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The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

"He said that wherever I went, he would find me, walk right up to me, and I wouldn't be able to see him."

When Hollow Man came out the film was concerned about two things; look at these amazing special effects and look at how God-like powers can turn someone psychotic. Interesting takes and with Verhoeven behind the lens, you knew the film would dive into sex and violence. The Invisible Man seems to be more concerned with a slow burn tension and the troubles of PTSD survivors of abusive relationships, which was a surprising delight to see a horror thriller tackle a serious subject matter with maturity.

In the middle of the night Cecilia leaves her abusive husband. The days preceding, she tries to get on with her life, but has trouble coping with her new found "freedom". Then she gets word that her husband has taken his own life and she feels a weight lifted. Soon though, she can't shake this eerie feeling that someone is watching her and when she suspects that it is her late husband turned invisible, her sanity is questioned by those close to her.

Leigh Whannell was given an opportunity to see if Universal can take their "Dark Universe" films in a new and different direction after the spectacular failure of Tom Cruise's The Mummy. It's not really a gamble for them since they went for low budget horror, which always seems to turn a buck. Instead of churning out a by the numbers horror thriller, Whannell has given us a thoughtful take on coping with abuse in relationships. The Invisible Man angle seems to be a perfect analogy for women who can't seem to escape their past terrors as the feeling of their abuser looms large over their lives. Even though he is not there, his presence is and The Invisible Man takes this and turns it into a horror reality. Really good horror films usually are analogies for things in our lives.

Elisabeth Moss delivers a stand out performance. Is she crazy? As the audience we see everything through her eyes, so in her head there could be an invisible entity stalking her, but maybe it's not real. Whannell frames his shots with enough background visibility that you are constantly looking past the foreground just to see if something moved or if something is off. This gives the film a sense of tension throughout the 2 hour running time. He also reuses his kinetic camera work from Upgrade for a sequence here when poop hits the fan.

The Invisible Man is worth your time if you like tight thrillers and Moss gives a stand out performance. It'll be interesting to see if Universal does more of these "classic movie villains" as stand alone movies and not try to be another MCU.