Originally intended to share a universe with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy and Luke Evans’ Dracula Untold – that is no longer the case, this is a standalone film – The Invisible Man is a 2020 science fiction horror film directed by Leigh Whannell, and based on the novel by H.G Wells. Finally free after the apparent suicide of her abusive boyfriend, Cecilia Kass (Elizabeth Moss) begins to be tormented by an unseen force, leading to stresses betwen herself and her sister, Emily (Harriet Dyer) and her friend, Detective James Lanier (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter, Sydney (Storm Reid).
+ Elizabeth Moss is fantastic, particularly as she often has to act against no one and nothing. Moss’ unique look in the acting world adds to her character, and I was entirely on her side throughout, especially the intense and perhaps far too real opening 11 minutes or so of the movie. I also really enjoyed Hodge as the detective/straight-man to the sci-fi-cum-supernatural subject matter
+ some eerie shots of literally nothing exciting – an empty room, a doorway, a kitchen – make for some very uncomfortable viewing. These shots go on that split second longer than you subconsciously think they should, causing you to imagine what /might/ happen for just a split second before moving on
+ similarly to the above, the use of otherwise mundane sound cues make for extraordinarily tense moments. Expected sounds from horror movies – a far-off footstep, a creaking door – are matched perfectly with subtle things like the clinking of coat hangers, or the clicking of a stove top to make things very uncomfortable, and that’s not to mention how off-putting the brief moments of silence in between then come. I watched this with surround sound headphones for unrelated reasons, a lucky accident on my part
+ it sounds silly to say, but it must be hard to act against nothing. Scenes where those involved fight an invisible man (oh, get it, it’s the title of the movie) or are to be moved around by him must be frustrating to act in, and they are all done very well here. I want to know how they film things being broken over him when he is invisible
– there are a few spoiler-filled things I did not like about the movie, but they are all of personal preference. This is about as half-hearted a negative point I could possibly do
> Director, Leigh Whannel, is something of a horror auteur (see: the Saw franchise and the Insidious Franchise) but don’t sleep on his other sci-fi project, Upgrade. I reviewed it here, and I still recommend it
Should you see this film: I know they are no longer connected, but after The Mummy was fine at best, I didn’t have high hopes for this. Thankfully, I was wrong. This was a tense, well acted and very well shot sci-fi horror which sometimes feels a little bit too possible in our real world.