The Invisible Man (2020)
Director: Leigh Whannell
Writer: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Plot: A woman is stalked by her abusive ex-boyfriend after he finds a way to fake his suicide and become invisible.
Review: Ho. Lee. Shit. The Invisible Man is awesome. In Universal’s latest attempt to revamp their iconic line of monsters, I think they finally got it right. This succeeds in one way that The Mummy (2017), The Wolfman (2010), or even The Mummy (1999) never could. It’s actually scary. I don’t think I’ve ever been so genuinely creeped out by one of the classic monsters! I like this feeling. I could definitely get used to this. More The Invisible Man (2020) and less Dracula Untold, please.
First and foremost, I’ve gotta give props to the director, Leigh Whannell. Making a movie where one of the main characters is invisible has to be difficult. Making that worn-out concept legitimately scary has to be even tougher. But, he did it and it’s extremely effective. When we’re not supposed to know where Adrian (the titular invisible man) is, he uses wide shots of mostly empty rooms so our imaginations can fill in the blanks. We can just feel that the creep is smiling in the corner somewhere. But, when he wants us to know where Adrian is, he does these tight shots. Again, they’re mostly empty rooms but we know exactly where he is. There’s literally nothing on screen but it still manages to be terrifying. I was clenched up, waiting for something to happen a lot in this movie. The fight scenes could’ve looked really ridiculous too, but I thought they worked for the most part. Like I said, this could’ve been a silly movie (most of the Universal monster remakes are) and the fact that Whannell made such an effective movie is an impressive feat.
A very big chunk of that credit has to go to Elisabeth Moss too though. If the Academy Awards had any respect for horror, she’d easily be one of the nominees next year. This performance is not only one of the best I’ve seen in the past couple years; it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. She deserves all the love that’s being thrown her way. She acted her ass off. The way she plays a survivor of both physical and emotional abuse who’s being dragged back into it after she thought she was free is heartbreaking. She elevates what would’ve been an already impressive horror film to something on the next level. It’s definitely a must see.
I do have a slight complaint though. Don’t worry. It has nothing to do with the movie directly. It’s the trailers. They show a lot. Like, a lot a lot. In fact, for the first half of the movie, I was almost bored because I’d already seen all of the scary stuff that was happening. I was impressed but I found it hard to get fully involved emotionally. Luckily, that goes away for a big chunk of the middle half and most of the ending. In fact, what I believe was the scariest scene in the movie isn’t in the trailers. My jaw was on the floor for a solid five minutes after that. I was so blown away. From that point in, I was fully invested and stopped thinking about the trailers quite as much. So, overall, minor complaint, but I thought it was worth mentioning since it negatively affected my viewing experience for the first half and in case anyone finds themselves in the same state of mind.
So, please, Universal. Make more monster movies like this. Start with a good idea first. Don’t try to franchise them. Make them small. Make them personal. Make them like you did The Invisible Man. I’ll be there for all of them if you do.
TL;DR: The Invisible Man is super impressive. It’s scary. It’s emotional. It’s suspenseful. And it’s what Universal should be doing with their monsters.
Score: 9/10 (Amazing)