The Invisible Man
review by Bobby Blakey
Universal had hoped to launch an all-new shared Universal Monster universe with the Tom Cruise led film The Mummy, but with it not living up to box office hopes they have gone a new direction with some of the films. SAW co-creator and Upgrade director Leigh Whannell has stepped in to take on The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Could this latest vision of the classic tale bring the scares or should it stay invisible?
The Invisible Man follows Cecilia Kass who is trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, but escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister, their childhood friend and his teenage daughter. But when Cecilia’s abusive ex commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of all things Leigh Whannell all the way back to SAW with it being my favorite franchise and his previous film Upgrade making my top ten films of 2018. So it goes without saying that his involvement in this film was an instant see for me. I was concerned that the trailers had given too much away but am glad to say that there was so much more here to enjoy. The slow build of the story worked to perfection and brought that old school style to the film that Whannell has become known for. This is a story that uses the science fiction elements to make it work since the original film in 1933, but Whannell has crafted something new to the story that blends some realism to the sci-fi horror and knocks it out of the park.
Much like Upgrade, the actors have to sell moments that are not natural with this time being the encounters with the Invisible Man. These are what make or break the overall aspect of the film and are handled perfectly. The cast are
all great with Moss carrying the heavy load of it all. She brings all the emotion and physicality to the role as she descends into madness trying to figure out what’s going on. Through this story they not only tackle a classic Universal Monster flick while creating a new and original story, but also inject it with the varying aspects of an abusive relationship. The use of the control, fear and abusive of power offers up a sadly relatable element that will resonate with some and in turn makes the story more powerful.
In the end I loved this movie and love seeing the growth of Whannell as a filmmaker. He continues to showcase his greatness as a writer and filmmaker and I hope this is one that latches onto audiences. The ending does lend itself to some possible sequel ideas, but also lets it stand on its own as a complete film should it not spawn any more. Whether you loved any of the previous versions of the Invisible Man story, Whannell or the cast get out there and support this great new addition to the history of the famed H.G. Well’s tale.