The Invisible Man (2020)

invisible man poster 2020 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visual: 8/10

Clever, smart modernization, unnerving

Some predictable points

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Invisible Man

Studio: Blumhouse Productions

Genre(s): Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): February 24, 2020 (Premiere)/February 28, 2020 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

invisible man camera suit

This was a missed opportunity to turn the movie into a wacky sex-romp comedy like Porky’s with the invisible suit

Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) is the wife of a husband named Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who will not let her go.  Fleeing with the help of her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer) and a police officer friend named James (Aldis Hodge), Cecilia fears Adrian will find her and bring her back.  When Cecilia learns Adrian has committed suicide and his brother Tom (Michael Dorman) reveals she’s inherited her wealth, Cecilia suspects it is another trap by Adrian.  Adrian always could turn people against Cecilia and it appears he might be doing it again from beyond the grave.

Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, The Invisible Man is a horror thriller.  Loosely based on H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel, the film was released just before the COVID-19 outbreak and quickly rushed to streaming and purchase.  The film was well received.

invisible man attack elisabeth moth

I’m always impressed when a person can pick another person up with one arm…maybe it has an exo-skeleton too

Movies were people are framed are the hardest to watch for me.  They generally involve good people stuck in a horrible situation that no one will believe.  The Invisible Man might be the reigning champion of this and by combining horror and suspense with a modern story of a woman caught in an abusive relationship, it still feels fresh despite the multiple takes on the story.  Due to aspects of the script, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

Cecilia’s character is broken and that makes all the difference in the movie.  Normally, I don’t find invisible people movies that frightening or scary, but this take on it by amplifying the paranoia and instability of the character changes things up.  It doesn’t matter if “the invisible man” is in the room or not…her fear that he could be there is just as bad and continues to warp her through gaslighting.  Much like people who suffer from OCD, he only needs to pop up once or twice to confirm her fears and push her into another panic spiral…it is torturous and mixed with some twists (while somewhat obvious) that add to the story.

invisible man elisabeth moss restaurant

I know this looks bad…but trust me…invisible guy…

Moss really sells the film.  Following her less than sympathetic turn in Us as one of the characters you didn’t really mind seeing killed, she once again creates a totally believable woman on the verge of a breakdown…but she still has a bit of that Peggy Olson fortitude which made her a standout on Mad Men.  She’s “backed up” by some people who are really quick to believe that could go really dark, really quick which is a slight weakness in the script, but it does serve to move the story on.

Unlike previous Invisible Man adaptations where a mad scientist experiment creates an invisibility “potion” that makes the character invisible, this invisibility is somewhat backed by science.  There is work being done on the tech is used to create the invisibility suit (aka bending light around an object essentially (or in this case projecting with microcameras).  It is a nice modernization that leads to some interesting visuals.

invisible man suit cameras

Why does it feel like somebody’s watching me?

The Invisible Man is frustrating in that you find yourself putting yourself in Cecilia’s shoes all the time and calling out her mistakes and where she could “fix” stuff (like once he revealed himself at the hospital, he was toast).  You could also argue that if she knew how to work the invisibility suit, she could have just showed up at her sister’s dinner and said “ta-da” as she appeared out of nowhere.  There are countless options, but it is a movie and you also can’t play those “what if” games while enjoying most movies.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride of The Invisible Man…and bask in the uncomfortable voyeurism of the film.

Related Links:

The Invisible Man (1933)

Hollow Man (2000)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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