Universal has had a few stops and starts with its monster franchises over the years, some better than others. Most recently in 2017, they attempted to relaunch the franchise with The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. The most recent Invisible Man adaption was the Kevin Bacon film Hollow Man from 2000. That said, the 1933 version of The Invisible Man is known as the most popular version, starring Claude Rains as Dr. Jack Griffin. It’s safe to say these characters are still relevant today as they were back in the day.
Cecelia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) is a housewife who is being abused by her husband. She escapes and tries to live a life of her own. When her ex-husband commits suicide, she is dragged back into his life. She gets an endowment from his estate but still doesn’t believe he is dead. Moss has been a great actress for years now with great performances in Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. She has broken out and had some smaller roles on the big screen in Jordan Peele’s Us and The Kitchen in 2019. After Her Smell in 2019, The Invisible Man is her second big starring role. She gives a great, emotionally charged performance. She makes the viewer believe the pain and anguish she is going through, dealing with her traumatic experience.
Leigh Whannell has directed a few horror movies in his career, most famously the Saw films. His last film Upgrade was a critical and financial success. This time out, he is tackling one of the most iconic characters in horror movie history. No need to be concerned because Whannell knocks this one out of the park. He created a nice new twist on the character and the world it exists in. The visuals are stunning and the scares are very prevalent throughout the film. This film is stock-full of innovative camera tricks and set pieces. This film is a worthy successor to the previous iterations of this storied character.
The Invisible Man also has some supporting characters that do a great job. Aldis Hodge has been coming off of a great 2019 with Brian Banks and Clemency. He portrays a police officer who helps Cecilia when she escapes from her husband. Storm Reid, from Euphoria and Don’t Let Go, portrays his daughter. Michael Dorman is Adrian’s brother, he is just doing his duty as a lawyer should but also his brother’s advocate. Harriet Dyer is Cecelia’s sister and she has trust issues with her. All these actors add to this story.
This film is a very good updated version of this classic character. With fantastic performances from the entire cast and direction from Whannell that will leave you breathless at times. This is an edge of your seat horror film like so many more in the past. Jason Blum has perfected this formula of low budget films that keep audiences coming back again and again. This film is no exception. With a 7 million dollar budget, I don’t know how Whannell and Blum made this fantastic film. One of the most anticipated films of 2020 actually lives up to expectations. Once again the horror genre has done it again. The horror renaissance is going forward.
4 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen