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The Invisible Man

The mark of a good story is how it can be adapted for modern audiences. Even though it was written by H.G. Welles in 1897, ‘The Invisible Man’ has seen many film versions. The most famous was the 1933 Claude Raines Universal horror movie that spawned numerous sequels. ‘The Invisible Man’ 2020 style echoes its forebears in successfully delivering a new twist on a classic tale.

Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss) is trapped in an abusive relationship with her scientist boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Fleeing from his clutches, she makes a new life for herself with the help of her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer) and friend James (Aldis Hodge). Events suddenly take a mysterious turn when a deadly force threatens Cecilia’s existence. Confronted by an unseen enemy, she becomes determined to survive the ordeal before her life vanishes into thin air.

Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, ‘The Invisible Man’ is an assured production. Top of the list is its ability to craft genuine scares out of mundane situations. Instead of eliciting boredom or knowing expectations, Whannell uses the power of suggestion and silence to create a feeling of lingering terror. Thankfully free of false jump scares or too much gore, the script harks back to the 1930’s ‘Invisible Man’ movies as more of a psychological thriller than a non-stop horror-fest.

‘The Invisible Man’ also works due to Moss’ excellent performance. Her vulnerability and strength are expertly shown, making for a believable heroine. Whilst her co-stars are equally strong, Moss’s presence is an anchor to which the story clings. The moody cinematography and ethereal score keep the spooky atmosphere on a consistent high until the final reel.

A solid chiller you don’t see too often, ‘The Invisible Man’ is a welcome scary movie. Although not entirely without fault, it provides the drama and scares viewers need. Whannell knows the genre well and it will be interesting to see where his ghoulish talents end up next.

Rating out of 10: 7

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