It’s actually surprising that this movie hasn’t been made before now, and I can only imagine that there was a time when it would have been considered as part of the doomed Universal monster’s franchise, that stalled horribly after the disappointing first entry, The Mummy, you know, with Tom Cruise.Anyway, we now get the Invisible Man, written and directed by Leigh Whannell.
This is another low budget horror thriller from Blumhouse, and you have to hand it to them, they can produce these films very cheaply, relatively speaking, and reap the rewards from incredible box office takings. From what I can gather, this film has a $9 million dollar budget, and the film actually benefits from this. You see, most of the suspense and tension on the screen comes solely from the performances and the direction. As you can imagine, in a film titled the Invisible Man, the “monster” is very rarely seen on screen.
The scares come from what you think should be there, so the director magnificently manages to evoke feelings of terror from empty shots. The camera pans across the scene, but we see nothing, or do we? The audience is tricked by the camera, as we watch shots of empty chairs and sofas, and lingering shots of spaces in rooms, that may, or may not, house the “Man” of the film’s title.Story wise we find Elizabeth moss in familiar territory, managing to tear up on demand, while trying to escape from terrible tyranny, being “haunted” by the abusive boyfriend who has apparently committed suicide after her disappearance.
The trailer does a good enough job of providing you with most of the story for the first two acts, so I won’t divulge much more, as the less you know of the action the better. Needless to say, this is an enjoyable scary story, but it is not without fault. The more you explore the premise and the things that unfold, the more you start to realise that the script is full of holes. Motivations seem unclear, certain characters are very two dimensional and the science is very vague. Certain aspects of the story are never properly explored and I imagine that a repeat viewing or two might show up some of the more apparent failings that you tend not to notice on a first viewing – like The Invisible Man himself.
If your interest is peaked at all by this premise you should definitely go check it out, it’s good scary fare if you don’t think too much.