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Mimic (1997)

Marco Beltrami 

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Darkly romantic,
Alex (September 22, 2007)
“Mimic” is easily one of the best scores Beltrami produced in the 90’s, and even today still remains one of his best works. Guillermo Del Toro’s giant bug film is dark and atmosphere-driven, and so to is the score. “Main Titles” opens with a haunting female vocalist, and slowly builds up to an explosive orchestral bombardment of brass and full chorus. “Race to the Subway” is a fantastic action cue with some truly scary-sounding dissonance. However, Beltrami does something with this score that he really hadn’t done before, and that’s introduce an emotional, moving theme for the human characters to create contrast with the more bombastic moments in the score. The theme is first introduced in “Time to Separate” on woodwinds and light strings, and is picked up again in “Manny Searches for his Son”, which concludes with a sweeping, heartbreaking passage from the string section.
More action music ensues throughout the middle of the score, interspersed with some light moments (“Susan Meets Chuy”) as well as some darkly introspective moments, such as “Evil Among Us”. Beltrami even uses a Latino waltz for the character Manny, which sounds out of place in the score but acts as a nice retreat from the heavier orchestral moments of the score.
However the track “Reunited” is the best one on this CD. It begins slowly, building from solo piano and strings to woodwinds to an explosion of an overwhelmingly beautiful crescendo of the main theme. It’s one of the most gorgeous, emotionally-felt pieces of music one is ever likely to hear in a horror film, and I wish Beltrami would be given more chances to write such lovely, dynamic music. The score concludes with the “End Credits”, a track that embraces an almost Elfman-esque sensibility for dark choral and brass writing, and brings things to a satisfying closure.
Despite a short running time this is Beltrami’s best score of the 90’s, and his still one of his best to date. The only other score for which he was allowed to write such darkly lyrical music was “Hellboy”, a great Beltrami score for a film that was also directed by Del Toro. Clearly these two are excellent collaborators, and I hope they continue to work together in the future. HIGHLY recommended score.

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