If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know that horror movies are not at the top list of my favorite genres. But something called to me with this movie. While the trailer for the film reveals most of the movie, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by how haunting The Invisible Man was.
The review is spoiler-free!
The Invisible Man stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass, a woman who escapes her home and relationship with her wealthy but abusive boyfriend (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). After his apparent suicide and a series of coincidences occur, Cecilia’s sense of reality is called into question as she believes her ex is still stalking her.
From the opening scene, you can tell this film is designed to create tension and bring a feeling of uncertainty to an audience. Watching Cecilia making her escape from her boyfriend’s modernist fortress over the sea had me on the edge of my seat. It’s wonderfully shot with the camera pan around sections of the house, wondering if – or when – she will slip up and wake her boyfriend from his slumber. Even though you don’t know the exact reason why, we can take a guess.
Once she escapes with the help of her sister (Harriet Dyer) and finding shelter with a childhood friend (Aldis Hodge), Kass is able to start rebuilding her life and breath again, that’s when small coincidences start to happen that escalate. That’s when you realize that Cecilia’s respite is fleeting and the terror begins.
Elisabeth Moss is one of my favorite actors in the business right now and this film should help solidify her status as a leading lady in films. A lot of the movie’s grip-hold is due to her performance: raw, edgy, almost unbelievably tense, she’s a woman whose own body and mind is a prison, as long as her ex is walking around without one. (The reveal for how the invisible man actually exists is a little hammy but fits into this modern remake).
Writer – Director Leigh Whannell plays fast and loose with the source material, keeping a decent pace with the two hour runtime. If you are looking for a place where the movie could slow down or drag, you’ll be hard pressed to find it. In comparison to his other films such as Upgrade, this movie feels like a step above in scope and ambition. Even though he often falls into genre tropes and and logical leaps, Whannell uses his lessons in horror from friend and fellow director, James Wan, excellently.
The buildup and catharsis to the third act might seem silly and also hurt by Whannell’s desire to put a neat bow at the end of his film, there are plenty of satisfying jolts of fear in this movie with a thrumming undertone of tension to push it along. One of the strengths of the film is how the tension not only speaks of supernatural terror, but of the modern day nightmare that any toxic partner can bring to the person that they claim to love the most, especially when they aren’t being loved back exactly how they expect. Telling this story in this form puts a light on this quiet, invisible battle so many fight.
Thanks for reading, everyone!
What are your thoughts on The Invisible Man? Do you think this remake was a better idea than a connected monster universe? Hopefully you all give this movie a chance!
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