Mimic: 3 Film Set (Lionsgate) presents the Guillermo Del Toro’s recently-released “Director’s Cut” of the original 1997 Mimic, the creepy underground horror of genetically enhanced insects, in a set with the Blu-ray debuts of the two direct-to-disc sequels. I haven’t seen the original Mimic since its theatrical release so I can’t say with certainty whether Del Toro’s new, longer, somewhat re-edited cut is more interesting than the original version or I just appreciated it more after all this time, but I’m favoring the former. It comes off smarter and creepier than I recall the original, less about scares than a sustained atmosphere of eerie unease and skittery threats. The threat here comes from mutant bugs that have evolved from genetically-altered cockroaches to monstrous predators with the uncanny and ingenious adaptive mechanism that allows them to mimic human forms in the creepiest ways. Even Mira Sorvino seems more convincing as the entomologist who reluctantly plays Doctor Frankenstein with insect genetics in the face of a deadly viral outbreak. But only just. Del Toro outlines the project in a video introduction (this is the closest he’ll come to his original intentions given the material at hand, he explains) and provides a commentary track, and the disc includes three featurettes and more deleted scenes.
A second disc features both the direct-to-disc sequels Mimic 2, which turns the creepy stalker bugs into a genuine stalker on the streets of New York, and the more interesting Mimic 3: Sentinel, which adds a dash of Rear Window to the tale of giant, predatory Judas Breed bugs and tosses in Lance Henriksen as a skulking creeper known as The Garbageman. Director J.T. Petty was handed the project due to the strength of his superbly unsettling indie-horror debut Soft For Digging and he makes something genuinely interesting from it. It’s what the direct-to-video market should be all about: a training ground for young filmmakers to stretch their wings, even if said wings belong to giant predatory insects. Includes featurettes, deleted scenes, audition footage, and commentary by Petty.