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(Review originally written at 17 December 2006)

Everybody with a tiny bit of common sense would already know better than to expect a masterful, suspenseful horror flick from a movie with such a premise like this one. But for a genre movie its a pretty good one and definitely better than your average everyday B-movie horror flick.

What makes the movie good is its atmosphere. For most part the movie is set in the underground abandoned subway-system of New York. It's dark, creepy, dirty looking, in other words; perfect! With a setting like this the story, characters and everything else already becomes less important. The movie also does heavily rely on its atmosphere, which makes "Mimic" a pleasant and good genre movie but from a great or original one as well.

The movie definitely borrows heavily from other genre movies, especially in its second halve, when the movie gets quite formulaic. You can definitely see this movie as an "Aliens" with bugs. The movie shows more than one of two similarities in its story, atmosphere and camera-work. But its done in a good way, so the fact that the movie isn't anything renewing or original doesn't really matter. The movie serves its purpose and it does this well.

The story comes definitely secondary and in fact is quite ridicules at certain points. In its core the story had some real potential but for some reason the story lines and characters never get fully developed, as if they deliberately tried to keep the movie low-key and formulaic. The movie does have its good and original moments, such as the large man-like bugs but all of its potential never gets exploited to the max.

The movie does offer some scares and false-scares, which make it obvious that Guillermo del Toro is a director who understands- and can handle the genre. It's definitely not his best directed movie (accordingly this is also due to producer Bob Weinstein who made some unreasonable demands) but this early movie by him shows his talent and passion for the genre in a positive way. Definitely a director whose movies I'll always keep watching with lots of pleasure. The movie is also good looking with some early special effects that look reasonable enough, especially for 1997 standards.

The movie has some good (for its genre) actors in it. Mira Sorvino might not be the best thinkable hero but it's sort of OK since the movie never fully relies on its characters and actors but on the atmosphere and its moments instead. The movie also features Josh Brolin and Giancarlo Giannini in some smaller parts and F. Murray Abraham in a redundant role.

Obviously a movie for its genre fans only. It's nothing too remarkable but its good enough and serves its purpose very well. It makes "Mimic" far from the best in its genre but still a very entertaining- and perfectly watchable one.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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