LONDON KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW: THE MIMIC
When I think of South Korean horror, I think there are great titles out there. But, there are very little of the supernatural sub-genre that comes to mind. Apart from a handful of classics, supernatural South Korean horror has been very rarely touched.
Hide & Seek director returns with a new supernatural horror, The Mimic.
The film opens with a couple screaming in a car – the woman is obviously not there of her own free will. The man is hectic, drinking, in a rage, terrifying his passenger. Then the car is brought to an abrupt stop when they hit a small dog. Ok, firstly, who does that 3-minutes into a film?. I can handle human deaths on a biblical disaster scale, but when you start killing little dogs, it won’t be long before I am curled into a ball on the floor drowning in a puddle of tears.
When he gets out of the car to assess the damage we get to see the pup crying, lying covered in blood.
Instead of a mercy killing, this guy just lifts the dying pup by the neck and walks towards the car. When he pops the trunk and opens it, we notice a bound-and-beaten woman laying in the trunk crying, begging for her life.
He throws the dying animal in along with her and shuts the trunk. I already had a horrid gut feeling after the dog. For him to pop the trunk and throw it in along with a bound and beaten victim made my stomach sink.
After killing the woman, he starts to hear strange voices. The voices are of the woman that he just murdered; He keeps hearing her last dying words getting repeated back to him.
The story then switches to a husband and wife who live in a large country house in the middle of woods. They’ve moved here with their daughter to deal with the disappearance of their son who vanished 5-years previous.
An investigation is started near the couple’s home when the body of a woman is found
Near the crime scene, the couple finds a lost child wandering in the woods. Her clothes are dirty and tattered, she seems confused and frightened, so the family take her in. Not long after, the child’s behaviour starts to become very odd and worrying. She is beginning to mimic every little thing that their daughter does.
The child actor (Shin Rin-Ah) in The Mimic does a fantastic job at creeping the viewer out. She was my favourite thing about the entire movie, and I hope to see her in similar roles in the future.
If I had to be critical, I would say they tried to add too much to the plot. It would’ve worked so well as just a supernatural horror. Still, it’s enjoyable and as I mentioned above; it’s not very often we get supernatural South Korean cinema so it was a welcoming change.
A great entry into the Korean supernatural sub-genre, although far from the strongest.
The film is based on the local legend of the Jansang Tiger (Jungle region near Busan). A tiger that apparently mimicked human voices to lure them to certain death.
6.5/10 Gary Gamble