The Invisible Man was originally going to be part of the Universal Cinematic Universe but thankfully that idea was scrapped after the failure that was Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, instead they had the groundbreaking idea of making a good, story driven, stand alone film – what mavericks! This iteration is directed by Leigh Whannell (wrote Saw and Insidious, directed Upgrade), adapted from the HG Wells book and a reboot of a film franchise first seen in 1933.
A somewhat familiar story has been given a modern #MeToo makeover, Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) is in an abusive and controlling relationship with the rich and successful businessman Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Virtually imprisoned in her home she manages to escape and soon after receives news of Adrian’s death. Cecilia is suspicious and her fears slowly but surely become a reality in a violent and increasingly nerve racking turn of events.
The Invisible Man is a jolly entertaining film of two separate halves, the first one a horror that slowly ekes out the fear and tension leaving you perched at the edge of your seat. With the nervousness and sense of dread high it morphs into a full-bloodied action thriller, with the titular baddie stalking cecilia and causing all kinds of deadly havoc – think The Terminator meets Halloween and you are not far off.
This violent, nerve jangling flick with it’s many twists and turns comes to an end in an explosive, climactic and cathartic manner. An ending that, whilst leaving a few questions, feels natural and does not exist solely to set up a sequel – although with the critical and commercial success it is garnering that will undoubtedly happen. Acting wise Elisabeth Moss stands out, making us empathise, worry and root for the downtrodden and fear riddled Cecilia who lives permanently at the end of her tether.
The Invisible Man is an entertaining horror that patiently ramps up the nervousness and dread in the first part, then rewards you with an action packed and blood soaked second. It may not reinvent the wheel but this fresh take on an old story is certainly worth a watch.