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'The Invisible Man' is an Expertly Crafted Psychological Thrill Ride – Review

He’s anywhere, everywhere, and nowhere all at once.

Leigh Whannell follows up the critical success of Upgrade with a well-crafted, paranoia inducing psychological horror film. A modern retelling based on the classic character of The Invisible Man, this version is a spine-tingling look into the trauma one endures even once they’re finally free from their abuser. Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) plays an architect who escapes the sinister grip of her abusive, wealthy boyfriend, Adrian (Oliver Jackson- Cohen) with the help of her sister, Emily (Harriet Dyer) and close friend, James (Aldis Hodge). After he seemingly commits suicide, she inherits her late boyfriend’s large fortune, but believes that he has found a way to make himself invisible in order to continue haunting her life. 

This real world element of PTSD as a result of domestic abuse is encapsulated in our villain, The Invisible Man, grounding the film with the use of this horrific reality. This was a bold, but highly effective choice for Whannell to make – this implementation elevates the theme of the film without solely relying on it for the scare. Whannell creates an atmosphere of tension that is extremely palpable, diving deep into the fear and anxiety one can inherit after enduring trauma. 

(from left) James Lanier (Aldis Hodge), Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) and Sydney Lanier (Storm Reid) in The Invisible Man, written and directed by Leigh Whannell (Courtesy of Universal Studios)

Whannell delivers a refreshingly modern take on H.G. Wells’ story by incorporating technology, twisting the origin of the classic villain. Digging deep under our skin with his incredible directing and beautiful writing, Whannell wholly immerses the audience into the terror of our protagonist. The meticulously crafted camera movements tour the house The Invisible Man is haunting, leaving the audience as oblivious as Cecilia as to where he may be lurking. Moss shines in this role, giving us the most haunting performance i’ve seen in a long time. We feel her exhaustion, claustrophobia, and fear. Storm Reid and Hodge steal scenes with sweet moments as a father and daughter, easing our tension with comedic moments that tonally work within this chilling film.

I believe the failure of the Dark Universe benefited this film greatly, it stands completely on its own and succeeds in doing so. This is a prime example of elevated horror, a film not just meant to scare the audience, but provide insightful commentary and a perspective we don’t often see. I thoroughly look forward to what the brilliant mind of Leigh Whannell has to offer in the future. I highly recommend anyone who enjoys the horror genre or these classic monsters to check out Whannell’s reimagining.

The Invisible Man is currently available on VOD! 

9.5/10

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