Mimic (1997)

R   |    |  Horror, Sci-Fi


Mimic (1997) Poster

Three years ago, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically created an insect to kill cockroaches carrying a virulent disease. Now, the insects are out to destroy their only predator, mankind.

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5.9/10
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  • Mimic (1997)
  • Mimic (1997)
  • Guillermo del Toro in Mimic (1997)
  • Mimic (1997)
  • Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam in Mimic (1997)
  • Josh Brolin in Mimic (1997)

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13 February 2005 | BrandtSponseller
9
| So that's what those mystery stains are in the subway!
After a devastating disease traced back to New York City's cockroach population is eliminated by using a genetically engineered superbug that wiped out the roach population, it seems that everyone--especially the previously affected kids--is in the clear. That is, until one of the superbugs--which were supposed to be infertile and have a short lifespan--shows up in the subway system years later, larger and nastier than ever.

Take 1950s "nature run amok" horror/sci-fi, combine it with Alien (1979), add in the production design sensibilities found in Alien 3 (1992), set it in the "modern day" New York City subway system, and you've got Mimic. That may sound too derivative for some tastes, but I neither give points for originality nor subtract them for a lack of originality. All that matters to me is that a film works on its own terms, and Mimic, despite a couple small flaws, is very effective.

Those couple small flaws include that you have to pay a lot of attention during the beginning if you want to catch all of the backstory--it moves by very quickly, with pertinent information frequently mumbled or given in the background, and some of the attack scenes are a bit too dark and cut to simulate a whirling dervish.

The biggest asset is the production design. Mimic has a delicious horror atmosphere that you could cut with a knife. Of course it's easy to achieve cringe-worthy moments when the screen is filled with bugs and characters are crawling down (and in some cases living in) dingy subway tunnels, but almost every shot in the film has a similar effect. Gloom, decay and disturbing, unidentifiable biological masses are the visual themes. The creature designs are fantastic, with the "mimicking" design being the most impressive.

Of course, the plot is somewhat predictable, and the "don't tamper with nature" subtext is as conspicuous here as it was in Frankenstein (1931), but predictability isn't a flaw here, and Frankenstein was a masterpiece. Mimic has an absorbing story, with likable characters and suspense to spare.

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