The Invisible Man (2020) is a fresh and modern retelling of an old story. Smart, scary, and well-acted by Elisabeth Moss. This film is a high-level fright night.
Writer-director Leigh Whannell (2018's Upgrade) takes H. G. Wells' classic story and propels it into the Me Too era. The Invisible Man is a fresh twist with heart-stopping moments one after another. This film was an unexpected scary delight. Cecilia Kass (a riveting Elisabeth Moss) is trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy scientist, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House). In the dead of night, Cecilia drugs Adrian and escapes with the aid of her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC's The InBetween). Cecilia's childhood friend James (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO's Euphoria) take her in. Soon after Cecilia's disappearance, she receives a letter stating that her abusive ex has committed suicide, leaving her a massive fortune.
Later on, strange events start happening around Cecilia — the stove catches on fire, bed blankets are removed, and contents of her portfolio are gone. Cecilia also passes out during a job interview and the hospital finds that she has high levels of Diazepam in her system — the same drug she used on Adrian to escape. Cecilia begins to suspects that Adrian's death was a hoax and that he's figured out a way to turn himself invisible. This begins to take an emotional toll of Cecilia and Moss' powerful performance is a gut-punch. I won't spoil what happens next, but The Invisible Man avoids the normal horror tropes and sets the bar high for future horror films. There are tons of twists and turns in The Invisible Man — from the hold-your-breath opening sequence to the creepy attic scene to a chilling scene in a mental hospital. Whannell's wonderful craft to the horror genre will keep you guessing at all times.
On top of that, we get another tour de force performance by Moss — proving why she's one of the very best in Hollywood right now. Moss' performance was potent, gripping, and fully in control of one's emotional toll. I could feel her pain, her agony, and it was unnerving at times. Another aspect that made this movie so fun was its impressive technical work. Whannell lingered on long camera shots dialing up the suspense to a 10. He also used fast-moving and tightly constructed camera shots when Cecilia was being attacked by Adrian. Even though you could not see him, Adrian's invisible presence lingered in the shot, sending chills down your spine. The Invisible Man knew how to deliver the frights along with an updated message in the Me Too era. In the end, The Invisible Man is a real 'surprise' that no one saw coming.
The Invisible Man is rated R (Restricted). For some strong bloody violence, and language.
Directed by Leigh Whannell
Starring a fierce Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Benedict Hardie, and an invisible Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
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