I suppose you all know about how back in 2017, Universal tried to reboot its iconic shared monster universe with The Mummy, and how that was was a massive critical and commercial failure that ended the budding Dark Universe, and blah blah blah. Screw all that. I don’t wanna talk about that.
I wanna talk about the greatness that is Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man.
When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
Boy, oh boy! This was a treat! The first great horror thriller of the new decade. An incredibly well acted, written, directed, shot, and edited piece of moviemaking. This is why we go to the movies, people!
Let’s talk about the shining star of this movie. No, I don’t mean Elizabeth Moss, although I will definitely get to her in a sec. I’m talking about writer/director Leigh Whannell. Whannell has grown as a filmmaker before our very eyes and that’s no more than in The Invisible Man. The story he has crafted here, about a woman being slowly driven mad due to the lingering effects of a toxic relationship, feels very fresh and realistic, making the events all the more terrifying.
From his directorial debut with the effective Insidious: Chapter 3, then following that up with the incredible cult favorite Upgrade, not to mention his writing on the first Saw as well as the entire Insidious franchise, Whannell has proven he is truly one of our generation’s best horror visionaries.
He is of course aided by the exceptional crew he has put together. From the flawless cinematography by Stefan Duscio and the fantastic editing by Andy Canny (who were also the director of photography and editor on Upgrade), The Invisible Man really sets itself apart from the rest as one of the finest looking horror movies in recent memory.
Now, onto the film’s second greatest attribute, Ms. Elizabeth Moss. Moss gives a masterful tour de force of a performance as Cecilia, the victimized heroine of the story. No lie, she is absolutely phenomenal in the role. I was spellbound. Over the past few years, we’ve had many great performances in horror movies. Toni Collette in Hereditary. Lupita Nyong’o in Us. It is my belief that you can add Elizabeth Moss to those names now. So remarkable.
Hey, just a heads up. If you’re bothered by uncomfortable silences, stay far away from this movie! Silence hasn’t been this scary since A Quiet Place. The amount of terror and dread that Whannell generates with mere quiet and empty frames was almost unbearable! My heart would start pounding almost immediately the second the camera would linger on Moss all alone in a room. Not knowing if you’re being watched or if someone is behind you or in your room and you can’t see them is a truly terrifying thing, and Whannell takes advantage of that perfectly.
But don’t worry, folks. It’s not all silent suspense, as we do get some red gooey goodness thrown in as well. We get some slit throats, bullet wounds, mouthfuls of blood spit out. It does get a little nasty at times. Especially during the climax, where Whannell takes every technique he used during Upgrade‘s fight scenes and turns them up to 11. No joke. The climactic battle is a glorious bit of mayhem. I know for certain that when this hits Blu Ray, I’ll be watching that part over and over and over again.
Any issues? There are times where the movie comes off a bit slow. I know Whannell was going for a more deliberate pace with this, but there’s a couple of moments where I felt like “Ok, you can kinda move this along now.”
But that’s a minor issue, because this movie ruled so hard that something like that is easily overlooked. Seriously, this flick grabbed me by the heart from the very beginning and squeezed it tight till the credits started rolling. An amazing horror flick that I can’t recommend enough. So if you have the chance, check it out. It’s definitely worth it.