So I got round to watching The Invisible Man yesterday. I will admit, I was slightly skeptical at first after all the hype and the fact The Mummy was nothing more than a Tom Cruise action movie; but Whannell has done incredibly well with this film.
It's been years since I've read the original H.G. Wells novel so I can't fairly compare it to that, in regards to comparison to the 1933 film starring Claude Rains it's a completely different kettle of fish. For me, the film was a lot more intense and truly frightening. I'd say it's a lot more similar to the likes of Hollow Man or Sleeping With the Enemy.
What Whannell has managed to do is make a monster movie that's firmly grounded in reality, making it truly terrifying, whilst subtlely addressing some pretty important social issues. Please don't go in thinking the film is nothing more than a driving force for a social agenda because it's not. It's subtle but it can't be ignored. Coming off the back end of the Weinstein case and the #MeToo movement, Whannell has subtely made a standpoint and given us a fantastic story with a very strong female lead. Throughout the entirety of the film with Cecelia (Elisabeth Moss) trying to convince everyone Adrian is invisible and in fact the person doing all of these terrible things literally mirrors a lot of domestic abuse cases and the Weinstein case. I mean it took over 80 women to come forward before he Weinstein was finally convicted and sentenced. The message that it's an uphill battle for women to take on a man with power in this film is undeniable.
The story, as I said previously, is firmly grounded in reality. There's no potion concocted by a mad scientist in this film. Oliver Jackson-Cohen's character, Adrian Griffin, leads the world in optical science and has managed to develop a suit that makes him invisible to the human eye. He then fakes his own suicide, and after Cecelia drugs him and flees in the night after suffering (what looks like years of control and domestic abuse), he goes to take revenge on the only woman that's left him (with a bit of a help). The story was really creepy and daunting; pretty harrowing if I'm honest. It was really well paced and didn't seem to die off at any point throughout the film. It's incredibly tense throughout as well, I was on the edge of my seat several times during the film. The film has minimal jump scares, Whannell really went for the well thought out, slow burn scares that chill you to your bone. Don't get me wrong there's a few scattered throughout the film but they are few and far between. In regards to the film's 'twist' I didn't see it coming at all. It really threw me; proper mouth open, WTF moment. Loved it! The ending was great, and if I'm honest, exactly what I was hoping for.
The cast were fantastic! Oliver Jackson-Cohen was insanely creepy as Adrian, did a fantastic job. You hated him by the end of the film. All the supporting cast were brilliant, Aldis Hodge was the one that stood out the most for me. Elisabeth Moss though...well she stole the show. She was incredible in it! To see her character transition from the timid, nervous wreck that wasn't even able to leave her friends house early in the film to the strong, confident, kick-ass woman we see just before the credits roll was great. Her performance was flawless!
The film was wonderfully shot, some interesting shots in there for sure. The special effects were fantastic, nothing looked rushed or poor. The design of the invisibility cloak was great! The soundtrack was great and fitted really well with the film. Moments of it did remind me of Insidious though.
All in all The Invisible Man is a fantastic film that will terrify you to your core. It stuck with me after I left the cinema if I'm honest, plays on your mind a lot! It reminds me that no matter what monsters, killers, demons, ghouls or creatures film-makers can conjure up, there is nothing more frightening than a human being. Please don't be put off by the social commentary either, it's incredibly subtle and doesn't interfere with the film or it's narrative.
This film has filled me with a lot of hope for the future of the Universal Monsters films though. I think Universal have learned their lesson from the vast differences between this and The Mummy and how well they performed at the box office.
An amazing film that exceeds the hype and delivers on so many different levels! Best way I can describe it- it's like Sleeping With the Enemy on speed.
The Invisible Man is now in cinemas.