A refreshingly new take on an old classic.
Universal Pictures hasn’t got the best reputation when it comes to horror remakes. Dracula Untold, The Wolfman and The Mummy are a few examples of them missing the mark. Naturally, I had my concerns when I found out the studio were giving us a new spin on The Invisible Man.
It was only when I found out that Leigh Whannell was the writer/director that I thought this could have potential. The filmmaker is the man responsible for movies such as Saw and Insidious – therefore he’s no stranger to horror.
In the latest take on HG Wells’ 1897 novel, we see Cecilia Kass (Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss) run away from her abusive inventor boyfriend Adrian (The Haunting of Hill House’s Oliver Jackson-Cohen) while he’s sleeping in the dead of night. Without a single word being spoken, it is clear to us that her life may very well depend on him not waking while she makes her escape.
After years of being controlled and beaten by a sociopath, she manages to find solace with a trusted cop friend (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid).
She soon learns that Adrian has killed himself – but rather than feeling relieved, she becomes convinced that he is in fact still alive and stalking her using invisibility technology he’d developed.
Good luck explaining that to those around you without looking crazy!
The Emmy Award-winning actress is phenomenal in this movie. When an actor is essentially talking to themselves in an empty room, this could easily become comical. Not for one second did it feel like Moss was alone on set. I was 100 per cent invested into the fact that an unseen evil presence was lurking beside her. I was on the edge of my seat throughout.
Moss’ character is also very relatable. I think it’s fair to say that most of us have probably been the victim of abuse in one form or another – whether it be verbal, physical or emotional. It could be a time where someone made us feel worthless or we felt controlled. Being able to relate to Cecilia had me rooting for her even more.
There is nothing scarier than our own imagination. The Invisible Man proves that ‘less is more’ – something I haven’t seen since the original Paranormal Activity movie. Not knowing what this evil force looks like or where it is made for a truly terrifying viewing experience.
My minor criticisms only arise in the third act. As the story expands to more public locations, it starts to defy logic. For example, there’s a scene set in a busy restaurant where eye-witnesses and security cameras could easily have ‘blown the whistle’ on the whole situation – and it’s during times like this where the suspense decreases dramatically. However, these moments are few and far between in an extremely well-made movie that is most definitely my favourite Invisible Man adaptation yet – and this deserves to be seen.
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid & Harriet Dyer
Running Time: 2 Hrs 5 Mins
Director: Leigh Whannell
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