Friday, November 9, 2012

Mimic (1997)

I hate bugs. I hate bugs more than anyone could possibly hate anything. The mere thought of some of the incidents I've had with bugs throws me into a crazed clawing at my skin fit. And being a New York City resident means I've had more than my fair share of incidents. It doesn't matter if you never have food in your house and are the cleanest person alive, those little fuckers will come for you.

In 1997, Guillermo del Toro (the guy who did Pan's Labyrinth) brought us Mimic, a movie about bugs imitating humans. The plot centers around a deadly disease running rampant in Manhattan, affecting the city's children. The disease is carried by cockroaches, and since for the most part exterminators, pesticides and other methods are useless against roaches in this city, one scientist develops a genetically modified termite/mantis hybrid, whose secretions somehow kill off the little buggers. Unfortunately, her belief that the bugs are (a) sterile and (b) have a limited life span both prove to be really fucking wrong, and thus a much bigger menace is unleashed.

This is probably one of the best infestation movies out there. The effects are pretty damned good, especially when compared to infestation movies made much more recently. Nothing looks hokey or over-the top. There's ample amounts of goo, and bug innards, and crunchy vibrating noises to keep you on alert and uncomfortable. Mimic makes use of a lot of tension and shadows. Although you get to see the menace fairly early on, a lot of the creepiness is kept in the shadows for a good enough amount of time to let the tension build up.

I can't stress enough how good the sound direction in this movie is. For someone like me who goes into ready mode at the mere sound of a ladybug, the sounds in this movie are top notch raise-the-hair-on-your-neck quality.

It's by no means a perfect film and the familiar "stop fucking with nature" mantra underscores the story but it by no means hurts the movie. Mimic has everything needed for a more than worthy watch: engaging characters, an absorbing story, and suspense to spare.

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