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The Invisible Man (2020) Review

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The Invisible Man

Time: 124 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, cruelty, self-harm & domestic abuse
Cast:
Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass
Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Adrian Griffin
Aldis Hodge as James Lanier
Storm Reid as Sydney Lanier
Harriet Dyer as Emily Kass
Michael Dorman as Tom Griffin
Director: Leigh Whannell

The film follows Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss), who receives the news of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) suicide. She begins to re-build her life for the better. However, her sense of reality is put into question when she begins to suspect her deceased lover is not actually dead.

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The Invisible Man was one of my most anticipated movies of 2020, although the concept of a remake of a classic horror monster movie seemed like it was destined to fail. There were a few reasons I was very interested in this movie however. First of all, you have Leigh Whannell directing, who showed himself to be a massive talent behind the camera with his last film Upgrade, so I knew that this movie was in good hands. Second you have Elisabeth Moss in the lead role, I haven’t seen her in a ton of movies or tb, but she’s been great in the few things I’ve watched her in. Third of all, they seemed to be modernising the story into something different, which at least showed it had potential to have a fresh and different take on the story. I was really excited for the movie, but it was actually lot better than I thought it would be.

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The Invisible Man is a modern version of the original story, both of the book by H.G. Wells, and the original 1933 movie of the same name. Of all the classic horror stories, this seemed the hardest to adapt, since it’s pretty hard to make one invisible man actually scary, even though I liked the 30s movie, the titular character really wasn’t all that scary. However, Whannell and co. managed to pull it off. He definitely reworked a lot of the story to modernise it, but it works to some great effect. Although the movie features a man who it is invisible, the story is really about domestic abuse and gaslighting, and explores the traumas on an abusive relationship. That aspect was handled very well, and was probably more unsettling than the actual invisible man part. The movie can be very unnerving, and you feel paranoid throughout, just like the protagonist. Some of the concepts and ideas on paper at first sound silly, specifically the whole invisible aspect (without spoiling anything), but Whannell manages to make it work. I know that some people were a little worried about the trailers showing too much, but I can assure you there’s more to the movie than what was shown there. There’s only a couple of slight issues I had with the movie. The second act had some slow moments, even though I was invested in the movie throughout. Also, while cameras play a part in the movie, there are times where they are conveniently involved, and felt conveniently not involved at other specific points. They didn’t affect the movie too much for me however. Overall I was consistently captivated by The Invisible Man.

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Elisabeth Moss is one of the best parts of this movie, she plays her part excellently. As well made as the movie is, much of the film is riding on her performance, she provides such an effective emotional centre throughout and really sells everything the main character has to endure throughout. A lot of the time she has to essentially act on her own with an invisible person, and sell it convincingly, and she definitely does that. The rest of the cast with the likes of Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen are good, and play their parts well enough. However, it really is Moss’s show throughout.

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Leigh Whannell directed this movie excellently, and was one of the parts that made it work so well. It’s one thing to just have an invisible person as a villain messing with the main character, it’s another to make it feel a threat to the audience, and he definitely did that. The use of camera shots and movements are so effective, really making you unnerved at what you’re seeing (or rather what you’re not seeing). It’s not just seeing a seemingly invisible person throwing objects (or people) around that’s scary, it’s the lingering shots at empty rooms that really gets to you, as you’re not sure whether The Invisible Man is indeed there. The actual visual effects on the Invisible Man could’ve been really goofy, but they work greatly here. The sound design and the score by Benjamin Wallfisch are powerfully effective, escalating the tense atmosphere. There are so many sequences in The Invisible Man that are among the most memorable scenes that I’ve seen in recent horror movies.

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The Invisible Man is an incredibly effective, unnerving and suspenseful horror movie, an excellent modern take on the source material. It’s very well directed by Leigh Whannell, and led by Elisabeth Moss’s powerhouse performance. I can’t wait to see Whannell direct even more movies, he’s shown himself to be a great filmmaker, especially within the horror genre. If you’re a horror fan, definitely check it out as soon as possible.