Director – Leigh Whannell (Insidious Chapter 3, Upgrade)
Starring – Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Haunting of Hill House, Faster), and Harriet Dyer (Black Comedy, Killing Ground)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 1.5/5
Tagline – “What you can’t see can hurt you”
I, like many horror fans, went through a huge Universal classic monsters phase. I couldn’t get enough of these historic films. I loved them all; Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, and so on. I would watch these films for days and would never tire of them. I was especially fond of The Invisible Man. When I would watch this film I would often feel like this film was scarier than any of the other monsters. The thought of an invisible man, smarter than most of those around him, walking undetectable amongst us was something that would give me chills.
Anyway, when news broke of the new remake I was extremely excited for it. This was to be one of the two movies I wanted to see in theaters before Covid hit but I was too late and the world shut down. I was forced to wait until a physical release was announced and I reached out to Universal for a review copy.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Cee (Moss) who is in an abusive relationship. Her husband is a brilliant scientist that has amassed a sizable fortune for himself but is severely controlling of her. One night she drugs him and escapes to live with her friend Detective James Lanier (Aldis Hodge). Not long after she received word that he has died and is cremated but the weight is not lifted off her shoulders. She still feels like she is being watched and soon realizes that her suspicions are correct. **Spoiler Alert**
I was extremely excited for this one but after about 15 minutes or so I found myself ready to turn it off. I try not to bash movies, especially movies sent to me, too severely. I try to find negatives and positives in all my reviews but I’m struggling to find any positives in this one. The movie was a tough watch for me and I almost couldn’t finish it. However, I stuck with it…and it didn’t improve.
The acting on this one isn’t bad. However, the characters are the worst I’ve had to watch. The film’s protagonist, Cee, cried the entire film. She made most of the films unbearable and I just wanted it to end. I hate to be see negative but I just didn’t care for Moss’ portrayal of the character. I understand she was given a character that was bullied and manipulated but scene after scene I found myself becoming angry with her instead of sympathetic. I blame myself for this because I believe I’m turning into a hateful old man because I honestly didn’t care for any of the characters in the film. At first I almost liked Hodge’s character but as the film progressed I found myself not caring for him either. Their performances are solid but the characters are painfully dull and boring.
The story for this one is very predictable but I cant help but wonder how more entertaining the film would have been if it was told from the perspective of Adrian, Cee’s husband. The Invisible Man and 2000’s Hollow Man were more about the invisible man than those around him. Sadly, this story puts the invisible man in the back seat while we focus on Cee as she collects herself after the torture and abuse she suffers at the hands of her husband. This would have been a compelling story if the intent was to make a drama but just doesn’t work as a sci-fi horror film centered around the invisible man.
Finally, I hope you like watching people get their throats slit because this movie loves that idea. We get some blood and solid practical effects in that regard but the film then delivers some laughable moments when we see the invisible man in his suit glitching. The visual effects are far from perfect and deserve the laughs they receive. Overall, The Invisible Man was the biggest let down I’ve had in years. I was so fucking pumped to check this one out but was given a drama that barely made use of the invisible man himself. Fans of the original adaptation, and even Hollow Man, will be very disappointed in this release.