THE INVISIBLE MAN: The Most Chilling Villain You’ve Never Seen

Well, Summer is officially over. The days are getting cooler, the bushfires are calmer and the heatwaves are hopefully behind us. With the Oscars contenders all now wiped from the cinematic scheduling, we’re faced with a plethora of excellent movies to be reviewed.

When this one popped up in our calendars, there was a skirmish between the Salty Cob as to who would win the tickets to view THE INVISIBLE MAN. To the envy of The Kernels, Kernel Blake sat down to a preview screening for a film that’s currently ranking at 90% positive reviews. I have to admit – I’ve been an eMoss fan since way back. If you haven’t seen TOP OF THE LAKE, get down to a DVD store and find a copy. Don’t even get me started on HANDMAIDS TALE. And fun fact that I didn’t realise until I was today years old. Remember Polly, the tragic burn victim in 199’s GIRL INTERRUPTED? Yep – that’s our girl!

THE INVISIBLE MAN is Rated MA, runs for 124mins and is in cinemas now from our friends at Universal Pictures. Enjoy Kernel Blake’s review. – Salty Claire

Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)

BY BLAKE CURRALL

In 2004, Aussie writer/director/actor Leigh Whannell burst on to the scene with the twisted horror film SAW. Written by Whannell and his working partner James Wan, we received a taste of the tense thriller and horror aspects the team would continue with over the next 15 years. After directing the 2018 underrated sci fi film UPGRADE, Whannell has been handed the keys to one of Universal Pictures oldest characters, THE INVISIBLE MAN and produced a contender for one of the best films of the year (already).

He’s Behiiiiiind You!

THE STORY:

Building incredible tension from the opening scene, THE INVISIBLE MAN focuses on Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss, THE HANDMAIDS TALE) as she tries to escape a toxic, abusive relationship with hi-tech optics genius, Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE). Finally free of his gaslighting and over protectiveness, Cecilia receives word that Adrian has taken his own life.

Seemingly free of her past life, Cecilia is so psychologically scarred that she barely leaves the house as her paranoia never fades. When strange occurrences start to happen all around her, her descent into unhinged insanity begins. Cecilia believes Adrian is still toying with her from beyond the grave. It’s here where THE INVISIBLE MAN takes a turn from the source material, focussing more on the victim than on the titular character himself. It’s a change for the better.

Becoming more and more convinced that her shady ex isn’t really gone, Cecilia’s personal and professional life spiral out of control as an invisible force is manipulating every move she makes. But how do you convince others that something is happening from a threat no one can see? As the story unravels, the truth begins to slowly unveil and THE INVISIBLE MAN throws plenty of twists and turns that shock, delight and leave your jaw hanging open. The way Whannell leaves the camera lingering on the negative spaces of a room will make your skin crawl. To say much more about the film would be giving too much away, the less you know about THE INVISIBLE MAN before going in, the better. 

This 2020 Remake Focuses More On The Victim Than The Villain.

THE CAST:

THE INVISIBLE MAN is truly “The Elisabeth Moss Show”. Moss is outstanding in the role of the abused victim getting put through the ringer from an unseen foe. Moss displays a masterclass on acting range. Moving from terrified girlfriend to rambling nutcase to strong, powerful badass, It really is an incredible performance. MOSS is acting solo for a large majority of the film, making her performance that much more incredible.

The rest of the cast including her sister Alice (Aussie actress, Harriet Dyer), hulking cop James (Aldis Hodge, HIDDEN FIGURES) and his daughter, Sydney (Storm Reid, 12 YEARS A SLAVE), all give solid backup service to MOSS, but this is really a one woman show.

Full credit must go to writer/director Leigh Whannell. Whannell has crafted an incredibly tense thriller, with a few moments of his trademark bloodshed in a tightly filmed narrative with serious Hitchcock similarities. Not bad for just his third film as director. THE INVISIBLE MAN was a huge step up for Whannell. Based on this effort, he is bound to shoot straight to the top of the Hollywood directors go-to list.

The Invisible, Made Visible

THE VERDICT:

THE INVISIBLE MAN was a genuine surprise, being a fan of his previous work, it was great to see Whannell create a unique and satisfying take on such a huge franchise. Early last year, a female-led thriller came along and blew our socks off with US. 2020 seems to have started the same way. Here’s hoping Moss gets a little more recognition than the snubbing that Lupita Nyong’o received.

THE INVISIBLE MAN may well be in my top 10 list by the end of the year. It’s a taught, smart, tense thriller with a fresh take on a well known property. Definitely well worth your time. Try to go in seeing as little as possible. Oh the irony!

KERNEL BLAKE’S POP SCORE:

YOUR CRITIC:

Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life. Like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. He can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.