Courtesy of theverge.com
By Noelia Veras
Some movies are a slow burn, gradually leading up to the fast and action-packed scenes. The Invisible Man, directed by Leigh Whannell, is not one of those films. This film has been classified as a science fiction horror film and was based off of the best-selling novel also named “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells. This film is also part of Universal’s cinematic universe, which is meant to consist of the franchise’s quintessential monsters like The Mummy.
From the very beginning, The Invisible Man is an anxiety-inducing film. The first act is exhilarating and fast paced. The film follows a woman named Cecilia Kass, played by Elisabeth Moss, who is confined in a toxic and abusive relationship with a rich scientist named Adrian Griffin, played by Oliver-Jackson Cohen.
Moss and Cohen are most certainly not strangers to playing frightening and uncanny roles. Moss is most popular for starring in the dystopian television series The Handmaid’s Tale, created by Bruce Miller, and playing a supporting role in Us, written and directed by Jordan Peele. Both of these roles are eerie, and Moss gives bone-chilling performances. Cohen is most famous for his performance on the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House, which is famous for its terrifying storyline. Given their history, the two actors amplify the fear-factor of the film with their outstanding performances.
The film begins with Cecilia escaping the home she shares with Adrian. Every movement is emphasized when she is sneaking out. The slightest noises are infused with fear and the possibility of being caught. Every infinitesimal moment in the first ten minutes of The Invisible Man feels vital and heavy, and right from the start, the audience begins to build a bond with Cecilia.
This film covers topics that are often not talked about in tasteful ways in Hollywood. Because these issues and themes are not the forefront of the film but are addressed in more natural, undetectable ways, they are seamlessly weaved into the story. One huge theme covered by The Invisible Man is the way an abusive relationship can mess with a woman’s mind and trust. It is never said up front exactly how Adrian abused Cecilia, a narrative choice which shows tact and skill. Instead of seeing the horrors Cecilia faced, the audience sees the lengths she goes to try to escape these traumatic events and how her past continuously haunts her.
As Cecilia deals with repercussions of her trauma, she stays with a friend who is a policeman named James and his daughter Sydney. During her healing process, her sister Emily is there for her and supports her every step of the way. Just when Cecilia seems to be getting better, she receives news that Adrian has killed himself. Cecilia is jarred by the information, but after she finds this out, things get weird. Cecilia starts to notice things going missing, she is unusually drowsy and disoriented, and she is extremely uneasy. Beforelong, it is obvious that something is wrong, and Cecilia begins to believe that Adrian is still somehow alive and messing with her to get revenge.
The Invisible Man is a terrifying movie with a unique spin on what is a scary monster. Sometimes, monsters are not scary because of what they look like, but they are terrifying because of what they can do. This film is petrifying because it explores the concept of a monster who is possibly not even there at all, and the scariest part of all is how unpredictable an unseen monster can be.