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DVD Review: Mimic

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It’s great to see Hollywood take hold of the creature feature. So many great ones languish in the video market with restrictive budgets, some of which could very well make a mark given the chance. Welcome to one of those that had a shot, Mimic.

Mimic is one of those movies that causes you to fly out of your favorite chair numerous times. Director Guillermo del Toro (who has strangely decided to disown this film for some reason) of Hellboy fame creates deep tension in every scene, limiting the lighting and using sound to his advantage. Strangely similar to a book released in the same year called Reliquary (that a sequel to another monster movie/book, Relic), the underground subway setting is perfect for this movie. The clicking sound (along with the echo effect) the Judas make is downright creepy and everytime you hear it, it sends a small chill through your veins.

Mia Sorvino seems like a strange choice to play the films role, that of a bug-loving entomologist, but she keeps things believable and has some nice chemistry with her on-screen husband Jeremy Northam. Young Alexander Goodwin has a very strange and disturbing role as a mentally challenged boy who can replicate the bug’s sound with spoons.

Special effects are both practical and CG created while the creature designs are disgusting (just like fans want them). There are some great gore moments and the action scenes are spectacular, including the incredible non-stop finale. Some gaping plot holes (mostly concerning the creatures) do exist, but it’s a giant bug movie. None of that really matters.

The series would continue, though like numerous other films in the genre, they ended up as direct-to-video releases. Still, this original is still one of the best all-out monster movies of the 90’s, right up there with Deep Rising and the previously mentioned Relic. For fans of the genre, this should be required viewing. (**** out of *****)

A somewhat early release on the DVD format, Mimic is presented in a non-amamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. Compression is the biggest problem with this transfer, showing up in ever the darkest scenes. Not even the deep black levels (some of the best you’ll find) keep it from showing. Mild grain is minor comparatively. However, the disc does manage to keep the atmosphere of the film, which is the most important part. (***)

Erroneously stated on the back of the case at stereo, Mimic gets a full 5.1 treatment, and what a treatment it is. Nothing matches the eerie clicking sound coming from a rear speaker, only to move into another. Other sound effects (check out the echo effects around the 55-minute mark) are used with style to enhance the movie. Bass is a bit light, but does kick in with the soundtrack. This is a wonderful example of how sound can be used to make a movie better. (****)

Barren of extras, the disc only comes with some trailers. Chapter stops don’t count. (*)

This is another completely underrated creature movie, most likely rejected due to the premise as always. Everything about this movie is entertaining, from the incredible sense of tension to the well-crafted special effects. Mimic succeeds on almost every level and comes highly recommended.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.