THE INVISIBLE MAN review: The chilling thriller that no one saw coming

The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures)

The Invisible Man was a movie that was barely on my radar. I watched the trailers, I was intrigued but I wasn’t ecstatic. However, I was willing to give it a go, perhaps it would be a pleasant surprise.

Well, maybe that is an understatement. I genuinely believe that this flick is the thrilling, nail biting and genius spectacle that people are hunting for. A film that provides almost everything- humor, terror, suspense, relief and many shocking surprises. It’s all there.

The Invisible Man, directed by Leigh Whannell, is a contemporary take on the classic tale written by H. G. Wells. The film follows Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) who escapes the clutches of her abusive boyfriend in the dead of night. After her ex boyfriend commits suicide, Cecilia receives a portion of his vast fortune. However, Cecilia suspects that his death was a hoax. After a series of eerie coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone that nobody can see, an invisible man.

I think the first thing that should be praised is the role that Moss executes brilliantly. The entire film very much focuses on Cecilia so it was imperative that her character was handled diligently. Cecilia is the star of the show and she had to convince us that the Invisible Man was real. Moss absolutely knocked it out of the park.

Check out the trailer below

What was incredibly fascinating to witness was Cecilia’s decline and how the prospect of her ex returning consumed her. It’s an incredibly stressful journey because we, as the audience, witness the things that Cecilia experience and we’re forced to watch the outside world reject her. We follow Cecilia from the very beginning and we see how these events change her.

While there are other characters like James Lanier and his daughter Sydney who provide some needed relief, the film is very much dependent on Moss’s delivery to add to that strenuous atmosphere that runs throughout the entire thing.

I think that’s why this film worked so well for me. Having an invisible entity gives you a lot of opportunities to mess with typical conventions and establish a vibe that causes constant unease. It could have been very similar to particular paranormal films that reuse the same tropes and on occasion it did- floating objects and footsteps. However, The Invisible Man grasped every opportunity. It was shocking, clever, and it did a brilliant job at manipulating the audience. It wanted us to question whether someone was there and that ambiguity doesn’t ease. I found myself scanning every surface in every scene, looking for a moving object or even a shadow. This film deliberately tricks you and it instantly becomes more than a film. It becomes a puzzle.

When the Invisible Man makes himself known, it was always in such a creative way and it was incredibly refreshing. I won’t go into specifics but I absolutely loved how they incorporated the ability to turn invisible and they don’t hold back.

They don’t hold back at all.

It has been a long long time since I have been in a cinema where a vast majority of the audience gasp… more than once.

My original opinion of the film was that the trailers revealed too much. I often don’t have that opinion but for The Invisible Man I thought the element of surprise had been compromised massively. I have never been more wrong. This thrilling tale is full of surprises that I didn’t anticipate and I was glued to the screen instantly.

As a soundtrack lover, I must also recognize the soundtrack by Benjamin Wallfisch. I cannot emphasize the importance of a decent soundtrack. These soundtracks help anchor our feelings. They can change the way we feel and they can evoke any type of emotion. Wallfisch’s soundtrack gives the film that edge. It’s loud, eerie and very unique. While the occasional silence helped keep me on the edge of my seat, the loud booming tracks just distilled a sense of fear that got my blood pumping.

The Invisible Man is a stunning thriller ride that came out of nowhere. I walked out in disbelief. I couldn’t believe how good it was and I’m hoping it catches other people off guard as well.

8.5/10

The Invisible Man is due in cinemas February 28, 2020. Let us know what you think in the comments.


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