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Mimic 3: Sentinel
cast: Karl Geary, Amanda Plummer, Lance Henriksen, John Kapelos, and Rebecca Mader

director: J.T. Petty

73 minutes (15) 2003
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Dimension / Miramax DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by Tony Lee
The 'Judas breed' returns for this second sequel, an effective re-working of Donald A. Wollheim's 1942 short story, Mimic. Writer-director J.T. Petty (maker of low-budget horror Soft For Digging) assembles a mainly young cast for this drama of urban shocker in which giant insects, capable of human disguise, stalk and kill the residents of a grungy housing estate. Housebound by his severe allergies, 24-year-old Marvin (Karl Geary) makes a hobby of voyeurism (an obvious borrowing from Hitchcock's Rear Window), watching and photographing his neighbours, so he's the first to guess that a spate of mysterious disappearances are really horrific murders.

Local cop Dumars (John Kapelos) is far more interested in romancing Marvin's widowed mother Simone (Amanda Plummer), than tackling street crime, so it's up to Marvin's errant sister Rosy (a sympathetic performance from Alexis Dziena), and his potential girlfriend Carmen (Rebecca Mader), to help investigate the suspicious behaviour of the local misfit nicknamed 'Garbageman' (the great Lance Henriksen, on good form - he's really acting the part here! - after a string of regrettable turns in several trashy movies), and it turns out that he's the only one who knows what's really going on in their otherwise quiet neighbourhood...

Paranoia turns into terror when flying monsters emerge from the shadows to maim and slaughter, and the CGI presented here is generally excellent, adding high quality visuals to the suspenseful plot, and enhancing many of the intensely claustrophobic action sequences. A sense of mounting dread pervades the second half of this film's brief yet incident-packed running time, and Marvin's climactic encounter with fierce soldier-caste big-bugs is a tour de force of imaginatively choreographed low-budget shocks! If you enjoyed the chills and thrills of the first two Mimic movies, this third outing for the shape-changing critters will definitely appeal.

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