We all want to forget the Tom Cruise driven reboot of THE MUMMY which was then supposed to lead in to an insane Universal Studios Dark Universe which saw greats such as Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Creature From The Black Lagoon and other greats including The Invisible Man return to screens.
Unfortunately, The Mummy looked good but sucked on a massive level. It wasn't the injection of horror that fans of these creatures expected. With Universal's recent foray in to social horror such as US, Get Out and even to an extent the HALLOWEEN reboot there was room to try again. Small budget for maximum return.
Enter Leigh Whannell who shot to fame alongside James Wan with SAW and then more recently delivered one of the best sci-fi action films money can buy UPGRADE. Here with The Invisible Man Leigh ventures back in to the world of horror and smashes it!
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.
Before the story was about power corrupting absolutely. Here in 2020 the story of the invisible man gets an update and this time around it's a story of domestic violence, emotional abuse and survival. Horrific in itself right?
We've all had friends and partners who had their own way of keeping us in check, small things which to the outside world could be seen as 'controlling'. Here Cecilia played by Elisabeth Moss has ultimately become property of her other half, he controls her food, her space, her bank account. To the outside world her life is perfect, to Cecilia, she is the prisoner of a narcissist, a dangerous man.
She takes a step that not many find the bravery to do and escapes but her freedom comes at a cost. Her sanity... her man is on her tail and he's got a plan to drive her insane.
The Invisible Man succeeds in casting and execution in every way. Whannell takes the subject matter and spins it on its head... we're not just the viewer, at times we're also the obsessive boyfriend watching from the doorway, she can sense us... she knows there's something wrong but when she turns to see us, we're not there. The anxiety creeps in further and further as we as viewers are watching from both sides of the fence and without Whannell in the director’s chair and Moss as the lead, the tension, the gravity of the abuse dynamic probably would have been lost. This is a story based in reality which gives it a great weight of expectation. We then add the layer of the unbelievable and make it believable and this piece of cinema becomes a fraught, heart pounding and terrifying experience.
Horror has had an amazing resurgence in recent years thanks to Universal and Warner Bros. once again seeing the value in low budget horror blockbusters with heart. Not just scare based horror but horror with something to say.
While The Invisible Man won't leave you talking about it for weeks on end, it will leave your jaw on the floor at many points through its running time. This is Leigh Whannell's finest work, he's always had the talent but here in this studio horror he excels and shines as a creative talent to watch.
Do yourself a favour... catch UPGRADE on DVD, Blu-ray or Digital too... it's well worth it!