The Invisible Man (2020) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Invisible Man (2020) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on January 15th, 2021 | Movie Review | Sci-Fi, Psychological, Thriller

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It's about a woman whose abusive ex seemingly comes back from the dead as an invisible man.

The Invisible Man was directed by Leigh Whannell (who also directed Upgrade and Insidious: Chapter 3) and stars Elisabeth Moss (from Us and The Attic), Storm Reid (from Don't Let Go) and Aldis Hodge (from Red Sands).

What You Can't See Can Hurt You

The Invisible Man Review

In preparation for this remake of The Invisible Man I watched the original from way back in 1933. That invisible man is nothing at all like this invisible man. That invisible man was a mad scientist who goes homicidal on an entire city. His kill count tops 120. This invisible man is more like the lovechild of Ike Turner, Iron Man and The Predator... whose sole mission is to stalk an ex.

The movie starts with Cecilia, our protagonist, escaping the (spectacular) home of her abusive (and Iron Man rich) boyfriend, barely making it out alive. For days afterward she's in full PTSD mode until one day she learns that her hard to love bf committed suicide. She's finally free. She's also super rich since he left her a ton of cash. But of course a lot of money comes attached with a lot of strings. Fast-forward a day or two and Cecilia is quickly convinced that her ex isn't actually dead, he's just invisible and has returned to stalk and torment her. This makes for a good thriller because obviously nobody else believes her. She just starts to look mental to everyone around her.

This movie starts off slow but in a good way. It sets the tone for the entire movie within the first 10 minutes while providing some cool foreshadowing. The act of sneaking around her boyfriend's house while trying to escape is not unlike all the sneaking around that happens later in the movie when the invisible man is creeping. And the slow tempo of the movie is used perfectly to build tension. It's a very well made horror movie that I felt paid just enough homage to the original while giving us a new modern story. 

Well, maybe it didn't give us a "new" story. Hollow Man basically did the same thing 20 years ago. Many of the cool visuals and concepts were taken directly from Hollow Man. Also, the way the invisible man became invisible was inspired by Iron Man and the way he hunted was taken from The Predator. He literally made Predator alien sounds while stalking. But that's OK, I don't think movies need to be 100% original to be fun and effective and The Invisible Man was both.

One thing this movie did especially well was create the presence of someone who wasn't there. The way the camera slowly panned rooms, the way it held long shots while nothing was happening and all of the subtle movements and sounds kept my eyes scanning the screen for shit that just wasn't there. 

One thing the movie did that wasn't so great was rely on one single concept. A half an hour in and you already know who the invisible man is, where he's at, where he likes to hide (for the most part) and what Cecilia has to do to survive. You've seen all the cool tricks and effects. Problem is, this movie is 2 hours long so there's a lot of repetition. So much so that its effectiveness wears off long before the credits roll. Still a great movie, but it does drag in the middle.

Worth Watching?

Definitely. It's a solid thriller and quality remake. 

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