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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 56: Mimic

Anyone else suddenly taste green?

Another Saturday, another creature feature. Thanks to SyFy, there are tons of these movies and most of them are painfully terrible. I just wasn't in the mood to watch a movie with the work Gatoroid or Frogs in the title, so I decided to go with more of a “real” movie. No cartoon effects and no washed-up 80's actors and singers. It's hard to find that in creature features nowadays, believe me. When you're flipping through what to watch, see Tara Reid starring in a movie, and strongly consider watching it, you're in trouble. Thankfully, I had Mimic.

Inspired by Donald Wollheim's short story, Mimic stars Mira Sorvino (The Replacement Killers, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion) as entomologist Susan Tyler and Jeremy Northam (The Net, Gosford Park) as her husband, Peter Mann. A disease carried by cockroaches is killing off a generation of children in Manhattan. Susan and Peter have created a new insect called the Judas Breed by combining termite and praying mantis DNA. The Judas kills off the disease-carrying roaches and the children are saved. The Judas was supposed to have a short lifespan and not be able to reproduce. Since this is a horror movie, of course they found a way to evolve, and are reproducing at an alarming rate. On top of that, they are now able to mimic their main predator, people. People are disappearing all over the city, and its up to Susan, Jeremy, and transit police officer Leonard (Charles S. Dutton, Legion, A Time To Kill) to stop the Judas Breed from destroying the city.

You buggin'

Directed by Guillermo Del Toro, Mimic has a good mix of terror and suspense. Del Toro knows what he's doing with some really creative shots and scenes. Where most movies hide the monster until a big reveal at the end, Mimic shows the Judas Breed plenty. They look pretty good, especially for mid-to-late 90's effects. If you don't like bugs, you will definitely be creeped-out by the monsters. There is a fair amount of action to keep your interested, but not a lot of blood fun kills. If you want action in your horror, you could find better, but it makes up for it with suspense.

There is a bit of a side story with an autistic boy named Chuy that sees the Judas Breed mimicking a person outside his window. While there have been far more annoying children in horror movies, he's still pretty annoying and his story feels unnecessary and tacked-on. The movie clocks in at about an hour and 45 minutes, but there are times where it feels much, much longer. The action doesn't pick up until the last 45 minutes so boredom does set in at times. It's also incredibly dark, so make sure you have your glasses on if you wear them. Sorvino is good in her role and isn't a completely helpless woman like some horror movies like to have. Northam comes off as a bit too lame to be considered a hero.There's also a brief scene with a young Norman Reedus.

Excuse me. Can you tell me how to get to Houston Street?

Mimic came out around the same time as Species, Anaconda, and The Mothman Prophecies, so it kind of got swept up around the weird creature-related horror movies of the late 90's. Guillermo Del Toro does a good job of direction and Mira Sorvino is decent in her role. An interesting, but not wholly original story, combined with good suspense keeps the audience interested, but that interest only goes so far. Some more bloody horror and lighting would have greatly improved the entire movie. Mimic is a decent watch overall, especially if you're nostalgic for the 1990s.


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