The story of The Invisible Man has been around for a long time. 123 Years to be exact. Which is when H.G. Wells’ novel was published. Since then it has been turned into a movie a bunch of times going all the way back to 1933. And it wasn’t just the invisible man, along the way we were also treated to an invisible kid, an invisible mom, an invisible avenger and even an invisible mouse. Most recently, we had Paul Verhoeven’s take on the story with 2000’s Hollow Man. I’m not even going to talk about the 2006 sequel, which is best kept invisible altogether.
All this to say that there don’t seem to be a whole lot of avenues left to explore when it comes to the story of the invisible man. But count on Aussie director Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious and the amusing Cooties) to dust this one off and turn it into something befitting the #metoo era.
In the original story, Dr. Jack Griffin goes both insane and invisible after being injected with a serum. In this version, the invisibility comes from an optical suit equipped with dozens of cameras. And that’s not the only difference. Optics expert Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) was already a giant asshole before he became invisible. Just ask his girlfriend Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss), who has to escape from their house in the middle of the night to get away from their toxic relationship.
She goes on to stay with her best friend from childhood James (Aldis Hodge)—a resourceful cop living with his teenage daughter Sydney (Storm Reid) and slowly works on overcoming her agoraphobia. A process that is helped along immensely when she finds out Adrian killed himself. Not only does the news give her comfort, it also leave Cecilia with a healthy sum of money. Sounds too good to be true? Yup, you guessed it. It doesn’t take long before weird things start happening, quickly going from bad to worse. And as Whannell cranks up the tension, it’s up to his female protagonist to prove she isn’t going crazy. Which is not an easy feat when you claim to be stalked by an invisible man.
It’s psychological warfare taken to the extreme and Whannell lets his inner Hitchcock come out and play as he lets the whole thing build up calmly and steadily before leading up to an entirely satisfying finale. And just when you think it’s over, there are a couple of dark twists that will leave you stunned.