The classic 1897 novel “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells has gone through various iterations to reach this low budget horror movie. Over two dozen film, stage, radio and TV versions of the story have seen the light of day, so far. Claude Rains, Abbot and Costello, Chevy Chase, Kevin Bacon, Christian Slater and Vincent Price among others have played the leading role. Film versions have also made the big screen in both Russia and India. But this might well be the best or at least the most disturbing version made to date. Star Elizabeth Moss has plenty of movie history company, much of it very famous. She can hold her own.
Her character, an abused wife of a genius millionaire in optical tech, flees her husband. But his suicide does not stop his attempts to control her. The optical expert has devised a suit that renders him invisible. He can and he does come and go at will. But his nefarious plans for revenge come to a halt when he discovers that his runaway bride has a bun in the oven.
Moss is great as the terrified, mentally exhausted and confused woman. The pacing of the film has us sitting on the edge of our seats for two hours. In a typical horror flick, something frightening pops out of nowhere from time to time to give us a jump scare. Not here. We have a story and a soundtrack that steadily wind up the tension, with no jumps out of our skins to bring relief. In fact, this doesn’t seem like a horror film to me at all. It seems more like a drama/thriller.
Don’t let the title fool you. This film deals with spouse abuse, created insanity, passion, obsession, and revenge. This is not your grandpa’s horror film. I did not expect the surprise twist at the end but I liked it.
Australian writer/director Leigh Whannell has a successful history in the horror genre. He directed “Saw” and the very popular “Insidious” and the two follow on films.
This tense, modern themed horror film cost a tiny $7 million to make. Producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions stands to once again make a pile of dough on his latest low budget film.
The R rated film runs for two hours and four minutes. It gets a solid four saw blades for giving us two solid hours of entertainment. But please note the R rating and leave the kids at the sitters.
The lead character is Cecilia but people sometimes call her Ce. We pronounce the diminutive nickname See. Get it? “Invisible Man.” See. How droll.