Review: 'The Invisible Man' Modernizes The Character In A Realistic Horror Thriller

Movie Reviews
Kyle Brester
February 28, 2020
by Kyle Brester
The Invisible Man
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

After Universal Pictures failed at creating a cinematic "Dark Universe" of famous monsters (starting and ending with Tom Cruise's The Mummy), they instead decided to try making small budget stand-alone movies of these classic characters. The first character to try this format would be the Invisible Man. Though modern audiences may think that a character like the Invisible Man would not be scary, Universal Pictures proves that's not the case.

This remake of The Invisible Man is about a woman named Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) who escapes from her violent and manipulative relationship with her wealthy scientist boyfriend (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) only to discover weeks later that he commits suicide and leaves her his fortune. However, just when she feels safe, Cecilia starts to suspect that it's all a trick and that she is actually being hunted by her ex, who is possibly now invisible.

There are two big reasons why The Invisible Man succeeds as a horror thriller. The first comes from writer/director Leigh Whannel (who made the underrated Upgrade) because of his creativity in handling The Invisible Man. While you would think it is nearly impossible to make a character like the Invisible Man scary, Whannel changes that mindset immediately. Though the director is shooting empty hallways & furniture, his directing style creates a mixture of unease and tension when it needs to. Whannel's writing also explains how dangerous this man is, which heightens the film's horror elements.

The second reason comes from Elisabeth Moss because she carries the entire movie. Moss helps the character of Cecilia become a well-rounded person that audiences can feel compassionate for. This allows the audience to follow her journey easily as she tries to stop the Invisible Man from ruining her life. She has us buying into every moment she is a part of, from her dealing with trauma to going toe to toe with the Invisible Man. If Moss did not perform as well as she did, I could easily see this movie falling off the rails fast.

There are some inconsistencies in the story and moments of logic to where it could take someone out of the film. That being said, I trust that Whannell's directing will convince the majority of people to overlook them. The overall film is far better than those small instances of movie logic.

Thanks to clever directing and creativity, Leigh Whannel's The Invisible Man succeeds as a modern horror thriller and possibly paints a picture to Universal's handling on their other monster characters going forward.
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man - Universal Pictures
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man - Universal Pictures
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man - Universal Pictures
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Ghostbusters$0.5MJumanji: The Next Level$0.3MJurassic Park$0.2MJaws$0.2MDeadpool$0.2MRelic$0.1MThe Jungle Book$0.1MThe Hunt$0.1MBloodshot$0.1MStar Wars: The Force Awakens$0.1MGhostbusters$0.5MJumanji: The Next Level$0.3MJurassic Park$0.2MJaws$0.2MDeadpool$0.2MRelic$0.1MThe Jungle Book$0.1MThe Hunt$0.1MBloodshot$0.1MStar Wars: The Force Awakens$0.1MGhostbusters$0.5MJumanji: The Next Level$0.3MJurassic Park$0.2MJaws$0.2MDeadpool$0.2MRelic$0.1MThe Jungle Book$0.1MThe Hunt$0.1MBloodshot$0.1MStar Wars: The Force Awakens$0.1MGhostbusters$0.5MJumanji: The Next Level$0.3MJurassic Park$0.2MJaws$0.2MDeadpool$0.2MRelic$0.1MThe Jungle Book$0.1MThe Hunt$0.1MBloodshot$0.1MStar Wars: The Force Awakens$0.1M
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