The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

In Theatres: 
Feb 28, 2020
Running Time: 
124 minutes

The fact that scientist Adrian Griffin can turn invisible and do whatever he wants is not what makes The Invisible Man a monster movie. What makes The Invisible Man such a scary and intense film is that he was a monster long before he could disappear. The real horror lies in the abuse he physically and mentally delivers to Cecilia Kass, seen or unseen. It’s a horror that is all too real, with Elisabeth Moss delivering a commanding performance that’ll have you gripping the edge of your seat the entire time. The Invisible Man is unsettlingly good as it brings a classic story into the modern era.


The film opens with Cecilia Kass (Moss) fleeing from the lavish house of Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) while he sleeps soundly thanks to a spiked drink. The whole sequence plays out like a prison escape, because for her that’s exactly what it is. Even though she manages to get away from him, her nightmare is far from over. She can’t even leave the house without anxiety over whether or not he’s waiting for her outside. There’s this constant fear that he could show up at any moment. The film does a great job at recreating that fear and increasing it tenfold.


The Invisible Man does an excellent job at letting a scene speak for itself as the tension rises naturally. Empty space plays a huge role in building these scenes as oftentimes the camera will stay wide and characters will be off center. It’s possible that Adrian could be there or not. You don’t really know until the film plays its hand. And sometimes he is there and sometimes he isn’t. Either way, the tension is always present. 


What I also enjoyed about the film is that it doesn’t play to the idea that this is all in Cecilia’s mind, and it’s all a result of the trauma she went through with Adrian. One of the first encounters with the Invisible Man shows him picking up a knife and turning the stop up to high, causing a fire to breakout. There’s no questioning that there is someone there or that Cecilia is going crazy. Sure, all of the other characters have a hard time believing her but that’s to be expected. That just adds another layer of fear to the story that we see with real life abuse; that people aren’t often believed until it’s too late.


As far as the story itself goes, the plot is actually pretty predictable. There are a few surprise moments, but none of the big so-called reveals were all that shocking. Frankly that doesn’t matter too much because the terror is still there, despite knowing the bigger picture. It all makes sense, too, and that’s the most important thing. 


The Invisible Man is one film you won’t want to miss as it’s an effective and well-made horror film that successfully puts a modern spin on a classic Universal monster. Third time’s the charm, right?

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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