The Cure May Be Worse Than The Disease
♦ Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water comes out in UK cinemas on Valentine’s Day and so Tripwire’s editor-in-chief will be reviewing every film he has made up to this point. Second is Mimic, from back in 1997…
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles S Dutton, F Murray Abraham
Four years after his feature debut, del Toro’s second film Mimic was a major step up from Cronos. Mira Sorvino plays entomologist Dr Susan Tyler whose husband, Dr Peter Mann (Northam) works for the Center for Disease Control. Tyler creates a new breed of insect to destroy a dangerous disease carried by the cockroaches of New York but unwittingly she has unleashed an even greater threat on the Big Apple as they mutate and adapt to their surroundings. They have even mutated so they can look like us too, a really inspired touch.
Mimic feels very much like a classic monster movie like those they made back in the 1950s. The effects here are very impressive indeed and Mimic also has a real sense of fun and excitement that are the hallmarks of the best of del Toro’s work. It also features a child in danger, another one of del Toro’s trademarks, and an old-fashioned script with a modern twist. Sorvino and Northam work well together and there is chemistry between the pair on screen. A cameo from F Murray Abraham as fellow scientist Dr Gates lends it a little more gravitas too while the presence of Charles S Dutton as New York transport cop and a very young Josh Brolin as fellow policeman Josh adds to the mix very well too.
A bigger budget of $30m here doesn’t mean that the director ditched a flair for invention and despite the fact that this is definitely a far more mainstream film than Cronos, Mimic still manages to feel quirky and unique.
It is impressive that with only his second feature film, del Toro displayed an adept hand for ambitious modern horror films, showing that he could definitely punch above his weight. Mimic is a very well-crafted, creepy horror film with some exceptionally well-realised effects and some genuinely unsettling moments, which keeps the audience on its side all the way through its 100 minutes. It points to what he would make next and proved that a modern Hollywood monster film doesn’t have to talk down to its audience. For fans of the director who have only seen his more recent work, Mimic is recommended.
Here’s Eight Days of del Toro Day One: Cronos