The Invisible Man is a fantastically crafted horror-thriller that inflicts anxiety and paranoia from the very beginning while also touching on a very important message.
I’ve been looking forward to The Invisible Man since I first heard about it. Obviously, this remake was supposed to be part of Warner Bros’ Dark Universe, but after the poor reception for Tom Cruise’s The Mummy reboot, it seems those plans were shaken up. Now, WB has dropped that whole plan and Universal was left picking up the scraps, although it may be in way better hands now, especially after The Invisible Man, which is absolutely fantastic.
For so many years, critics and movie-goers alike truly believed the horror genre in cinema was on the decline due to the lack of quality films. But, throughout the last few years, I honestly believe it’s one of the best genres to be a fan of. Some movies stand out, at least for me, include IT, Don’t Breathe, Halloween, Get Out, Us, Hereditary, and Green Room. I’m definitely adding The Invisible Man to the growing list of quality films because it’s expertly made when it comes to storytelling, editing, and sound editing/mixing. Plus, the performances, specifically from Elisabeth Moss, are incredible.
I figured the movie would play a little more into the horror aspect, if I’m being honest. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s still terrifying in some scenes not only because of the jump scares, but also because of the suspense and unpredictability involved. The movies plays more into the anxiety and paranoia of what the protagonist is going through and you feel almost every single one of her emotions like it’s your own.
That’s what ultimately makes this movie work the most for me. Yes, it’s a fictionalized and classic horror tale recreated with a more modern and unique take. However, the story feels very genuine and real. I’m not saying a woman who has actually been in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, who decides to leave, will be haunted by an invisible ex-partner. But, at times, it may very well feel like you are being haunted or stalked by that person or your past because of all the horrible things they put you through. So, even though, as a viewer, I’ve never personally experienced something like this, I could definitely feel her pain and the struggles she’s dealing with.
What makes this story work even more is how she’s trying to explain her pain and what she’s experiencing, but no one seems to understand. Instead, they brush her off and categorize her as mentally unstable or psychotic. I believe this is also something victims of abuse go through once they decide to finally leave. When someone doesn’t understand their pain, they try to downplay it, which isn’t okay. I won’t go into specific details, so you’ll need to see it to truly feel her trauma and pain.
This movie may also hit on a personal level for this who may have experienced something similar to this in their lifetime. Even if your experience isn’t nearly as extreme, I’m sure there are a number of people who’ve always had a fear of being stalked, a fear of something unknown, and so on. The Invisible Man hits this on many levels and it’s overwhelmingly effective.
Speaking more on the camera work, I was blown away by how well-done it really is. The film is shot in a way where you see Moss’ character, Cecilia Kass, in rooms by herself. But, deep down, you know she really isn’t and part of that is not only her performance, but also the way the scenes are set up to look. It really builds up the tension and becomes a formula in the movie that works extremely well.
Moss does a fantastic job selling the character of Cecilia and the supporting cast involved only elevates her performance even more-so. Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, and so on are also fine, but make no mistake. Moss makes this movie and I truly believe she should be in consideration for a “Best Actress” nomination come awards time.
Director Leigh Whannel is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. He did a fantastic job with Upgrade and he did even better with The Invisible Man. It’s my favorite film of the year so far and it’s one of the best horror-thriller movies I’ve seen in years. This film will be talked about for years to come and I highly recommend it to anyone.