Elisabeth Moss has largely impressed with subtle and believable human acting in the complex role that oppressed Offred in the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale. Last year we could see Moss in her horror debut in scary Us. A film that must have given more flavor, because in the “remake” of the Universal classic about the invisible man, Moss excels at once!
Loosely based on the 1897 novel by H.G. Wells, we meet weaver Cecila Kass (Elisabeth Moss) who lives in a horror / fear relationship with the ingenious psychopath Adrian Griffin.
In her elegant beach villa outside San Francisco, the multimillionaire keeps steel control over her loved one, until she decides to flee terrorism; a rejection Adrian does not exactly take lightly…
Adrian is a world-leading researcher in optical illusion, and without revealing too much from the plot, we can reveal that he, in an intricate way, manages to make himself invisible – and make Cecilia’s life a real hell.
Leigh Whannell has written and directed an exceptionally strong and visually stunning thriller, which is accompanied by world-class photography. As Cecilia is drawn further and further into (apparently) mental illness, and no one is on her side anymore, the film is permeated by a creeping horror that grips her and really engages.
The strong track of music, which occasionally screams at us, raises the horror to new heights. All this while The Invisible Man does not delve into typical horror / thriller clichés, but is able to keep both plots and characters original and believable.
Photography is in a class of its own, where the camera is unusually stationary, which is very effective in that we viewers only hear sounds and wait for what will come into the picture. Technically, the film is an innertier where the seamless special effects amplify the horror, while simple touches such as icy frost smoke make the neck hair stand up.
Essentially, The Invisible Man in 2020 is a psychological thriller, which draws on the master Alfred Hitchcock himself. The modern version puts the visible, not the invisible, in the main role, and in time, it centers around the theme of violent relationships.
Some of the characters’ actions appear strange, and not everything is as surprising, but in the main this is a rock solid thriller that is able to surprise, scare and at the same time entertain.
Moss’ is the film’s undisputed star where she is gradually drawn into Hell, eventually doubts her own psyche and has to fight against everything and everyone – an Oscar-worthy performance, with a fierce empathy, and what a piercing look she has! 5 extremely strong stars for this new, stylish, thriller classic.