Flashback to the year 2017, Tom Cruise leads the reboot of ‘The Mummy’ that was expected to be the huge arrival for the start of Universal’s ‘Dark Universe’. After negative reactions and unfavourable box-office revenue, the proposed Universal monster franchise died a very premature death. The production and announcement of ‘The Invisible Man’ was one that crept its way to shooting without many people being aware of it. Director and Writer Leigh Whannell shared an image of the clapperboard for day one of shooting on social media for all to see. Filming wrapped relatively quickly and then before we knew it, the finished product was ready to see. After Universals failed attempt to revive their classic monster universe failed at the first hurdle, but can famed and acclaimed horror expert Whannell deliver a modern twist on the classic H.G Wells novel and potentially inject life into Universal’s ‘Dark Universe’?.
As mentioned before, ‘The Invisible Man’ was created by H.G Wells back in the late 1800’s in the form of a novel and then recreated on screen in 1933. A scientist discovers a way to become invisible, but whilst attaining this, becomes mad and goes on a murderous spree. Skip nearly 90 years to 2020 and ‘The Invisible Man’ is getting another punt at scaring audiences on the big screen. Not only is it a welcomed return to cinemas for the mysterious man but it’s a resounding masterpiece of a return. After being blessed to many modern great thriller/horrors over the past few years (It Follows, Get Out, Hereditary & Us), ‘The Invisible Man’ joins that list of films that have impressed and left a mark on the audience whilst stepping out of its shadow of being labelled out-dated to being relevant and scary again to a modern audience. The film locks you into your seat from your first breath and at times, cuts your airways whilst you watch our main character Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) survive an onslaught of physical and emotional violence that she is accustomed to whilst experiencing her history of domestic violence in a completely different way.
We want to take this moment to recognise the ensemble cast of the film and congratulate them all on an incredible performance. As you would expect, lead actress Elisabeth Moss blew us out of the way of her portray of Cecilia and personally, puts in a career best performance and one that undoubtedly joins the list of strong female performances in the Horror/Thriller genre. But we don’t want to limit her to just that. Her portrayal of the main character in ‘The Invisible Man’ is the strongest female performance we have seen for an extremely long time. Her ability to convey her characters vulnerability is second to none but whilst she is incredible at displaying this, she also allows the character to have a clear journey where she grows as an individual and is also a wonder to watch.
As much as Moss dominates the screen, behind the camera, Australian film maker and writer Leigh Whannell is the one orchestrating this masterpiece. Known mainly for his writing work that helped redefine the horror genre when ‘Saw’ hit cinemas 16 years ago. Since then, he has grown as a writer and now, an acclaimed film maker who is only showing signs of improvement after each project. ‘The Invisible Man’ only being his third directorial effort, this is clear evidence that we have someone who is comfortable within this genre and knows how to execute a story to perfection. This is the most tense we have felt for a good while and that is always a positive sign that the film is doing what it’s intended to do. And that’s to scare the fuck out of you. But mostly, make you feel extremely uncomfortable which is what the film does best. Whannell somehow manages to show us empty spaces and rooms and instilled a fear into his shots and create an environment that smells of paranoia and uneasiness. This has to be his best piece of work in his filmography and is one of the best remakes in recent memory.