2020 has had a rough start for films. It took Sonic the Hedgehog to break the losing streak this year has had when it comes to movies. But that has fully come to a stop, at least for the moment, with the release of The Invisible Man. A powerful story with genuinely terrifying horror elements that leave viewers with an extraordinary experience.
The Invisible Man (2020) stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia, a woman trying to escape her domestically abusive, wealthy scientist boyfriend Adrian Griffin. When his apparent suicide gives Cecilia a sense of security, it’s short-lived due to an invisible presence ruining her life in all aspects.
The film utilizes mankind’s fear of being watched and amplifies it with the way the invisible man is constructed. Having that theme being combined with the technical explanation is a fantastic premise and the film uses this premise to its best outcome. From the way the film is shot, having scenes focus on an empty space, hinting at the crazed scientist potentially standing there and messing with the audience’s sense of sight, is extremely effective. It leaves the audience member more paranoid than the main character due to that third-person perspective having the viewer continuously look for a character that isn’t visibly present.
And at the core of the film is a powerful representation of the experience a person who’s suffered through a domestically abusive partnership might feel. Elisabeth Moss gives a career-defining performance, capturing the feelings of damage inflicted while emotionally attempting to rise above the fear visible on the screen. The supporting cast rise to her level of acting, having their empathy as relatable as their skepticism towards the claims Moss’s character makes.
For as little as Adrian Griffin’s character, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, is seen, he does a fantastic job instilling fear with every word spoken. The purely narcissistic madman toying with the protagonist is felt through everything stated by his character, so when he is visible, he’s just as terrifying as when he’s invisible.
The scares themselves are what heighten this picture from most modern horror movies; scenes with the fear coming from the perspective of the character herself rather than just an object is frightening. Connecting to Moss’s character genuinely leaves any viewer going through the exact same emotional rollercoaster the character is displaying. When the film takes a bit of a turn, providing a bit of action in its third act, director Leigh Whannell’s previous experience with the massively underrated action picture Upgrade gives an intense experience that holds the attention of the audience in such a creative way.
This adaptation of H.G Wells’s novel is without a doubt a must-see from any movie-goer. It provides almost any aspect desired by any viewer that definitely makes it the best film released to date (with Sonic placing a close second).