Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Invisible Man (2020) - Movie Review

The Movie: The Invisible Man

The Director: Leigh Whannell

The Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Harriet Dyer, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Michael Dorman. Benedict Hardie, Renee Lim

The Story: When Cecilia's abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

The Review:
Universal has tried a couple different times to kick start their "Monsterverse" which features classic Universal properties like Dracula, The Mummy, and of course the subject of this film, The Invisible Man. Previous efforts fell flat with fans and failed miserably at the box office leading to a complete overhaul of the studio's goals and philosophies regarding this franchise. Enter a partnership with Blumhouse, as studio that specializes in the horror genre with several ongoing and successful franchises under it's belt.

With a new direction in place, Leigh Whannell was brought in to write and direct this version of the John Cena like character (wrestling fans will get this) while Elizabeth Moss, who is on a serious hot streak right now, was tasked to lead the way in front of the cameras as Cecilia Kass. Most know Moss from The Handmaid's Tale TV series where she has received an endless supply of praise from pretty much everyone although I am here to tell you that, if you haven't yet, you need to see Her Smell, a movie that showcases the actor's amazing talents from start to finish. After watching her in this movie, I have to say she is just as good and just as on top of her game as you would hope or expect.

Moss's character is physically, emotionally, and mentally tortured by the ex who she literally ran away from and, to make matters worse, he continues the abuse after he has supposedly taken his own life. This story angle is where most of the scares come from as you never know where or when the unseen antagonist will strike next or who he will go after. Dealing with the constant abuse gives Moss a chance to really dig into Cecilia's mental state showing off a deep well of emotions and a fierceness that elevates the entire production. Since we don't actually see the scientifically enhanced antagonist for most of the movie, Moss has plenty of room to showcase her abilities and we, as viewers, are rewarded with something truly special.

The story is really well thought out and executed brilliantly by Whannell even if it barely resembles H.G. Wells' original novel and this new diabolical direction applies an emphasis on psychological terror over jump scares even if a few of those get thrown in as well. The fear in this movie doesn't come from the supernatural, the technological, or the fantastical, it comes from manipulation, control, and just about every other form of toxic behavior a human being can exhibit. I was very impressed with how this form of horror was treated even as it is wrapped up into one of the most iconic horror character of all time.

The Verdict:
The Invisible Man will scare the crap out of you in unexpectedly terrifying ways. Director Leigh Whannell adds to an impressive resume as a producer and director within the horror genre and Elizabeth Moss defies genre stereotypes by delivering a stunning performance that we'll be looking at for quite some time.

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