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Seeing is Believing: “The Invisible Man” Movie Review

A branch tapping the window, a sudden breeze passing through or a chair piled with clothes can give us little creeps. But, they remind us that there are many coincidences we look over every day. On the other hand, “The Invisible Man” reminds us that sometimes our suspicions and intuitions are accurate, and what we may fear most is the unknown.

Following the cancellation and delays of concerts and events, movie theatres have also temporarily shut down due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. With this unforeseen obstacle, movies such as “Mulan,” “No Time to Die” and plenty of other movies have been re-scheduled for a later release. 

While some movie releases can be delayed, films such as Warner Bros. “Birds of Prey,” Disney’s “Onward,” and others that have already been released in theatres have moved to on-demand. Following the trend, Blumhouse Productions’ “The Invisible Man, has also premiered for audiences to watch at home.

Directed by Leigh Whannell- who has directed films such as “Saw, “The Purge” and “Insidious”- “The Invisible Man” is a sci-fi/thriller film that has the viewer at the edge of their seat anticipating a monster they are not sure is actually there. The film is loosely based on director James Whale’s 1933 film, “The Invisible Man,” but the newest release becomes unique as it introduces new technology to the storyline of the film and the film’s overall production. “The Invisible Man” currently has a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and is said to be “A smart, unexpected delight,” by Times (UK) writer and top critic Kevin Maher. 

“The Invisible Man,” which was released on February 24, 2020, follows Cecilia Kass, a victim of domestic violence escaping her abusive boyfriend and brilliant scientist, Adrian Griffin. After weeks of fearing that Griffin would find her, Kass is informed by the police that he had committed suicide. While Kass tries to find any bit of solace in the news, she knows the report is too good to be true and remains suspicious of Griffin’s convenient death.     

Many thrillers and horror films can feel cheesy and unrealistic because of the careless mistakes of the characters and victims, but Kass played by Elizabeth Moss, develops and learns naturally as the movie plays on. Moss does a wonderful job of portraying the helplessness of Kass, as her character is in a battle between reality and her imagination that is built through fear of Griffin. 

Because Kass is using her intuition to decide whether this “Invisible Man” is real or just a symptom of a headache, Kass, as well as her loved ones, have to decide whether to trust her or to assume that her mental health is in question. With this in mind, Whannell introduces realistic fears that all people can possess on top of the fear of the invisible man.

Despite Moss’s incredible portrayal and the fact that it is a refreshing and original screenplay, it is not yet perfect. Even though Kass is written to have substantial character development, the other secondary characters seem to act more as background characters or props to Kass. On top of this, the movie still contains the occasional plot holes, questionable actions by characters and questions by the viewers that automatically object it as a generic horror flick. Even though it has a few horror tropes, the film should not be overlooked for its few mishaps.

“The Invisible Man” brings great terror, thrills and anxiety for the viewer without having to only rely on excessive gore and over-the-top CGI. While it still contains a few occasional jump scares and other clichés that might make you roll your eyes, it focuses on a technique using empty space as a prop. 

While in any other film you wouldn’t look twice at an empty room, the filmmakers have created suspense in making the audience believe there might be something or someone we are missing at first glance. The film also manages to pull off intense and well-choreographed fight scenes, using green suits for CGI that illustrate how terrifying yet difficult it can be to fight someone you cannot see. 

While there are plenty of new films to watch on-demand now because of the Coronavirus, “The Invisible Man” is definitely one you should consider seeing. You can purchase and watch the film online using Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and other sources for $19.99.

Written By: Christopher Chong