A reboot of something you have and haven’t seen!
Dir. Leigh Whannell
Runtime: 124 minutes
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Harriet Dyer
A modern version of a classic film – You have probably seen the invisible man… Let me rephrase that, you are probably aware of the invisible man… Let me try that again… here’s a film about the person you can’t see… because he’s invisible.
A woman is tortured by mysterious invisible happenings that could be her imagination, or it could be the ghost of her recently dead, abusive and controlling bully of an ex-partner that she’s ran away from. Can Cecilia convince people that she is not mad… or has she lost the plot already and this all just in her head?
… or… here’s a summary in 180 characters or less…
Modern version of the invisible man, turned into psychological domestic abuse horror.
Leigh Whannell’s film is an interesting twist on the classic idea which the Australian wrote and adapted for screen, as well as directed. The Invisible man concept has been updated by using technology to replace old fashioned science and magic potion trope that audiences may already be used to. The leading lady, Elizabeth Moss, gives a re really good performance. She acts out the abused, crazy, and fragile woman on the edge of cracking up really well. I bought into the character and emphasized with her, often finding myself shouting at the screen for her to “turn around” or “he’s behind you”. I’d credit Moss’s performance with elevating this film above a conventional middle of the road horror film.
Using domestic violence is an interesting twist which is very relevant in modern times with abuse towards woman featured in the news a lot at the moment. This film doesn’t glorify it, but shows the effects of what it makes of her, and ultimately how she fights back. Moss is a great vehicle for the film and she gives a really strong performance which is delivered with authenticity.
There were a few plot holes that made me question the strength of the writing in the film at times, but they were only minor so I was still able to cast them off and just suspend my disbelief and enjoy the film. The levels of tension that the film created proves that you don’t need to see ‘the monster’ or bad guy to ramp up emotions – something that Hollywood forgets from time to time. As you would expect, there was a lot of CGI used towards the end of the film where the ‘monster’ was shown, but thankfully it did not look that out of place in the film as a whole.
I enjoyed this film and would have no problem recommending it to others. It did drag at times, and at 124 minutes it is a bum numbing endurance exercise – but that’s because it is slowly trying to build the tension rather than just assault the audience, something I was just about able to appreciate. While the film started off well, it does lose itself and become a little predictable in the middle, but it recovers well with the ending. Moss’s performance really glues everything together and makes sure that the film doesn’t become derailed too much.
I have enjoyed other “Invisible” films more because they were more tongue-in-cheek, this on the other hand is more blunt and cutting. That also makes it more of a horror film though, which makes a change because the Invisible Man concept isn’t always used to it’s best and scariest potential.