Most horrifying horror movie monsters: 24. The Mimic
While there are no missing big-name movies like Alien or The Exorcist here, that’s no excuse to pass by lesser-known works. If you do a little digging through the horror section, you’re bound to find some truly astounding and creepy monsters. A little persistence really pays off.
Need an example? Check out Mimic, the 1997 film directed by a young Guillermo del Toro. Though del Toro was unhappy with the final cut of the film and studio interference throughout production, his trademarks are unmistakable. Nowadays, del Toro is rightfully recognized as one of the most dedicated and passionate directors in the film world today. He’s made his mark in large part by his focus on the weird.
Mimic starts off hard with the spread of “Strickler’s disease”, a deadly (and fictional) pathogen spread by Manhattan’s cockroaches. Entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) saves the day by engineering the “judas breed”. These large insects secrete an enzyme that causes the roach metabolism to speed up to such an extent that the roaches cannot consume enough nutrients. They soon starve to death and Strickler’s disease is no more.
But that’s only the first portion of the movie. Those judas bugs continued to live in the underground spaces beneath Manhattan, growing and evolving. Dr. Tyler specifically engineered the bugs to be all-female and, moreover, to die within a few weeks. Yet, in the words of Jurassic Park’s Ian Malcolm, life, uh, finds a way.
It soon becomes clear that the insects have formed a serious colony beneath New York City. Even worse, they’ve grown increasingly large and adept at mimicking various creatures. By the end of the film, Dr. Tyler and her friends encounter a monstrously-sized judas bug that has even managed to create a facsimile of a human face.