The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man
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Elisabeth Moss is great as a hunted woman in The Invisible Man. A classic horror film and novel receives strong reboot from Australian writer/director Leigh Whannell who takes the plot in a totally different direction. The first two acts are incredibly atmospheric. Suspense and tension gradually build to invoke primordial fears. When blood starts to flow, it becomes quite predictable as to where the film is heading. An average ending leaves something to be desired. But, lead actors’ performance was powerful enough; jump scares were well timed.

An abused wife escapes her terrifying and manipulative husband at the beginning of The Invisible Man. Elisabeth Moss plays Cecelia Kass who quietly steps out of bed one night, leaving behind a bag with few things in it for herself. Adrian her husband (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) remains deep asleep without suspecting anything strange happening around him since she drugged him last night. In this way, Cecelia walks on tiptoes through a beachside mansion full of unusual gadgets until she meets her sister (Harriet Dyer) along a dark street only to realize that the escape is not as sleek as she had hoped.

Cecelia sheltered by an old friend’s house (Aldis Hodge), who lives there with his teenage daughter (Storm Reid). She can’t leave this place for weeks due to fear until some news come in handy for her state of mind. After all these weeks Cecelia begins hoping for a brighter future that has just dawned upon her but it doesn’t last long because intrusions start taking place right inside their living quarters making her feel like someone watches over them all the time while suspicion turns into complete panic forcing everyone assertively telling her that she’s being unrealistic and knows nothing about men who oppress women as if it were either irrational or insane behavior on behalf of an improvised victim of gender violence which seems only natural when we remember how relentless and cruel her husband can be when invisible. This is not how the movie ends.

At its best moments, The Invisible Man turns into a one-woman show. A visceral performance by Elisabeth Moss does away with any skepticism. Right from the beginning she looks scared. Her gestures, facial expressions, and wet eyes indicate that death is imminent. It’s almost as if she anticipates being punched in the face. Moss is an expert in silent acting and subtle body language such that you can tell that her character cannot relax because she understands the intentions of a skilled tormentor. She outshines herself in this role. If we don’t believe her, then this version of Universal Monsters movies would be pointless.

The initial scenes inside the house are well done by Leigh Whannell. Here is where he reaches his peak as a psychological writer after Saw and Insidious franchises. He concentrates on Elisabeth Moss mostly but often shifts to close up shots of her reaction on things quickly which makes editing slick thus allowing your mind to run wild even as you try to decipher someone or something behind her or what lies in darkness there at all especially when Cecelia sees through the lonely chair across from her having its cushion ruffled; the shot lingers until it ends at the same place revealing an empty seat while tacitly indicating an invisible presence observing everything going on around Calculating his next twisted move behind every jump scare along with others that accurately smack viewers right into their seats.

It all starts falling apart when horror theatrics and revenge become predictable in The Invisible Man too much for it to remain eerie and sinister gal with gun kicks ass or deviates into pedestrian bullets and blood hence despite satisfying instances of subjugated woman turning tables, previous sections were much more intelligent than these ones but you will be fascinated by Elisabeth Moss’s portrayal anyway who has never seemed more compelling since Mad Men days so far as this Blumhouse production distributed by Universal Pictures is concerned.

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