This Guillermo del Toro Sci-Fi Horror Gave Us an Inventive Creature Feature

This Guillermo del Toro Sci-Fi Horror Gave Us an Inventive Creature Feature


The big picture

  • Guillermo del Toro
    is an outstanding creature feature with a unique story.
  • The film cleverly portrays the insect creature, embracing both filth and gore, while remaining eerily beautiful.
  • imitator
    sets itself apart by establishing a strong plot, a delightfully grotesque setting, and authentic performances.

When it comes to filmmakers, there are some who have such a unique style that their work is instantly recognizable. Guillermo del Toro is one of those filmmakers. With a style that embraces both the dark and the whimsical, his work often feels like a twisted fairy tale. From movies like Pan's Labyrinth a The shape of water, has demonstrated time and time again his skill as a creator. His repertoire is full of films that balance the negative and the positive and weave them into something beautiful, and one of the best examples of this is his sci-fi horror film. imitator. Published in 1997, imitator stars Look at Sorvino as Dr. Susan Tyler, an entomologist who creates a hybrid race of insects designed to kill cockroaches that carry a disease that is killing children. The film is a perfect amalgamation of del Toro's styles. His love of insects, and the strange and grotesque nature of them, is all too prevalent throughout the film, with cringe-worthy sound design that feels like the cherry on top. But rather than being an underappreciated del Toro film, imitator it gives us a unique insight into the characteristics of the creaturesgiving us a creature that doesn't immediately feel dangerous, but quickly proves to be dangerous.


Publication date
August 22, 1997

Execution time

Main genre

For thousands of years, man has been the greatest creation of evolution… until now.

What is 'Mimic'?

Set in New York City, imitator it begins by telling us that cockroaches carry a disease called “Strickler's disease” and that it's killing children all over town. Thus, the CDC brings in entomologist Susan Tyler (Sorvino), who uses genetic engineering to create a new breed of insects meant to eradicate disease-carrying cockroaches. They are called the “Judas race” and are a mantis/termite hybrid. The Judas race does its job and effectively cleans the city of the diseased cockroaches, bringing a renewed sense of peace to the city. But as we have learned in Jurassic Park, playing God with nature is not without its consequences, and several years later, a couple of young guys bring him a strange-looking bug in hopes of making a few bucks for his discovery. After doing some testing on the bug, Susan discovers that it is similar to the Judas race, which should be impossible since they were designed to have a lifespan of only a few months and only females were released to avoid the reproduction A little more investigation into the matter reveals that the Judas race has become a viable species and that they have made themselves at home in the sewers and subway tunnels of the city. Susan must then set out to destroy what she created by locating the only male in the colony before it's too late. What results is a tense journey into the dank tunnels of New York's subway tunnels, com Susan and her team search for what's left of the Judas race in an attempt to prevent a city-wide catastrophe.

What makes Mimic stand out as a unique creature feature?

There are countless subgenres under the horror umbrella. From slashers, to paranormal, and yes, creature features. These types of movies always consist of some kind of creature that rains terror on a city or group of people. Some that come to mind are movies like tremors i The Creature from the Black Lagoon, which are both excellent examples of the genre. But the important thing to note about the characteristics of the creatures is that they don't necessarily have to be inhuman. Movies like Jurassic Park i Lake Placid they would also be considered creature features because the film's main villain is a creature of some form, either monster-like or rooted in reality. But another important characteristic that is often a defining point of the creature's characteristics is the character that God chooses to play. The best example is John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) who found a way to resurrect dinosaurs and opened Jurassic Park in the process, putting countless lives at risk in the process. imitator it is not so different in these respects. There's a creature, a kind of mutant-like bug that evolves into something it was never meant to be, and the people who played God to create it.

But what he does in the end imitator stand out is how you go about portraying your creature. Let's be honest here, the idea of ​​a giant bug terrorizing New York City is kind of ridiculous, but it never feels that way when you're watching the movie. Since the bug was created for a very different purpose and didn't just appear out of nowhere, it doesn't need to over-explain its existence, and thus isn't as young as it could easily be. Not to mention, moving forward with this specific creature meant a strong story was needed. Mistakes are gross, yes, but are they gross enough to carry an entire movie? A horror movie, that's why. imitator it immediately gives you something to take care of right away. Children are dying, and creating a new breed of insects is the only way to truly eradicate the cockroaches that carry the disease. The film doesn't just jump right into the action, it takes its time setting up the plot so that inevitably, when you see the creature, you understand what you're seeing and why it's so important. Not all creature features take the time to do this, and they often suffer for it.

'Mimic' embraces Gross and Gorey

Large insect-like creature rolled into a ball
Image via Lionsgate

Guillermo del Toro is known for his love of bugs and other creepy crawlies. In all of his films, you can see the influence that his love of the gross and twisted has on his work, and imitator allows you to go deeper into this. But what's so interesting about del Toro's style is that, while imitator It's certainly gross at times, with all the gore and guts we see coming from insects, but it's also strangely beautiful. At its core, imitator it has a very serious story, and Del Toro never takes it away. It's still action-packed, but it's got heart. The Judas race is relentless and nasty. He makes noises that will stick with you long after the credits roll, and as we learn later, he can transform to look like humans. It's horrifying, but it's also fascinating. Combine that with the dank, dank subway tunnel setting, and you have the recipe for a delightfully grotesque creature movie. imitator it has its flaws, like all movies, but it's definitely an underrated addition to Guillermo del Toro's filmography. It has it all, from a moody setting, cringe-worthy gore, and excellent performances that feel authentic and raw. imitator it gives the audience a creature unlike any we've seen before and haven't seen since. So if you've ever found yourself tired of the often cheesy creature features and are looking for some with a little more depth and a lot more creep factor, imitator it might just be what you've been waiting for.

imitator is available to stream on Prime Video in the US



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