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The Invisible Man – DeaconsDen Reaction

The Invisible Man – DeaconsDen Reaction

A contemporary adaptation of the classic story by H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man is brought into 2020 with a modern sensibility that makes this an early contender for best horror film of 2020. Horror veteran Leigh Whannell writes and directs a film that from the very first frame, oozes suspense.

Elizabeth Moss stars as Cecilia who is trapped in a controlling and violent relationship with optics scientist Adrian Griffin. Celia escapes from his home with the help of her sister and she stays with her childhood friend James. From frame one, Whannell crafts one of the most suspenseful sequences I’ve ever watched. For as much horror as I’ve seen, the opening was pure realism and I can not recall the last time I ever felt so much fear and concern for a character on screen. The opening also serves a purpose for the use of sound and visual cues that Whannell will use throughout the film. There is superb craftsmanship on didplay.

Elizabeth Moss is in sublime form as Cecilia. She puts on display a woman who was victimized and traumatized. You feel her fear, apprehension and paranoia at adapting to the world after leaving a reprehensible individual. The film’s title is also great subtext since people who leave toxic, abusive situations can have that haunting them later. The film deftly balances its thrills while maintaining its point of showing after effects of abuse and trauma. Whannell never makes light of the issue and it’s on full display for discussion and dissection.

I also want to give praise to Aldis Hodge as Cecilia’s friend James and Storm Reid as his daughter Sydney. The two of them provide a structure of safety for Cecilia and even though there isn’t much development for them (there isn’t much character development for anyone), both Hodge and Reid have meaty roles and feel vital to Cecilia and not just window dressing characters.

Earlier I mentioned there wasn’t much in terms of character development during The Invisible Man. However, I do not see this as a negative. Just because we do no necessarily see Cecilia go on a character arc as we are accustomed to, doesn’t mean she is under developed. Just being thrust into her situation worked for me because I don’t need tons of backstory to understand her situation and the nightmare that faces her. Another positive is scoring. It’s easy for a film like this to have strong musical cues, but Whannell uses music for the right moments and silence in many moments does just as mush of an impact. One other area of the film that stood out to me was the use of water. I haven’t come to any conclusion of my own on what it can mean, but it is something I look forward to breaking down in future viewings.

Anchored by a superb leading performance combined with outstanding direction, The Invisible Man is a great update for a classic story and an entertains horror film worthy of the legacy of the Universal Monsters. There is much depth to this film besides the titular character showing that monsters are human as well. Like the 1933 classic film, this will be watched many times by me and it’s already going to be a part of my personal favorites of the horror genre.


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