This contemporary portrayal of the 1897 H.G. Wells science fiction horror novel The Invisible Man was shockingly graphic and gratifyingly terrifying. This story line unravels amidst a heavy dread induced from the opening shot right to the end.
Once again, Elisabeth Moss is perfectly cast as the protagonist Cecilia Kass and delivers a wonderful performance. We share the experience and violent threat of an abusive husband just as Cecilia Kass does. She plays a broken woman determined to escape her controlling partner despite everyone in disbelief at her claims that he is alive, invisible and dangerously sabotaging and entangling relationships with her loved ones including her cop friend James, played by Aldis Hodge.
Directed and written by Leigh Whannell and produced by Blumhouse and other companies such as Nervous Tick, this film is the hi-tech and quality CGI visual re-invention of the original novel. Whannell succeeds in creating a formidable antagonist that audiences mostly don’t see but definitely feel! The twists and atmosphere of great unease leaking through the film overrides a few unanswered plot questions. This is quickly forgiven when considering the astounding cinematography.
Thick black overwhelming ocean waves as the establishing shot through a striking blue lens filter hauntingly reflect the jarring emotions in an intriguing, spine-chilling opening scene. At some points in the film, you find yourself searching a frame for anything moving or changing behind or around Cecilia. In an intense and climatic scene, Cecilia is shot through a worm’s eye view as the audience looks up at her face when she peers through the attic door. Through panning and tracking camera movements and dead-weight silences broken with the constant sound of Cecilia’s heavy and anxiety inducing breaths, Whannell is exquisitely successful in detailing all elements of a classic gothic horror film.
A never-ending string of conflict leads to an inevitably gritty conclusion. The ever-present threat when witnessing the invisible man unabashedly destroy heroine Cecilia’s life and sanity, is stressful to say the least. If you’re a fan of gore, unpredictable jump scares, complex internal conflicts and domestic tyranny, then this version of The Invisible Man is a must-watch.
Film Review By Zara Zampaglione