Culture

Invisible Man is a modern take on a monster flick

The Invisible Man is a shockingly captivating Universal movie monster reboot every cult horror movie fan will enjoy. After Cecilia escapes her rich and controlling abusive boyfriend Adrien, he kills himself. Yet, something or someone is still violently stalking her, and the people she cares about most- don’t believe her. 

After her sister rescues her, Cecilia lives with a cop James and his teenage daughter Sydney. After finding out Adrian is dead and left her $5 million, she starts to get her life back on track. Things suspiciously begin to go awry, and she believes Adrien faked his death and discovered a way to become invisible to torment her. Cecilia desperately tries to prove she isn’t going crazy to her friends and family. Still, no one can believe her when the person who is after her is invisible and dead. 

Elizabeth Moss shines as a meek woman who can’t seem to escape the thing she fears most. It is similar to her most notable performance as June/Offred in the Hulu original show “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Although it might look like she is typecasted as a weak woman who finds her power and rebels, she really does excel in the role. 

Moss understood the feeling of paranoia and ran with it. You could see her character instantly transform from carefree to terrified. It was an enjoyable and captivating performance because you are rooting for someone to believe her. 

She sounds crazy, but if you didn’t see her just get attacked by an invisible force, then you wouldn’t believe her. Moss excellently plays that instability with a mix of psychosis and a dash of obsession. 

I was afraid the plot was just going to end up ridiculously supernatural, but I was pleasantly surprised. Adrien, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen known for the Netflix original “The Haunting of Hill House

, wasn’t invisible because he was a ghost, which I was worried about. The writers went the technological route instead, and they made as much sense as possible. Adrien is a big hotshot in the world of optic technology. You could see why this man is rich and a genius in his field after you find out how he becomes invisible. 

The visual effects were minimal and used efficiently and masterfully. Overdone visual effects can really make a movie like this hokey instead of thrilling and suspenseful. As a viewer, I searched the whole screen for an unusual footprint or cushion dent for some clue to the threat. The music and the sound effects built that suspense. Immediately as the film begins, anxiety starts to wash over you because of the music. It helped bring to life the intensity and psychological suspense. It reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock, and it seemed almost like an homage to him. 

I would warn that domestic violence is a huge plot point; if anyone has experienced that or knows of someone who has, it could be triggering. I think the movie does a beautiful job of showing what an abusive relationship looks like, and how a recent survivor can experience PTSD. It’s a tough subject matter that might be easier to understand in this type of format. This movie follows the “Get Out” wave of being a horror film and a message about society.

I love that this film isn’t the typical Universal movie monster film. It’s a refreshingly modern take that could have quickly gone wrong if the wrong person was involved. I think Leigh Whannell, who directed “The Invisible Man” and co-wrote the “Saw” and “Insidious” franchises with master horror director James Wan, took the H.G. Wells character and brought it to the twenty-first century. The invisible man isn’t a guy in toilet paper, sunglasses, a trench coat, and fedora anymore.

“The Invisible Man” has a few fun and unexpected twists to keep any moviegoer enthralled. It will leave you always feeling like you need to look over your shoulder long after exiting the theater. It’s a great horror movie for those like psychological thrills more than blood and guts. Overall, I would give this movie an A-, and I definitely recommend checking it out. 

About Author

Jordan Jones was hired as the Culture reporter for the Mesa Legend in January of 2020. She is in her second semester at MCC, and she plans to transfer to ASU and get an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Film Study and Art History. With her degrees and passion for cinema, Jordan intends to become a film archivist.