Mimic

Marco Beltrami

 
" Powerful orchestral horror score "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the deluxe edition

Mimic was Guillermo del Toro's introduction to the American audiences. It received enough attention for him to become the director he is known for today, namely the director of Blade II, Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth. Mimic itself was a strong enough horror movie about a mutant breed of insect that secretes a fluid to kill a disease carried by common cockroaches. This mutant breed was engineered to die after one generation, but three years later the people that created it discovered that the species survived and evolved into a large, gruesome monster that can mimic human form. Or a walk in the park for a composer like Marco Beltrami.

It was the first time Beltrami worked with del Toro, once again cementing a collaboration that still turns strongly enough today. The score itself received a soundtrack release of 30 minutes in 1997, but Varèse itself expanded its own product in 2011 with some 40 minutes under a limited Varese club release. And even though 70 minutes is pushing it, Mimic remains one of Beltrami's strongest scores in the genre. Large orchestral horror music that isn't shy to throw in a couple of Gothic crowd pleaser's.

The score itself starts with a doozy. "Main Titles" already confirms the Gothic sound, with loud fanfares and solo vocals enhancing the human effect, this and "Release the Judas" unleashes early on a potent reply to what kind of score you'll be getting. Another element you can't run away from is the horror music, often unleashing some kind of crawling musical effect admits of the ruckus ("Priest Dies", "Problems in the Lab", "Chased by a Bug") that perfectly sums up the inhuman creature that's crawling around in the sewers

There are moments though where Beltrami tries to bring some kind of emotion, some kind of comfort. "Pregnancy Test" is such one example, another one is the beautiful but unused "I"ll Go" (using the relieve melody that's heard at the end). This melody returns in the wonderful "Reunited", delivering an optimistic feeling alongside the conclusive "End Credits".

But in the end, everything turns around the horror and terror the people are facing on screen. And Mimic surely doesn't crawl around the bush. "Priest Dies", "Problems in the Lab", "Goodbye Boys", "Mimic Snatches Susan" or the terrific duo "Chased by a Bug" and "Bug Killer" are thrillers in their own genre. But Mimic is even better when it throws everything together, orchestral crashes, fanfares, solo vocals, namely the fight between human and insect. "Chuy Steps Out" is a chameleon of sounds, "Josh Bites It" is terrific once Beltrami unleashes his enormous percussion near the end, and the utterly superb "Fleeing Terror" is the absolute highlight of the score (watch out for those Poltergeist like brass bursts or the riveting Aliens like finish)

Truthfully, Mimic hasn't lost a dime of its charm. It's powerful horror music that doesn't hold anything back once it starts unleashing everything but the kitchen sink. And then you hear what kind of an entrance Beltrami created in 1997. This deluxe treatment surely inserts some vital cues that were left of the original release of 1997, enough for me to recommend this score wholeheartedly. I'm sure trimming it down to about 55 minutes is the right way to present it, but Mimic is so strong that it's worth it no matter what time it's given. One of Beltrami's strongest horror scores, and coming from a specialist in the genre, that's saying a lot.

Tracklisting

1. Main Titles (2.37) Excellent track
2. Children's Hospital (1.26)
3. Release the Judas (2.24)
4. Press Conference (1.48)
5. Bathtub (0.49)
6. Priest Dies (3.18)
7. Investigation Begins (0.45)
8. Dark Angels (1.00)
9. Problems in the Lab (5.17)
10. Funny Shoes (1.11)
11. Delancey St. Station (1.15)
12. Locker Room (2.28)
13. Susan Meets Chuy (1.08)
14. Goodbye Boys (2.33)
15. Susan & Dr. Gates (1.12)
16. Chuy Steps Out (3.15) Excellent track
17. Pregnancy Test (2.52)
18. Manny's Search (1.48)
19. Manny's Underground (1.04)
20. Susan Joins the Photos (0.51)
21. Mimic Snatches Susan (1.22)
22. Scaffolding Falls (1.24)
23. Alone in Den (3.04)
24. Chased by a Bug (1.17)
25. Josh Bites It (4.19) Excellent track
26. Race to the Subway (2.56)
27. Mimics 101 (1.21)
28. I'll Go (1.01)
29. Fleeing Terror (4.48) Excellent track
30. Bug Killer (1.24)
31. Reunited (2.50) Excellent track
32. End Credits (2.00) Excellent track
33. Slow Tango (2.17)
34. Manny's Tango (2.01)

Total Length: 71.05
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(total of 10 votes - average 4.35/5)

Released by

Varèse Sarabande CD Club VCL 1011 1126 (deluxe edition 2011)

Conducted by

Marco Beltrami

Orchestrations by

Pete Anthony, Bill Boston & Marco Beltrami