Review: The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man (2020)

Directed by: Leigh Whannell | 124 minutes | horror, thriller | Actors: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Harriet Dyer, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Michael Dorman, Benedict Hardie, Renee Lim, Brian Meegan, Nick Kici, Vivienne Greer, Nicholas Hope, Cleave Williams, Cardwell Lynch, Sam Smith, Zara Michales, Serag Mohamed, Nash Edgerton, Anthony Brandon Wong, Xavier Fernandez

Some movies are surrounded by a strong marketing campaign and rely on the hype surrounding them. Controversy is the best marketing tool ever. In the case of ‘The Invisible Man’, the hype started after the film’s release. People who had seen this movie expressed their opinion as much as possible so that this otherwise quite underexposed film was quietly steered to the bottom shelves of the digital video library. Fortunately, because this film by director Leigh Whannell deserves all the praise.

In ‘The Invisible Man’ it is not so much about the title character, but about his girlfriend. This Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss is nothing short of genius in this role) is terrified of him and decides to escape from the house in the middle of the night. However, Adrian has no intention of just letting her go and uses an advanced costume that makes him invisible.

Whannell has not so much made a horror film, but a psychological thriller cum drama film about domestic violence and the #metoo movement. Since no one can see Adrian, Cecilia is not believed. The victim must provide evidence before being believed. A situation that many women (and men) who have to deal with domestic violence face. The effect of the constant fear in which victims live who have to do with aggression indoors is portrayed very strongly by Moss.

If you are not interested in deeper layers or social criticism, there is still plenty to enjoy in this film. Whannell knows how to achieve maximum effect with minimal resources. The threat of Adrian is always there. Because he’s invisible, you don’t know if he’s in the same room as Cecilia. Because of the camera work you are constantly staring into the background in the knowledge that something can happen. Just when you give up because there is nothing to see for a long time, something happens. The tension build-up is very good. Adrian’s portrayal also contributes to this. The best man is barely in the picture, but when his name is mentioned it is negative. This man is a bad person and it is made clear all the time, increasing his threat. He is evil and no one knows exactly what he is capable of.

The greatest asset of this film is Moss. She portrays Cecilia as a bruised woman who eventually realizes that only she can stop Adrian. The transformation from insecure lady to determined woman is very nicely completed. The acting is strong and natural and worth a look for that alone. The soundtrack is also mood-enhancing. Criticisms? Yes, unfortunately there are. The transition from drama-thriller to slasher, for example, is very short sighted and the finale is somewhat far-fetched. That doesn’t take away from the fact that this film is definitely worth watching.

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