A disease carried by common cockroaches is killing Manhattan children. In an effort to stop the epidemic an entomologist, Susan Tyler, creates a mutant breed of insect that secretes a fluid to kill the roaches. This mutant breed was engineered to die after one generation, but three years later Susan finds out that the species has survived and evolved into a large, gruesome monster that can mimic human form.Written by
Steven Dretzke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Guillermo del Toro disowned the film after constant clashes with Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein. The latter complained that early footage of the film wasn't scary enough, and would frequently visit the set to make unreasonable demands about what should be shot, deviating away from the script. When that did not solve the matter, Weinstein threatened to fire del Toro and replace him with another director. However, del Toro was saved by the intervention of Mira Sorvino, who was a recent Oscar winner for Mighty Aphrodite (1995) (produced by Weinstein's company Miramax). She threatened to quit the film if del Toro's vision wasn't respected, and she received support from her then-boyfriend Quentin Tarantino, who has made several films for Miramax. The Weinsteins finally agreed to let del Toro stay on, but they oversaw the final cut of the film. Since then, del Toro has never worked with the Weinsteins again, but he made his peace with the film after creating a Director's Cut that was closer to his vision. See more »
After Leonard and Dr. Mann fall, Dr. Mann instructs Josh to thrown down the glow sticks. He's still writing the instructions on his hand when he leaves, he never throws down anything. Neither of the 3 characters do anything that would indicate that he does. Later you see Dr. Mann using glow sticks that shouldn't be there. See more »
In New York a disease carried by cockroaches threatens to wipe out a whole generation of children. A scientist, Susan Tyler, breeds a new bug that mimics the cockroach and wipes out the disease. However years later something is living in New York's subways that looks human. Tyler suspects that her breed has not died out but has evolved to imitate it's natural predator - us. Her investigations into the subway lead her to more than she bargained for.
This is an atmospheric thriller from Guillermo del Toro, director of The Devil's Backbone and Cronos. He manages to mix great director with good old fashioned monster horror to great effect. The concept itself is clever, even if the idea of bugs evolving to look very like humans is a little far fetched. However, once the action moves to the subway the fact that the bugs are clearly lethal no matter what they look like, makes this less important. The film is quite short and makes the action come quicker and seem more urgent. Several people get killed by the bug that wouldn't usually get killed in this sort of horror (children for example), this is very effective as it is quite scary to see the unexpected happen.
The mood is dark throughout and Del Toro uses the sewers and subway to great effect, creating a real sense of claustrophobia - like the humans have entered the bug's world and not the other way round. The bugs are shown early on in the film - usually not a good idea (keep it hidden in the Jaws way), but here the special effects are good enough to make the bug really believable. However the horror is not in seeing the bugs but in they way they hunt and kill - the fear is in what could happen. That's why seeing them doesn't take anything away.
The cast are great, Sorvino especially is very good in the lead. Jeremy Northam and Charles S. Dutton are good in support and Abraham Murray adds a bit of cameo class (though his role is quite unnecessary). But the director is the real star adding some genuine scares and real mood to a film that could have easily been just another creature-feature that goes straight to video and straight to the back of your mind.
Overall a superior creature horror film.
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