After the disappointing “horror” flick The Turning, I was really excited to see the latest Monster movie- one that impressed audiences after the recent Universal “Monsterverse” disasters. I’m calling this the new generation’s What Lies Beneath.
While this may not capture the same shock factor as What Lies Beneath, The Invisible Man has suspense (and a truly shocking moment). I think that’s impressive, considering we already know who the villain is. A lot of movies and shows try and fail to surprise the audience with who the villain is, and the effort and events center around that moment of revelation. When you already establish that the antagonist is truly evil, the story needs other strengths- Suspense, dread, and intrigue. The film draws these out well.
I liked the main character, and watching her struggle was what kept the story going. Audience members are asked to suspend some disbelief, but not too much. It may be a “Monster” movie, but it’s not something as drastic as the Mummy or Dracula. And aside from the tech that allows someone to be invisible, everything else is real- abuse, financial issues, and relationships.
We get to watch her escape an abusive relationship, and while we are rooting for this, we begin to feel the sense of dread she feels: is he really gone? The camera doesn’t “trick” us as much as it simply makes us guess if we’re looking at the wall, and empty room, or if there is truly someone there and we can’t see them. The trailer does show nearly everything that happens (without maybe like three major moments) and I almost wish it hadn’t. These days, that seems to be asking a lot.
Elisabeth Moss gave a genuine and terrified performance. The other characters were not too memorable, but did their part well. If horror and thrillers are your thing, you certainly should check it out. I have spoilers below.
It was strange but I almost disliked the antagonist’s brother even MORE. He may have been manipulated as well, but in writing you have to distinguish between two kinds of people who are controlled by another character, from my experience. Those that the audience/reader feels sorry for, and those no one does. This guy is totally the latter. He’s probably as evil as his brother (he did attempt murder after all). That’s how I felt. Also, making her pregnant didn’t serve the plot in any way in my opinion. I think they were trying to show how invasive Griffin is, but we already know that. Her goal is the same: to stop him.
Overall those are just knit picks. I truly was not expecting her sister to get killed so suddenly- that was done so well, the movie deserves a rewatch just for that moment.