Loosely following James Whales’ 1933 adaptation of the same name, The Invisible Man is a true triumph for modern-day cinema. With director Leigh Whanell (Saw, Insidious) taking the reigns, we are treated to a wholly enjoyable sci-fi thriller that isn’t beyond the realms of reality.
The Invisible Man opens with our female protagonist, Cecelia Kass, escaping her abusive and manipulating husband. Cecilia flees to safety and the home of her policeman friend and his late-teens daughter. However, unfortunately for Cecelia, her husband is a renowned pioneer of optic technology and has used his extensive knowledge to develop a ground-breaking invention that allows the power of invisibility. Using his new-found invisibility suit, he sets out to stalk, scare and terrorise his runaway bride, to traumatic ends.
While the premise screams a two-hour cheese-fest, this is surprisingly far from the case. In fact, a dark undertone runs beneath the surface from credits-to-credits; bringing with it a looming cloud of foreboding, owing to the uncertainty surrounding our invisible anti-hero’s presence at any one time.
A Perfect Heroine for The Invisible Man
Playing lead character, Cecelia, is the brilliant Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men). As the film gradually becomes darker, we see the movie’s mood mirrored in the face of Moss as she spirals deeper and deeper into a dark chasm of trauma, fear and insanity. Moss’ unique ability to say a thousand words with just a facial expression is displayed throughout; while her distinctive acting perfectly complements the sombre tone of The Invisible Man.
The Invisible Man has Some Clever Moments
With an invisible adversary, the opportunities for clever moments are ample; and Whales never misses an opportunity to throw them into the mix. Cecelia becomes increasingly inventive with her anti-invisibility methods, always showing ingenuity and creativeness.
There’s one notable moment in the film that had my fiancé and I shout out loud at the boldness and shock factor of it. A sudden explosive few seconds that turns the film around and wakes up those at the back. It’s the moments like these that are an outstanding credit to both director and cast alike.
While The Invisible Man does have its slow moments, it still manages to keep you drawn in. Moss portrays the lead role with the exclusive flair she does so well; while Whales keeps us on our toes with an ever-present sense of impending danger.
At times, The Invisible Man threatens to slow its pace a little too much. However, just as these rare moments arise, it claws its way back with scenes that will leave your head spinning as you ask “WTF just happened?”.
The movie carries with it a sting in its a tale as it delivers one final twist towards the end that makes The Invisible Man a must on any movie fan’s ‘to-watch’ list.