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Mimic (1997, Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam)

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The films opens as cockroach-spread plague is sweeping through Manhattan, killing the children. Disease control scientist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) comes up with a solution – a genetically created enemy that will eradicate the cockroaches and then, being sterile, die out. The plans works and the plague ends. Then, four years later…

There is something in the subway that is killing people and Tyler and her husband Peter (Jeremy Northam) realise with growing horror that the culprits are the progeny of their experiments. Except they have not only grown and become blood thirsty but have learnt to copy – and they can now, in the dark, pass as humans. Descending into the subways with cops Manny and Leonard (Giancarlo Giannini and Charles S Dutton), the four are determined to find and destroy the breeding centre before they swarm but first they must face the creatures they have created.

Del Toro’s second feature after the acclaimed Mexican chiller Chronos unashamedly uses many of the conventions of the horror movie genre (the four go hunting without telling anyone else, only Tyler comes up with the answer in the lab) but does so with a refreshing élan, using the threatening darkness of the tunnels and the eerie beams of the flashlights to heighten the tension and then offering the horror at the most unexpected moment. Oscar winner Sorvino turns in an excellent performance as the tough, smart scientist but the film is stolen by Dutton as a can-do cop whose attitude and experience pulls the group together.

production details
cast
Mira Sorvino as Dr. Susan Tyler
Jeremy Northam as Dr. Peter Mann
Giancarlo Giannini as Manny
Josh Brolin as Josh
Alexander Goodwin as Chuy
Charles S. Dutton as Leonard
F. Murray Abraham as Dr. Gates
Alix Koromzay as Remy
James Costa as Ricky
Javon Barnwell as Davis
Norman Reedus as Jeremy
Ho Pak-Kwong as Preacher
Glenn Bang as Yang
Julian Richings as Workman
James Kidnie as Subway Repairman
Doug Jones as Long John #2

crew
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Writers: Guillermo Del Toro, Matthew Robins

USA | 105 minutes | 1997

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