Movie Review: The Invisible Man

By Andrew McManus

Directed by Leigh Whannel

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman

Runtime: 125 minutes

Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, and language)

We have another reboot this week. “The Invisible Man” is actually taken from a H.G. Wells novel released in 1897. Since it was published we’ve seen many adaptions of the tell. The one I remember most that loosely follows the story is Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon. It was a cheesy sci-fi film with a hint of horror that came out in 2000. I’ve always liked the premise of this. When you ask someone what superpower they wish they could have a lot of the times you hear invisibility. Or you know the saying “If the walls could talk.” What if you were able to turn invisible? I had high hopes for this film due to the director and the production company. Yes, we have another Blumhouse production. The director Whannel really took off with Saw. He’s done countless horror films. Would this adaption be any better than the previous ones?

Onto the film.

We open with water crashing into rocks. There we see the title and then it disappears. (Neat addition) This movie hits the ground running, which is both good and bad. We meet our heroine Cecilla Kass (Moss) who’s trapped in her relationship with Adrian Griffin (Jackson-Cohen) She has drugged him and flees the home as her sister Emily (Dyer) picks her up. I have problems immediately with the film. The audience is just expected to see the terror of this relationship. Granted throughout the film we see why she left but to start us off in this scenario doesn’t allow for the viewer to feel invested. I did enjoy the fast pace but wish there were another few scenes to open it up.

Kass (Moss) is staying in hiding with her friend James (Hodge) He’s a police officer and is a brute. It’s obvious she’s safe. The music throughout the film adds tension when needed and you start to feel the paranoia that Kass feels the longer we are in this film. If you seen any of the trailers you’ll know this isn’t a spoiler. Cecilla’s ex Adrian has committed suicide. He leaves her 5 million dollars payable at $100,000 increments with the stipulations she doesn’t get into any trouble or doesn’t get committed to a hospital. I felt this was a BIG tell. Why was this stipulation added? Was the plan to make her go crazy? Adrian’s brother Tom (Dorman) is an attorney handling the estate. He says there is no love lost that his brother is gone. You would think life now for Cecilla would be easy. It’s not. She’s not convinced he is dad. According to her he is too vain to take his own life. He works in optics so she feels he’s figured out a way to vanish.

We then have a story with the main character being swallowed up by her own paranoia. This film does a nice job of keeping us on our toes. I have moments I felt she was right. Then I would have moments thinking maybe this is all In her head. The music as I stated helps with the tension. Your heart will race as she’s running and hiding from….thin air? I will say this. There are twists and LOTS of them. I covered my mouth a few times in shock at what was playing out in front of me. If you think you know this story, think again. This is a modern retelling of a classic that plays into our society today. I was impressed.

This film isn’t perfect though. As I stated, in the beginning, I wish they would have added too the film by showing how evil Adrian really was. Maybe this was done on purpose so we weren’t sure if we should believe Cecilla but it didn’t let me feel as much for the characters as I didn’t know the whole story. The acting was overall great. Elisabeth Moss is a force in this. She goes from powerful and brave, too a shell of herself in a matter of minutes. You really believe the character. Well most of the time. If you’re a fan of horror films I will disappoint you. I didn’t find it scary. To me this is more of a cat and mouse tell. The characters are playing chess trying to stay ahead of each other. I hoped for more “jump scares” unfortunately they are lacking. I will recommend this film, but honestly not in theaters. This doesn’t stand out to me as a MUST SEE. The story is solid, as well as the acting, but this is one you’ll watch once and I doubt you’ll watch it again. Fans of the main character will be in for a treat but if you’re on the fence I’d say wait for it to come out on bluray/redbox. Next week we are back into the animated genre with ONWARD. 3 stars out of 5 #SHOPLOCAL

By Andrew McManus