I love a good thriller that keeps me guessing. The Invisible Man is a pretty good thriller. It just couldn’t get the whole “keeps me guessing” part right.
The film starts with Cecilia “Cee” Kass (Elizabeth Moss) escaping her abusive husband in the middle of the night. While hiding out with her childhood friend James (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter Sydney (Storm Reid), Cee learns of her husband Adrian’s (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) apparent suicide. She inherits $5 million in his will, under the supervision of Adrian’s brother Tom (Michael Dorman), who is a lawyer. Tom, I should mention, is so totally, obviously up to something that it would be a disappointment if he doesn’t turn evil later in the film.
As Cee begins to move forward with her life, little things happen that make her question Adrian’s suicide. He was an optics expert, and Cee becomes convinced he has found a way to make himself invisible in order to torment her. That doesn’t mean anyone believes her. According to Tom, “The only thing more brilliant than inventing something that makes you invisible is not inventing it and making you think he did.”
There’s a whole host of movies about escaping an abusive partner, although I’m not sure we’ve ever gotten any with this kind of science fiction/horror twist. The other big difference with this film is the lack of attention paid to the abuse. Things start with Cee’s escape, and we get no more than a few mentions of what she went through living with Adrian. As a result, we get no clear idea of just how far Adrian might go in his bid to hurt Cee. There’s also the possibility we’re getting information from Cee’s perspective rather than reality. In the film, everyone thinks Cee is going crazy. Is there a chance she actually is going crazy?
I’m not easily scared, and I’m always convinced that I know exactly what is going to happen in most thrillers. (Yes, I’m every bit as fun to watch a movie with as that sounds.) I can’t say there was much that happened in this film I didn’t see coming. The attic and restaurant scenes, however, were both totally brilliant. I’m going to avoid spoilers here, but trust me, I didn’t see what happened in the restaurant coming at all. Everyone’s performances are excellent, which is absolutely necessary in this film. Fighting an invisible assailant could look ridiculous if not done well.
The Invisible Man has a couple of fun nods to the original H. G. Wells film from 1933. Beyond a few Easter eggs and an invisible antagonist, this story bears little resemblance to the Wells version. While we’re here, let me recommend the original-it holds up surprisingly well!
If you’re looking for an entertaining thriller, albeit a predictable one, you can catch The Invisible Man in theaters on February 28, 2020.
About The Invisible Man
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Elizabeth Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC’s The InBetween), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO’s Euphoria).
But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.