Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Mimic was one of the first Rated-R movies I had ever seen back 14 years ago. I saw it as soon as it came out on VHS/DVD and I couldn't really grasp what the movie was really about back then. Since that time I have seen the movie about 4 or 5 times and I like it more and more each time I see it. I just recently got the chance to see the Director's Cut on Blu-Ray and I felt that the plot of the movie was fleshed out more in that cut. Guillermo Del Toro is a cinematic genius and this being one of his first movies shows his style as it was just developing. The cinematography is very dark with muted color scheme and it really lends to the overall atmosphere of the movie. The sound is also excellent, Del Toro uses sound effects for the creatures that are used off screen to build paranoia on screen. Rustling noises, scratching on walls, and banging into objects make it seem like there are multiple creatures in every shot and the characters must be aware at all times. The plot is similar in tone to movies such as The Relic, The Thin, and other creature movies from the last 20 years. While not as high quality as The Thing, it definitely beats out most of its competition by a wide margin. Del Toro is the star of the show, he creates the world the movie is based in and he really amps up everything on screen so it is very easy for the viewer to get engrossed in the movie.
The cast is pretty solid overall and Del Toro really drew some great performances out of what were perceived as questionable actors. Mira Sorvino proved that she could carry a movie with her role in this one and would go on to star in a few other movies that I consider to be very good. Josh Brolin has a small role in the movie, and Jeremy Northam also co-stars. Northam after this movie would go on to play supporting roles in a few critically acclaimed foreign movies. The cast while solid is not the true star of the movie as I have stated earlier in the review. But the cast is classic Del Toro, relative unknowns (to an extent) and then he gets them to perform to the top of the capabilities. He gets the actors to become the characters that they are playing and this is what allows the viewer to become invested in the characters on screen and care what actually happens to them on screen. The effects are also somewhat dated but there is not much that you can do about that because this was made in 1997 and they didn't have the technology that we have today.
Overall, I would have to highly recommend this movie to anyonme who enjoys "monster" movies and is a fan of Del Toro. While this may not be on par with some of his other movies such as Pan's Labyrinth, it is better than the last Hellboy and is more polished than Cronos. This was one of the first movies that showcased what a great horror movie could be and it stuck with me. Watch it and you will see what a great director can do with a limited budget and a cast full of good actors.