As a long time collector and, in more recent years, ‘film critic,’ it was inevitable that I’d stack up movie after movie without getting to watch all of them. From time to time, I start digging through these piles and after what seems like hours, I finally decide what to watch next. Today’s mood struck me as a perfect time to give Jung Huh’s ghost story, The Mimic, a chance.
Hee-yeon has moved her family to care for her sickly mother-in-law. It isn’t long, however, before past tragedies come back to haunt the family in their new home. When a little girl shows up all alone and clearly in need of assistance, Hee-yeon’s motherly instincts immediately kick in. She will soon learn that with the girl comes strange and powerful forces that will change the family forever.
The girl who is calling herself Jun-hee, the same name as Hee-yeon’s daughter, is said to have been involved in numerous missing cases dating back to the 80s. With the help of a police officer who is investigating the countless number of missing persons and the warnings from an older and wiser blind neighbor, Hee-yeon learns of the girl’s sinister background.
The Mimic is based on the Korean urban legend of the Jangsan Tiger. The creature is said to make sounds similar to that of a wailing woman or even running water, in hopes of luring their human prey to them. Obviously for entertainment’s sake, writer and director Jung Huh has taken some creative liberties and expanded on the lore a bit, but either way, the thought of a feline-like creature preying on human victims throughout the Jangsan mountains is pretty terrifying.
This truly is a beautiful film. Like most modern horror films coming out of Korea and other parts of Asia, The Mimic is masterfully shot with gorgeous cinematography. There is nothing negative to say about the way the film looks, which goes a long way when trying to creative a suspenseful atmosphere for the perfect ghost story.
Additionally, the entire cast, albeit small, does a wonderful job. Jung-ah Yum, who is somewhat of a scream queen having starred in both the well-known Three… Extremes and A Tale of Two Sisters, plays the role of a mentally and physically exhausted mother. She is doing her best to get through life after losing a child, arguably the hardest thing a parent may ever endure. That rollercoaster of emotions is felt throughout The Mimic‘s 100 minutes, as the character of Hee-yeon cares for this child who shows up randomly, stirring up all of the regrets she has regarding her missing son.
As cliché as this may sound, The Mimic is a ghost story in the vein of The Grudge or The Ring. It is eerie and highly effective with great special effects throughout. The acting is superb and the cinematography, lighting, sound design, and score are flawless.
If you enjoy Asian horror cinema and ghost stories based on urban legend and mythology, The Mimic is something you don’t want to miss. It is available now on Digital and Blu-ray from Well Go USA Entertainment.
I give this frightening tale 4 shamanic rituals out of 5.