The Invisible Man is what happens when stories are left to do what they’re supposed to do. Free from the botched Dark Universe, produced by horror empire Blumhouse, and led by Insidious writer Leigh Whannell, this re-imagining of the 1933 classic is one of the rare few reboots that are good.
The Invisible Man focuses on Cecilia, a woman who escaped her abusive boyfriend. Even though the movie has a modest budget, The Invisible Man doesn’t fail to deliver pulse-pounding thrills. The movie doesn’t only build up to its title, it also shows the machinations that turn domestic abuse victims into helpless and isolated individuals.
Writer/director Leigh Whannell turns gaslighting into a series of calculated schemes to propel the plot. Bolstered by its set pieces and cinematography, there’s clever terror-building to keep you engaged.
It’s domestic abuse 101 – Cecilia’s efforts to have a normal life are derailed, her support system is cut off, and she’s gradually pushed into a corner with no other option but to go back. Meanwhile, everybody else around her thinks she’s crazy. There are missing objects, bumps in the night, and gaze perception at its finest.
Elisabeth Moss delivers another affecting role and carved out a character from a light script. Out of all the supporting cast, Micheal Dorman manages to be memorable.
The Invisible Man is a plot-driven film and suffers from the common mistakes of gaping plot holes and contrivances. But it still manages to deliver a gripping thriller while being a fitting metaphor for domestic abuse.
Focusing on Cecilia reflects how victims end up getting more scrutinized while their abuser has others fooled. By making the audience rely on her word and have them taken for granted by the characters around her, we’re reminded of how society becomes complicit.
The ending is a satisfying closure and a sad reality. When no one is listening you can only put faith in yourself. When no one believes you have to create your justice.
Horror movies do best when they reflect real-life horror. The Invisible Man can inject new life – what reboots are supposed to do but can hardly accomplish – into a classic tale by looking from the most important side of the story.
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man is an absorbing thriller, a clever metaphor for domestic abuse, and a modern-day reboot of a classic done right.