What I found captivating about the new movie The Invisible Man is its minimalism. Even the grandest of setpieces in the movie feels like something that is achievable in a regional language movie in our country. This movie has that nervous energy similar to that of Don’t Breath and A Quiet Place. And the way it evolves from a sci-fi theme to a psychological drama is also pretty impressive.
Cecilia who was in an abusive relationship with a genius scientist named Adrian Griffin escapes from his house and is now living with a police officer friend of her named James. Two weeks later, her sister Emily tells her that Adrian is no more and Adrian’s brother informed them that Adrian has left nearly 5 million dollars for Cecilia. But soon after that, Cecilia starts to notice unusual things around her and she got enough evidence to convince herself that Adrian is not dead and he has become invisible. Cecilia’s struggle to escape from Adrian and also her struggle to make people understand this unreal scenario is the plot of The Invisible Man.
The shifting of the tone of this movie was what actually excited me. In the beginning, it has this horror movie kind of feel. Then when Cecilia prepares herself to face him with his superpower, we also somewhere get that confidence. And then it slightly slips into the psychological space of the characters. From a possible one dimensional track that will utilize only the fancy side of invisibility, the movie shifts the focus to the various possibilities if a psycho gets a superpower. And the scale of the horror increases in a shocking way. The way the restaurant meeting between the sisters ended was indeed a shocker. And I have to admit that they have added certain footages in the trailer to mislead you.
Elisabeth Moss is the star of the show here as the movie is always glued to her. From a frantic Cecilia to an extremely deterministic one who is desperate to end every connection with Adrian, she performs that gradual change in Cecilia with absolute conviction. Aldis Hodge is playing the role of James and Storm Reid is playing the role of his daughter Sydney. Harriet Dyer as Emily and Michael Dorman as Tom were also pretty good in their small yet important roles.
Leigh Whannell who previously made Insidious Chapter 4 definitely knows how to keep us in that nervous space. What was interesting by the way was that he wasn’t trying to use jump scares. There is a ladder sequence in the movie and the very end of that sequence had something really different from what I sort of predicted. The concept offers a lot of scopes to utilize minimalism and Whannel makes sure that his movie won’t end up as a VFX showreel. The screenplay is a good mixture of treatments and it doesn’t want to scare you in the most typical way. The cinematography brings this sense of eeriness in almost every frame and they have used mere panning of the camera to establish the presence of The Invisible Man. The background score also works in favor of the movie as it was minimal and effective.
The Invisible Man is a really well-made thriller that one should experience in theatre. On the surface, it may look like this sci-fi horror fantasy. But this is also a story of a woman who is trying to escape from an abusive relationship with an extremely manipulative man and that makes The Invisible Man an emotional ride too.
The way The Invisible Man evolves from a sci-fi theme to a psychological drama is pretty impressive.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended