Film Review – The Invisible Man (2020)

Title – The Invisible Man (2020)

Director – Leigh Whannell (Upgrade)

Cast – Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman

Plot – Escaping from the clutches of her abusive and manipulative partner Adrian Griffin (Jackson-Cohen), the broken Cecilia Kass (Moss) struggles with a seemingly invisible tormentor after the supposed suicide of Griffin occurs in the aftermath of their relationship breakdown.  

“He said that wherever I went, he would find me”

Review by Eddie on 04/03/2020

After the epic failure that was The Mummy in 2017, it appeared as the though the high-profile Dark Universe series developed by Universal Studios was well and truly DOA.

Low and behold though and 3 years on, Australian director/writer and all-round everyman Leigh Whannell has managed to breathe life into this shared universe, with help from master producer Jason Blum, by delivering a tension-riddled and character driven horror/thriller hybrid that showcases what can be done when story comes first ahead of spectacle and large-scale focus.

At one time set to star Johnny Depp and likely too be a far more over the top affair, Whannell’s version of The Invisible Man story, that has been seen in different incarnations for over 100 years, is a stripped back and relevant delivery of the tale that doesn’t try to connect to any of the other possible “Dark Universe” properties, as it instead follows Elizabeth Moss’s distressed Cecilia Kass trying to escape the clutches of an abusive relationship at the hands of Oliver Jackson-Cohen tech-genius Adrian Griffin.

Including his lead actress in the script-writing process, Whannell and Moss have crafted a thought-out and layered journey for Kass to go through that adds depth to a film that could’ve otherwise been a mere gimmick as we are afraid of what at many times is the thing unseen.

Learning tips and tricks off his fellow Australian and close friend James Wan, Whannell has through his efforts on Insidious Chapter 3 and the underrated action gem Upgrade honed his craft in an exciting fashion and his handling of The Invisible Man sees another step forward for the director being taken, with his use of empty space and calm is eerily unnerving, while the films choc-full of memorable scenes that will go down as some of the years most unforgettable (a paint can trick, a shocking restaurant date and a Hospital hallway showdown particular highlights).

While his handling of the technical and editing is laudable, Whannell is also able to draw out another great turn from Moss, who continues to be one of the most exciting actresses working today, showcasing his ability as a director able to get his performers to bring their best to the table and become one with the material he is asking them to bring to life.

There’s a lot to love about The Invisible Man, providing a cinema experience not unlike the quiet audience viewings that A Quiet Place provided a few years back, unfortunately a few odd character decisions, plot devices and motivations at times don’t always sit well within the films movements towards its end goals, elements that seal the fate of Whannell’s film being well-above average for its genre but not quite the classic it could’ve been.

Final Say –

Another impressive effort from Australia’s very own Whannell, The Invisible Man is a relevant and memorable reimagining of a classic tale that will have audiences on the edge of their seats more often than not.

3 ½ pairs of Nike shoes out of 5     

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