Director Leigh Whannell takes a 123-year-old story with many adaptations and makes an updated fantastic science fiction thriller.
Universal Pictures is back with another monster movie, after “The Mummy” failed to launch the Dark Universe. This time, producer extraordinaire, Jason Blum of Blumhouse, stepped in to take the reins.
“The Invisible Man” follows Cecilia Kas, played superbly by Elizabeth Moss, who is stuck in a controlling and violent relationship with a rich and brilliant scientist, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Cecilia escapes one night and is rescued by her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer) and taken to the house of their childhood friend, James Lanier (Aldis Hodge), house to hide. When Cecilia gets the news that Adrian has committed suicide and left her with millions of dollars, she becomes suspicious and loses her sanity when things start to happen.
“The Invisible Man” is a fun, terrifying, anxiety-inducing, claustrophobic ride that needs to be seen with a crowd on opening night.
Whannell was given the freedom to have fun while directing this movie. There are long tracking shots that give the viewer anxiety, knowing that something is going to happen, but it never does. It is a trick that he has borrowed from his friend, superstar horror director James Wan. There are no cheap jump scares in “The Invisible Man.” Everything is set up and the scares come out of nowhere. The way Whannell uses the scenery and the cinematography is truly something to see. Whannell is a master with camera effects & sound design, which is on full effect with only a budget of $9 million . Whannell also chose to not feature the Invisible Man as the main character, but to use him as a scary force that is always around.
You relate to Cecilia throughout the entire movie because there is a feeling like you are being watched. You don’t know where Adrian is, but you know he is there. That is what is so fun about “The Invisible Man” trying to figure out if Adrian is in the scene or not.
Moss’s performance is one of her best and is horrifying to watch. Her performance feels like a woman that has been abused and traumatized. She acts with her eyes and as a viewer, you feel her pain. The way she turns from being completely normal to mentally disturbed is fantastic. When there are points in the movie that Moss needs to get physical, she does so seamlessly. Moss’s performance is really something special and is worth the price of admission.
All of the other actors in the movie are good. Hodge, who plays a police officer in the movie, does a great job of playing the protector role. He is intense when needed, but loving when Cecilia is being tormented. His daughter in the movie is played by Storm Reid, who continues to shine in her roles after the colossal failure, “A Wrinkle in Time.” There is a certain scene in the middle of the movie that takes place with Reid and Moss that is horrifying and really shows off the acting between both of the actors. Jackson-Cohen isn’t in the movie a lot, but when he is, he makes his presence felt. He plays a really good arrogant, snake of a villain. You can watch his performance and know there isn’t something quite right with him.
“The Invisible Man” came out at a great time and is a powerful movie with our culture changing and being aware of issues. “The Invisible Man” covers topics of physical abuse, rape, and not believing women. Moss’s character is a survivor. The feeling of not being believed is a very relatable feeling in general, but especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Whannell delivers the best classic monster movie in a long time. He took a character that had been done dozens of times and updated it. After seeing the movie, you will feel like you’re being watched by someone –– something Whannell hoped to achieve with this movie “I want to stress you out, that is my goal. I want to ruin your week after you see this movie, I hope I’m successful,” Whannell said at the Los Angeles premiere.
“The Invisible Man” opens everywhere, Feb. 28.