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Pokémon takes cues from Cloverfield in these great found-footage horror shorts

I wouldn’t say no to feature-length Pokémon thriller

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

On Saturday, Niantic and The Pokémon Company held the finale for Pokémon Go’s big Go Fest 2022 event, which spanned three months and culminated in players getting access to the mobile game’s Ultra Beasts. In the lead up to the finale, the folks behind Pokémon Go started hyping the event up with a series of horror-tinged, found footage-style shorts featuring those Ultra Beasts. While there’s only about 90 seconds of footage in total, the shorts make a compelling argument for a Cloverfield-style Pokémon horror series or film — because who wouldn’t be terrified to see a hive of Buzzwole emerging from Seattle’s Space Needle?

For Pokémon fans who haven’t seen the shorts yet, they’re extremely well done. One shows the Ultra Beast Nihilego quietly chilling in the dark in a Tokyo underpass, with a later video revealing a massive swarm of Nihilego taking to the skies. Footage from a Berlin traffic camera shows the Ultra Beast Pheromosa sprinting through the streets, nearly invisible to the human eye. The best — and most terrifying — footage shows a Xurkitree draining the electricity from a Japanese office building, and attacking a man filming its feast.

Will The Pokémon Company ever make a feature-length version of these terrifying Pokémon tales? Unlikely. The company seems content with family-friendly Detective Pikachu-style fare with the property, and it’s hard to fault it for that. But hopefully we’ll get something more substantial in his vein in the future, even if only for next year’s Go Fest event. Pokémon Go still has plenty of Ultra Beasts to add, after all, including the most terrifying one of all: Blacephalon.

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