Review – The Invisible Man

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The Invisible Man is a movie with a fair amount of expectations. It, of course, is part of the Universal Monsters legacy as well as a classic story by H. G. Wells that the original Universal film was based on. There’s been numerous takes on the concept over the years in movies and television.   The writer/director of the new Invisible Man, Leigh Whannell, has a well-regarded history of horror films (the Saw films, the Insidious films, and Upgrade) he has written, produced and/or directed. His take on The Invsible Man definitely has nods to the horror elements of the source material, but also brings it into the present day with a large dose of psychological horror, which definitely makes it more suspensful than the standard shocker fare some people might anticipate.

Elizabeth Moss stars as Cecelia Kass, a woman who is trying to escape an abusive, controlling relationship with wealthy optics scientist Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). The movie opens with Cecelia acting on her plans to escape a drugged Griffin in the middle of the night and being picked up by her sister Emily outside of his oceanside estate. It sucks you into Cecelia’s plight with Moss’s portrayal of a woman who is on a knife’s edge as she escapes. She goes into hiding, staying with a childhood friend, detective James Lanier (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter Sydney (Storm Reid) and is still very nervous and frightened that Griffin is going to come after her.

When her sister brings her news that Griffin has committed suicide, she is relieved but is still not completely at ease.  When she meets with Griffin’s brother Tom (Michael Dorman), she is informed she has been left part of Adrian’s fortune, but with strings attached. This leaves her not completely believing he is really dead and as strange things start to happen in her life, she begins to realize his is somehow watching her and doing things to make everyone else believe she is delusional.

Throughout the film, Moss’s portrayal of a woman trying to convince everyone she is not crazy is very strong and believable. Even when she is at her lowest point, however, she is able to take action to fight back against her invisible attacker. The events in the movie play out with a lot of tension, a fair amount of blood (but not as much as you might expect), and some excellent acting  and stunt work when fighting with an invisible assailant.  The supporting cast are good in their roles, but Moss carries the film from the opening scenes to the very end.

If you are looking for a suspenseful movie, this should fit the bill. If you are looking for a lot of gory violence, though, you may be disappointed.   Overall, the suspense and Moss’ performance makes the movie worth seeing.

Jason Blum produced The Invisible Man for his Blumhouse Productions. The movie is written, directed and executive produced by Leigh Whannell, one of the original conceivers of the Saw franchise who most recently directed Upgrade and Insidious: Chapter 3.

The film is also produced by Kylie du Fresne (Upgrade, The Sapphires) for Goalpost Pictures. The executive producers are Whannell, Beatriz Sequeira, Charles Layton, Rosemary Blight, Ben Grant, Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Volturno. The Invisible Man is a co-production of Goalpost Pictures Australia and Blumhouse Productions, in association with Nervous Tick, for Universal Pictures.

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About the author

Lee Whiteside

Lee Whiteside

Lee Whiteside has been writing about science fiction and fantasy in various forms online since before the WWW existed. His website, sftv.org, keeps track of genre TV shows. He also is quite involved with organized fandom, having chaired CopperCons (16 & 23), LepreCons (28 & upcoming 36), The 2006 Nebula Awards, and the first North American Discworld Convention. And he runs the official Connie Willis Website at ConnieWillis.net.

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