The film jumps right into the action, with a very worried and panicked Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) doing anything she can to escape. She’s being controlled by a very powerful man, Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Her careful planning pans out, and she believes herself to finally be free. It gets only better when her controlling partner appears to have ended it all. Things start going well, but she continues to feel haunted by something that physically isn’t there.
This drives a lot of the plot, what exactly would happen if someone was seeing something that others didn’t? That’s a really interesting concept, as it dives into the themes of controlling someone entirely and going beyond regular means to do so. It’s something that feels grounded, entirely realistic and actually terrifying. The silence is deafening, and everyone responded with a sense of terror as events progressed. It actually felt like a real type of horror due to the sense of this being something plausible. It’s a very interesting narrative, an intimate tale that isn’t too grand in scale.
It focuses on its characters, creating a selection of eerie situations. It’s actually really fun to be looking for the slight indications, and viewing outwards into the empty spaces. The solid camera works benefits this setup, with really interesting slow pans. A good use of perspective, and sense of atmosphere in those shots. They had some well placed jump type moments that are built upon suspense as opposed to feeling gimmicky. I was pleasantly surprised the whole way through, and they continued to provide interesting twists. Some aspects you could anticipate, whereas other moments slash deeply.
While I found the narrative to be rather distinct, and engaging. The real heart of this was the lead Cecilia with an incredible performance from Elisabeth Moss. She nailed this role, providing a perspective that felt realistic and allowed you to fully understand the predicament she was in.
While this was a role of vulnerability, she was creative in how situations were handled. It was neat to see this cat and mouse type of situation. It’s hard to fight what you can’t see, and it takes a lot of wit to be able to handle that sort of scenario. They never tried to make her overly powerful, instead relying on parts of her environment for assistance.
This is an extra layering to what’s going on, as this invisible force is very much a constant threat to her life. They never undersell, or weaken her transparent follower. This was important for pushing the themes of control properly. It was just great to see something so simplistic in what it was trying showcase, yet entirely on brand with today and very intimate with its cast.
The Invisible Man perfectly recreates this iconic horror character, providing a modern and terrifying take. They really nail the suspense, and the atmosphere of a space where something might be. It’s quite well done, should provide some scares and a number of rather intense moments.
It fits perfectly into themes that are very relevant today, and it’s interesting in how it leans on them. It certainly paints a realistic picture of events that could perhaps happen, being grounded in realistic realms. It’s not entirely reliant on the monsters of the past, and that works here. This is the type of area to build from when it comes to refreshing the classic horror characters that Universal has sitting there.
Aiming to deliver pure horror, feeling frantic and providing a self-contained narrative. This is definitely the direction that other monster type films should follow. This was a great time, a very creative use of the concept and one that works for today, perhaps also being a memorable story going forward.
The Invisible Man Review at Theater with AVX Viewing