review for Mimic on AllMovie

Mimic (1997)
by Derek Armstrong review

Bugs, if used well, will continue to serve as terrifying movie villains, and Guillermo Del Toro keeps the creepy-crawly tradition rolling with Mimic, in which human-sized cockroaches inhabit the defunct New York City subway system. Scientists trying to play God should know by now that it's not a good idea, but Mira Sorvino, an expectant mother, courts disaster in order to bring an end to the epidemic that's rapidly wiping out the city's children. Del Toro establishes a morbid, eerie tone, and his crisp filmmaking gives the events a sense of desperate emergency. He can't help tripping over some clichés in what is essentially familiar territory, as a team of scientists and other do-gooders descend into subterranean New York to save a young boy who, in a chilling device, communicates to the bugs through a clicking pattern with kitchen utensils. But there are enough real shocks and doses of sheer icky-ness hiding in the shadows to keep this bug movie humming. Because much of the action takes place below street level, viewers are invited to contemplate just how intricately this underground network of tunnels and access chambers was designed, and how surprisingly deep into the earth it plunges. Sorvino's balance between toughness and fragility, evident in much of her work, is well served for a character who opened Pandora's Box and is now trying to shut it, despite her petrified unfamiliarity with her own horrid creation.