Examining The Invisible Man's Twisted Ending (Spoilers)

Examining The Invisible Man's Twisted Ending (Spoilers)

Horrorific content by Brian B. on May 17th, 2020 | Horror News |

Science Fiction writers have an eerie way of predicting the future and portraying our worst tendencies. Take H.G. Wells The Invisible Man. In both the classic story and the 2020 The Invisible Man remake, the ability to turn invisible (and thus anonymous) enables the “invisible man” to embrace his most barbaric nature. In both the original story and the 2020 retelling the Invisible man commits murder and other crimes, hidden for a time by his invisibility.

Of course, people can’t currently become invisible. However, people online can be anonymous. And in some cases, this anonymity has allowed people to express their worst-selves. Racism, bigotry, and bullying have become sadly common online, with people often hiding behind assumed names and identities.

 

SPOILERS in 3… 2… 1…

In Universal’s Invisible Man (2020), optics expert and wealthy businessman Adrian Griffin takes things even further. Even before turning invisible, Adrian abuses his girlfriend, Cecilia Kass. Ultimately, Kass decides to abandon her relationship and drugs Adrian so she can escape with her sister.

Later, Adrian apparently commits suicide but leaves Cecilia $5 million in his will. Adrian’s lawyer brother handles the estate and Cecilia tries to move on with her life. Only, strange things begin happening. The front door is left open, the lights flicker on and off, and it seems as if Cecilia is being haunted by a ghost. Of course, it’s no ghost but instead an “invisible man.”

Cecilia quickly suspects that Adrian faked his death and is using his optics expertise to turn invisible and is now torturing her. She eventually finds Adrian’s phone in the attic, seeming to confirm her suspicions. She confronts the invisible man and dumps paint on him. After a struggle, Cecilia flees. Back at Adrian’s mansion, she discovers an invisibility suit and is attacked yet again by an invisible person.

More attacks occur and Cecilia finds out that Adrian’s abuse went even deeper than she realized. Adrian had tampered with her birth control pills and she’s now pregnant. Adrian promises not to hurt her, but if she doesn’t mend her relationship with him, he’ll start killing the ones she loves.

This brings us to the dramatic and perhaps controversial ending.  During another confrontation, Cecilia manages to shoot the invisible man. Pulling off his mask, she finds not Adrian but instead his brother Tom. Adrian is found alive and tied up at his house.

A seemingly regretful Adrian tries to repair his relationship with Cecilia. He claims that being held hostage has forced him to rethink how he treated her. Cecilia seemingly agrees to restart their relationship but only if Adrian confesses. Adrian refuses to do so, sticking to his claim that Tom was behind it all.

Cecilia breaks down and Adrian tries to comfort her, but he uses similar words that the Invisible Man had spoken to her earlier. Cecilia retreats to the bathroom. Then, on camera, Adrian seemingly commits suicide.

Only, the audience hears Cecilia taunting Adrian and discovers that she used an invisibility suit herself to kill him and stage a suicide.

What are we supposed to make of this? Throughout much of the film, the invisible man’s torturing of Cecilia offers an allegory for an abusive relationship. Cecilia’s life is turned upside, those around her are hurt, and even though she’s left Adrian, she still feels the effects of his abuse.

Then comes the ending. Who are we supposed to believe? Adrian seems to be gaslighting her, but he does have an alibi. Was Cecilia right to kill him? Adrian continues to act like an abuser, refusing to accept blame, gaslighting Cecilia, and otherwise seems on track to continue his abuse… if Cecilia accepts it.

Only, she doesn’t. Cecilia enacts her revenge. But does Cecilia “win”? That’s a more difficult question to answer. At the start of the movie, Cecilia is a kind, happy individual. Adrian’s abuse grinds her down, and in the final moments of the film, the prey becomes the hunter. It’s fair to question if this is liberation, however, or a sign that Cecilia has become completely broken.

Want to take a deeper dive? Check out the full Ending Explained video by FoundFlix below.

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