“The Invisible Man” (2020) is the Blumhouse-Universal co-produced remake of The Invisible Man. After several embarrassing attempts at doing something with the original universal Monster movies, universal has now leased their property to a production company who actually specializes in making low-budget horror films.
Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) escapes the custody of her overprotective boyfriend, which results in his suicide. However, Cecilia believes he is not dead, but rather ruining her life by pulling wacky practical jokes on her.
In horror, the most frightening, most terrifying thing is what you don’t see; the ability to fill in the gaps with your imagination is what truly makes something haunting and impactful. This is why H.G. Wells’ novella “The Invisible Man” is such a prolific stroke of brilliance. However, that is merely a concept. Just because it solely exists, that sole concept alone does not give merit to an instantly great film.
The positives of “The Invisible Man” (2020) are very strong ones. I’m glad to see that Leigh Whannell’s style is very pronounced in this film. His choice of camera movement creates this deep sense of terrifying curiosity where the camera pans into negative space, as if panning to a person who is not there. It lent to some very gripping scenes of tension, which this film exceeds at stupendously.
While Dr. Griffin was the main character in the 1933 film, the love interest character is the one we follow in the remake (a character so horrendously underdeveloped in the 1933 film).
Elisabeth Moss does a splendid job at selling this character which everyone around her is very unsure of and it leads to her deterioration throughout the film. She really leads the film with her constant internal conflict that is played externally.
Now, the issues are also very much in the forefront as I found the film to be very banal as a whole.
The film first presents itself as a psychological horror film and it leads to one of my greatest fears, which is being admitted into an insane asylum knowing full well that you are absolutely not crazy.
The last twenty minutes of the film also felt like a very corny soap opera where, in order to keep the audience hooked for next week’s episode, twist after twist is presented to “blow our minds.” It felt very contradictory and it leaves you with no real satisfaction to everything that was set up over the span of a long two hours.
When you look at the premise alone of “The Invisible Man”, there seems like this well of brilliant potential that I feel has not been used to its fullest. Even the small giallo twist to this film cannot add anything to, what I thought, was a solid, yet straightforward horror/thriller with terrific atmosphere and sound editing.