How appropriate that in a week where a powerful male Hollywood producer has been imprisoned that a film about toxic masculinity and controlling relationships is released. The Invisible Man is the latest reworking of H.G. Wells story about our Editors ability to disappear when it’s his turn to buy a round of drinks. Starring Elizabeth Moss as Cecilia the wife of the founder of a hugely successful optics company, so successful that they have a state of the art house that ironically is an architectural eyesore. Right from the start there’s something wrong with them as a couple and in the middle of the night she, in a lengthy and near silent opening sequence, packs her bag doing her best not to make any noise before she clambers over the garden wall and is driven away to safety by her sister . Staying at an old school friends house who happens to be a cop but also a single father to a teenage daughter, Cecilia is soon informed of her husband’s suicide and consequently she will inherit his fortune.
Unfortunately as his long suffering wife Cecilia knows him only too well believing that her husband’s death is about as credible as a Gemma Collins fitness video. Bit by bit she comes to believe that not only is he still alive but that somehow he is pulling the strings of her life destroying it from beyond the grave. Her insistence that everything bad that is happening to her is actually her husband’s doing and sees her friends and family regarding in the same way that a casting director for Macbeth regards Joey Essex for the role. It’s all driven by her gradual realization that there are too many odd things going on for it to be coincidence and there are some extremely well orchestrated set pieces which occupy much of the first half of The Invisible Man many of them benefited from some great sound design where the slightest noise has you holding your breath.
The Invisible Man was going to be part of the studio’s Dark Universe featuring classic Universal monsters until it came crashing down with the perceived failure of The Mummy (although despite popular opinion it did turn a profit) but writer / director Leigh Whannell has taken the idea and run with it showing what a great genre writer he is having seen big success with horror films ‘Saw’ & ‘Insidious’ which became massively popular franchises and this is sure to follow with further films. Again in light of the #MeToo movement this is a female led film with Elizabeth Moss front and centre brilliantly capturing the turmoil of her situation as well as handling some bravura sequences especially one where she first encounters and fights the invisible man. Taking techniques from his under rated sci-fi film, ‘Upgrade’ and influenced by moments from ‘The Entity’, Whanell has put together a terrific crowd pleasing entertainment showing that what can’t be seen is often more effective than CGI overload and he creates ominous creep moments from what appear to be empty spaces that are more unsettling than a Harvey Weinstein casting interview. The Invisible Man is…ahem….a must see.
Here’s The Invisible Man trailer…….