Friday night, walking out of the theater having just watched The Invisible Man I was like – damn! Scratching my head as to how certain events in the film unfolded, I was properly shocked, confused and at times thrilled beyond compare.
Having created the cult hit Upgrade two years before, Leigh Whannel ventures into what would have been an installment in Universal’s Dark Universe if the Mummy and Dracula Untold hadn’t flopped. And he actually creates an amazing thriller woven around the topic of domestic abuse.
Elisabeth Moss plays Cecilia Kass, the wife of brilliant yet abusive optics scientist Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). When Ce leaves Adrian in the middle of the night, he follows her but Ce escapes with the help of her sister. Two weeks later, they are informed by Adrian’s brother that Adrian committed suicide and left Ce $5 million in his will. Following this, Ce’s life takes a turn for the worse as a series of unfortunate and inexplicable events happen one after the other, ranging from Ce’s stove catching fire to her blanket being pulled off during the night and culminating in Ce fainting during a job interview. She is later informed that the doctors found Diazepam in her system, the same pill she used to drug Adrian to sleep before she left him. Ce becomes increasingly convinced that Adrian has found a way to turn invisible, but convincing the people around her is near impossible. After all, seeing is believing right?
The film takes multiple twists and turns and delivers some genuine freak outs without relying too much on jump scares. The brilliance of this movie is in the storytelling, with Moss’s character delivering one of the best performances of 2020, more so in a horror film. Moss portrays the victim of domestic abuse with sheer conviction, pulling us into her world and not letting go until the final shot. Jackson-Cohen, freshly out of Netflix’s Hill House series emotes quite little in the screentime he is given but makes the most of it as he comes across as a sociopathic scientist capable of murder.
There are some amazing moments in the film, one such highlight being the hospital corridor sequence in which the Invisible Man takes out a bunch of security guards, Upgrade style. Whanell’s combination of cinematography and action is spectacular, and while the film suffers from some glaring logical issues and plotholes, it will leave you entertained during its 1.5-hour runtime.
Courtesy of Akash SK