The Invisible Man centers around Elisabeth Moss’s Celia. At the beginning of the film, Celia narrowly escapes her abusive, controlling, and gaslighting boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). She spends the next few months in hiding with her protective cop friend James (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter Sydney (Storm Reid). Just when it seems like things are finally getting better, Celia gets summoned by Adrian’s brother, Tom (Michael Dorman). Adrian has apparently committed suicide, and Celia is heir to his sizeable fortune. Shortly after this revelation, Celia begins noticing strange things happening around her.
It’s a well-executed slow burn. We see kitchen utensils moving on their own, sheets getting pulled by no one, etc. Is it all in her head, or has Adrian somehow found a way to invisibly torture her? The film does a fantastic job showing the possibility of both. There’s something really deranged about Elisabeth Moss’s character that services the mystery really well. There’s a satisfying twist that is pretty easy to guess, but still, it works, and there’s no feeling of being blind-sided or cheated.
The script is solid, the cast is excellent, and most of the special effects are impressive too. With that being said, I definitely would have liked for the film to have more of a supernatural flair to it. I also feel like there were some instances where the ancillary characters were written to be a little too oblivious. One last issue I want to note is that there’s this really annoying bass throbbing noise that happens.
“…a respectably clever psychological character piece with a fantastic performance by Elizabeth Moss.”
I’m guessing it’s there to try and build-up suspense and tension. Do you know what else can build up suspense and tension? Silence. Try it. All we needed was scared heavy breathing. This stupid noise took me out of the movie on more than one occasion. I also wish there was a little more humor in the film, some levity here and there could have worked wonders.
The Invisible Man is worth a watch for its strong performances, high tension, and agreeable twists and turns. It pays homage to the H.G. Wells novel and the original film in a few fun ways but ultimately chooses to do its own thing. It’s not quite a slasher like its predecessor Hollow Man, as it taps more into the visceral fears of being alone and vulnerable.
I would love to see a shared universe featuring the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and the rest. I think there’s potential for a fun and scary movie that just hasn’t been tapped into yet. Do away with the action and don’t rely on spectacle and an overabundance of bad computer-generated set pieces. Focus on the scares. These characters started out scary, and Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man proves they work best when they stay that way.
"…Universal’s Dark Universe is Dead. Long Live Universal’s Newer, Darker Universe."