the fences are failing is if the Raptor pen is still on or not, like if that was the main risk
- the broken nursery with that scary music theme
- Muldoon saying that even Nedry knew better than to mess up with the Raptors fences (even more than the T-Rex, just saying)
Finally we get to see the full Raptor now. So, after we know how they look like, we have:
- Raptor jumpscares to Ellie
- Ray Arnold's arm, going on the edge of PG13
- Muldoon being trapped and killed by the Raptors
- the entire kitchen scene
- the Raptors almost killing the main characters.
In The Lost World, the Raptors had a much shorter build-up, but still somehow effective. Before they fully appear, we have:
- Ludlow, Burke and Sarah talking about the Velociraptors being a major problem
- Ajay warning the other people about not going to the long grass
Then we see them, but still very well hidden in the darkness:
- the Raptors appear in the long grass and kill various people, and we almost see only the tails
- Malcolm hearing the Raptor sounds and warning to run as fast as they can
- the entire Raptors attack, in which they seem both smart (appearing on the other door after Kelly and Sarah made the dig) and aggressive.
Even in Jurassic Park 3, the build-up was pretty effective.
Before we see them, we have:
- Grant talking about how Raptors could have been the dominant species instead of men
- the.... yes, the dream
- Raptors examining the eggs and, terrifed, saying it's Raptors eggs.
And then we see them in the lab:
- they seem smart and aggressive, they set a real trap to kill Udesky and almost some other people
- their eggs were stolen, so the threat is always present even if they're not on screen
- the last scene is quite tenseful
In Jurassic World though, the context of the Raptors was much different. I guess they weren't supposed to be scary in their first scene.
The only build-up we have is:
- "His animals always try to escape. They're smart. He has to be smarter"
Then we already see them in full body. This killed the suspence and build-up, but I guess this wasn't the purpose of the film.
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|Subject: Re: The best thing about the JP raptors Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:10 pm|| |
I have a theory that because the Velociraptor Squad part of a species that has been alive in modern times for over twenty years, the people of the Jurassic Universe, like we the audience, are accustomed to them. So their purpose in the film is different because the Indominus rex is the main antagonist of the film (more on that later). The film gave us four Velociraptor protagonist characters who were not really supposed to inspire fear and tension with their presence like their predecessors, but to form relationships with people, primarily in their kindship with Owen and his friends/colleagues and emnity with Hoskins and his cronies. After a brief killing spree against the InGen mercenaries, they come back around to Owen's side because he was their father essentially, so in the end during the Finale Blue becomes like Rexy in that she inspires awe and excitement and makes the audience want to stand up and cheer.
I am of the mindset that it works in that film because the buildup towards the Indominus' breakout was very effective and compensated for the Raptors:
- We see the two eggs hatching, accompanied by Giacchino's wonderfully sinister theme for Indy, one hatchling struggles to break out while the stronger sibling breaks loose and shakes in fear, surrounded by cold glass, plastic and lab coats.
- We get a little context for her creation with Claire and the investors, describing the reasons why the I. rex was created: to meet the demands of focus groups and goose up attendance to keep the park in the green (rising maintenance costs and so on). Her theme makes a comeback as Dr Wu claims she is "bigger than the T. rex".
- Next we see her hiding in the trees, eyeing Masrani and Claire very intently and snarling, before slinking back into cover.
- Next she hides her thermal signature and camouflages herself, luring Owen and the paddock keepers in, where she springs into action. After a few low angle shots of her chasing the humans, we get a full body reveal 40 minutes in as she breaks down the door, eats the chubby keeper, and almost eats Owen whilst giving us a convincing shot of her trying to sniff him out.
Granted, I don't think that's enough buildup to be compared to the Big One's pack in Jurassic Park, let alone Bruce in Jaws, but considering all the other story threads going into the film, it was effective for what it was. If the Raptors weren't going to be the main antagonists, something else had to be and the I. rex fit the bill.
I suppose it begs the question, will Bayona make Velociraptors scary again? Very likely. There is potential to reintroduce us to wild Raptors that were clearly not raised by humans and thus as dangerous as their predecessors. The wild environment and dark atmosphere, as well as the disturbing context of the film with dinosaurs being experiment subjects and held in captivity, should be sufficient to bring up the tension and sense of dread surrounding the Raptors.
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|Subject: Re: The best thing about the JP raptors Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:26 pm|| |
I think the best thing about them is that even though the raptor family had been known to science for quite some time, for the general audience, they were brand new by the time Jurassic Park hit the movie theaters. They were much much smaller then T. rex but in many ways just as deadly in different ways, and in some cases more so. Intelligent, fast, quick to learn, pack hunting, able to make complex attack plans not out of line from military planning.
Yes, the Jurassic Park also destroyed the notion of T. rex being a slow lumbering dumb brute and also replaced it with being an intelligent, pack hunting (in family packs anyways) animal that cared for it's young. (The one in JP3 was the exception to the rule since Horner was basically the co-producer and even then, nobody brought that semi-throwback anymore.) But T. rex was such a known commodity that it only made it even more awesome. The raptors to most people were brand new and they were introduced in a way that people loved them, even if they were terrified of them. (This is in stark contrast to the JP3 Spinosaurus which was basically shoved down our throats also via Horner.)
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|Subject: Re: The best thing about the JP raptors Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:19 pm|| |
I remember when I saw JP for the first time I was wondering where the raptors were until they finally showed themselves (and with a great jumpscare, no less!). It seems like the raptors are most effective when we get the point where things have gone downhill (power, rex, camp sabotage...) and they only add to the mayhem.
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