The Mimic (仿声灵 | 장산범) Movie Review | by #TheEpiphanyDuplet
Recommended Audience: Fans of Yum Jung-ah, Park Hyuk-kwon, Shin Rin-A, Huh Jung and Korean Horror movie fans
The Mimic (仿声灵 | 장산범) Movie Synopsis
Hee-yeon moves to her hometown near Mt. Jang, hoping her mother-in-law recalls how she lost Hee-yeon’s son Jun-suh. One day, near a cave at Mt. Jang, Hee-yeon meets a girl in tatter which reminds her of Jun-suh. Feeling sorry for the girl, Hee-yeon decides to spare a bed until she helps to find the girl’s parents. Gradually, the girl mimics Hee-yeon’s daughter, Jun-hee’s name, voice, and look; Eventually, calling Hee-yeon mom. Strange incidents happened since the girl joins the household and at last, the mother-in-law who suffered from auditory hallucination disappears into the cave with the legend about a mysterious creature. Will Hee-yeon find her son? Will this family find happiness again?
The Mimic (仿声灵 | 장산범) Viewer Rating: 3.25/5 ***
The Mimic (仿声灵 | 장산범) Movie Review:
Tiffany Yong: The Mimic is very much a Korean version of The Tag-along 2, there are many similarities between the two films, from the mention of tiger spirit, to the use of little girls and the opening sequences, so pardon me if I keep making references to the latter. So here, we will touch on some points we like and dislike, but at the end of the day, it will be up to you guys to tell us which one you prefer. I had seen the trailer before watching the film, and liked the premise of what I saw. And hence, we walked into the cinema with some expectations. It did deliver on most of them, but apart from that, it neither managed to impressed in any particular manner nor disappointed for that matter.
Peps Goh: It seemed to have done everything right for it’s genre, and I really don’t have any major flaws to point out. Child actor Shin Rin-ah (신린아) did well, and depressed mother Yum Jung-ah (염정아) performed exceptionally. Her despair and gradual emotional and physical degradation as the plot moves forward really managed to carry across viscerally. There were several child actors in the film, and Shin Rin-ah as the mysterious girl shined with her blank yet innocent look. She is so unnerving and the long takes was so well taken that there were moments I was half-expecting her to give the Annabelle-evil look.
Peps Goh: The special effects too were done well, and looked so convincing that I am curious as to exactly how much of it was practical effects that was paired with really well-planned and executed post-production effects. Kudos to team. As compared to the Tag-along 2, where the director splurge on the CGI, creating unrealistic monsters which drew audience out of the story, this film is more coherent and used very little CGI. However, while it might be a coincidence that both movies used the tiger spirit, the Taiwanese film revered the tiger god, using a medium (I love this part) and CGI to bring out the strength, the Korean movie did not exactly elaborate on the evil spirit, using only make-up and sound effects to evoke the fear.
Peps Goh: But I did feel that the lore behind the story wasn’t set up as in-depth as I would have liked it to be, in order to better immerse myself in this, otherwise good piece of work. It may just be my overconsumption of supernatural content (recently) that got me more demanding of deeper lores of plots like these, so don’t take my word for it. Perhaps I was just hoping for another reveal/twist to the climax.
Tiffany Yong: Me on the other hand, thought it was a pretty well-rounded story that plays on the character flaws of human. However, there were several supporting characters who could have contributed much more to the film, but failed to do so. The detective who found the photo and uncovered the similarities in the missing cases could have contributed so much more to the plot, like that of The Wailing. Hee-yeon’s daughter, Jun-hee (Bang Yu-seol) was neglected most of the time, same for the dementia-suffering mother-in-law.
Overall, The Mimic is indeed a good piece of film.
Do You Know?
The Mimic was released in South Korean cinemas on August 17, 2017. It is the first South Korean horror film to have accrued more than a million viewers in four years, since 2013’s Killer Toon, and the only Korean film released this year with a female lead that has attracted over one million ticket sales.
The movie plot is inspired by an online manga (苌山虎) as well as the legend of the Jangsan tiger, a mythical human. The Jangsan Tiger is rumored to originate from Jangsan, a mountain in the city of Busan. The Jangsan Tiger has two rows of fine, sharp teeth and beautiful white fur covers the creature’s entire body. Its posture is like that of a crouching tiger or a large hunting dog. It is very swift and travels through mountains with incredibly ease. It is said to be a man-eater, and makes a sound like a woman’s wail or a stream of water to lure people.
Behind The Scenes and Interviews
The Mimic (仿声灵 | 장산범) is out in cinemas on 31 August 2017.
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Peps Goh: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
The Epiphany Duplet: #TheEpiphanyDuplet
*Disclosure: Invitation from Clover Films. No monetary compensation was received for the movie review.
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