Mimic (1997)

Guillermo del Toro’s “Mimic” is one of those mainstream genre entries that hasn’t been forgotten but doesn’t exactly have much of a pop culture footprint, but I think it deserves a second life. Maybe it’s the effective atmosphere, which is a striking mixture of oppressive and light-hearted, and goes a long way towards selling an improbable-but-compelling-nevertheless story. Or, perhaps it’s the impressively developed characters, all of whom are well-written and expertly played by a solid, likable cast that includes Mira Sorvino (fresh off the heels of her 1996 Oscar win for “Mighty Aphrodite”), Josh Brolin and a crowd-pleasing Charles S. Dutton. Or it could be the movie’s visual look, which is a nice combination of elements specific to ’90s genre cinema (like ambitious, playful early CGI and efficacious editing, among others) and old-fashioned horror tropes akin to Universal’s monster movies. More than likely, it’s a combination of all the above, because ultimately it’s a well-constructed, likable and consistently entertaining mainstream effort that drew me in from the moment it began. Watch for an early appearance by Norman Reedus.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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