Dir; Leigh Whannell. Starring; Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Harriet Dyer. R. Color. 124 min.
The effectiveness of “The Invisible Man” does not come from what you see on screen, but what you do not. A theme that is bought into 100 percent from beginning to end. There is a pop scare or two, but “Invisible Man” is far more concerned with ratcheting up tension over a long period instead of instant gratification sequences.
A story that has been told multiple times throughout the years in both horror as well as comedy form, this iteration of the Universal Monster Movie cannon is quite possibly the best since the 1933 original. Elisabeth Moss plays Cecilia, a beautiful woman tortured by her extremely abusive billionaire husband Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). The film wastes no time as they get into Cecilia trying to escape the grasp of Adrian from the opening frame as he tries to beat her to death. Cecilia runs to be with her sister Emily and finds comfort in her friend/police officer James (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter Sydney (Storm Reid). The sister thinks Cecilia has lost it because Adrian, a tech genius, clearly committed suicide. So he wants you to think. The friend wants to believe her, but it is admittedly very far fetched that Adrian has found a way to become invisible.
Thus begins a cat and mouse game between Cecilia and her own consciousness. She was abused for so long that perhaps all of these feelings of somebody in the room you cannot see are all in her head. Adrian’s brother Tom (Michael Dorman) is also very convincing in making the case that Adrian did indeed kill himself. I am not going to pull the whole ‘is he really dead’ routine, you’ve seen the trailers. However, the way in which the villain still exists is not something that one would anticipate heading into the film. It is not a twist, which makes for a well deserved breath of fresh air to this genre.
Without a doubt “The Invisible Man” is completely Elisabeth Moss’s movie. She carries this ship from start to finish and never makes the experience feel cheap or boring. When she is losing it in a hospital she goes all out in losing it. Director Leigh Whannell, whom I have little to no respect from prior work as a film maker, completely hits it out of the park with this one. The level of restraint is reminiscent of Hitchcokian style filmmaking. I did not say it was that level, but it is reminiscent so kudos to him.
Everyone knows how this is going to start, develop, and end. That does not however take away from the fact that “The Invisible Man” is an edge of your seat thrill ride that never feels cheap about what it is. In a world where nine out of ten movies in this genre are garbage, this belongs in the one out of ten section of pretty darn good.
Suck Factor: 2 out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!