Before we get too far into the review, I think it is important to note if you or your friends have experienced extreme Domestic Violence and are planning to see this very chilling and very suspenseful film it could disturb and upset you. If you or somebody you know is in need of help, the national Domestic Violence hotline number is 1-800-799-7233.
Universal Studios saw how successful the Marvel Cinematic Universe was and wanted to copy it. Instead of superheroes though, Universal Studios had the rights to all of the classic movie monsters like the Mummy, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman to name a few. They proclaimed to the world that they were going to make the Dark Universe, a universe where all these classic creatures would reside. Their first major movie came out in 2017, The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. It bombed and bombed horribly. So Universal Studios wisely abandoned their plan for the Dark Universe and instead decided to just make movies based on these classic characters. This has been a great decision so far. The first movie in line with this philosophy is The Invisible Man.
The Invisible Man is a modern-day reimagining of the classic H.G. wells story of the same name. Cecilia, played by Elisabeth Moss, is trying to escape a very abusive relationship by her boyfriend Adrian, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who is a genius in the field of Optics. She escapes and learns that her ex-boyfriend is dead, however events start happening which point to somebody hunting her who can’t be seen.
I really enjoyed this movie. Leigh Whannell wrote and directed this film on a really small budget of only $7 million. If that name is familiar, he was the writer for Saw and Insidious. Now The Invisible Man, in my opinion, is not a horror movie but is more of a suspense thriller. However, Whannell’s experience with horror movies has made him a master of creating suspense which I feel this movie has in spades. I loved the way he filmed this movie, where he would linger on scenes which allowed the audience to ask whether the invisible man was present or not. He also is no slouch when it comes to writing. The story and the characters he created were very rich. My biggest complaints with most of the movies this year has been the lack of good characters and character arcs. Whannell delivers with both. Even his minor characters like Cecilia’s sister feel they have more personality than many of the major characters in all of January’s and February’s film releases.
As well as Whannell has written these characters, Elisabeth Moss does an even better job of portraying Cecilia. Her performance really sells the movie. I think the audience really connects with her desperation and her fear that nobody will believe her. Now I know she probably won’t be up for an award for this performance because the Oscars don’t like movies like these, but it is that good of a performance.
The reason, I didn’t give this film an “A” was because there were a couple of miscues with the story and realism. Nothing that would prevent somebody from appreciating the film but a few things as a screenwriter myself that I didn’t agree with.
Overall, I would give this movie a B+ (A Good Movie). Universal Studios decision to not go ahead with the Dark Universe is paying off because they are more focused on story versus tie in. They also picked the right person, Leigh Whannell, to pen this tale because his characters feel so real and he really knows how to create real tension not your fake out jump scares. Elisabeth Moss does a great job portraying, Cecilia, a woman who is trying to escape an abusive relationship. We really feel for her and her struggle as she tries to escape her boyfriend and also when she is being hunted and controlled by an invisible man. Good acting and good story make for an enjoyable time. Who would have thought in February we would have gotten something this well done? This is a good movie and one I would see in the theater.
The Invisible Man is rated R for strong bloody violence and language. It was directed and written by Leigh Whannell. The Invisible Man stars Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Harriet Dyer.