Review by Camden Ferrell
The Invisible Man is a modern adaptation of the popular book and film series. This reboot is written and directed by Leigh Whannell (Upgrade). This movie is a remake done right, and it’s a timely take that is full of great performances and proves to be heavily frightening.
This movie is about Cecilia, a woman who believes she is being stalked by her abusive ex after she is informed that he committed suicide and bequeathed all of his fortune to her. This is a fascinating take on the original story, and it tells it from the female’s perspective. It changes up the formula to this story in an interesting way that is modernized and unpredictable.
Whannell does a fantastic job with the direction of this film. While he has definitely grown in his abilities since his last feature, he has retained a lot of his kinetic motion and execution that made Upgrade so engaging. With his newest movie, he balances that energy with a strong sense of timing and an impeccable gift of finding horror in stillness. His direction is what lets this movie stand apart in an overcrowded genre, and it’s one that will make this movie worth revisiting.
The cast is led by Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell) in one of the best performances of her career. She does a mesmerizingly great job in showing the real-life effects of trauma and abuse. She captures the nuances that come with a descent into insanity, and it’s incredibly surreal. Joining the ranks of Toni Collette (Hereditary) and Lupita Nyong’o (Us), this is definitely one of the most impressive horror performances of the century, and it’s one that makes this movie so great.
This is a horror movie that is executed properly. It rarely relies on jump scares or other tactics to elicit a cheap response. The movie uses a combination of techniques that cleverly combine the score, performances, and shot composition to create a sense of dread and unease that is more effective than any jump scare. This is evident in the film’s opening, a masterfully done sequence that shows the real horror that is found in silence and stillness. It’s an incredibly suspenseful and stressful movie for most of its runtime.
The movie also succeeds in its attempt to modernize the source material. In addition to being genuinely frightening, it is also thematically rich. It tackles important themes such as trauma and abuse, and it addresses the nature of toxic and controlling relationships. While it’s a little exaggerated for the sake of the movie, it’s incredibly timely nonetheless. This gives the movie more depth and ultimately makes it more engaging and entertaining.
There are also plenty of surprising and jaw-dropping moments throughout the film. Whannell has a special way of turning tables even when you think you have guessed his next step. There are lots of great moments like this throughout that ensure the movie is never boring. The movie also contains some great scenes of action and terror that are executed in such a captivating way, and this includes a noticeable, but much appreciated long take in the film’s final act.
The Invisible Man is a showcase of Moss’ talents as a leading actress and for Whannell’s ability to generate suspense and terror. It’s a completely entertaining and amazing horror movie that will please all audiences this weekend. It has a lot to say without losing any of its energy and fun.
The Invisible Man is in theaters on February 28th.