The Invisible Man is this quintessential old fashioned concept, brought in vogue by the novel of H.G Wells. Leigh Whannell has presented a contemporary version of the same concept through this 2020 thriller drama. Whannell is best known for co writing the scripts of films like Saw and the Insidious series, directed by his friend James Wan. I am particularly in awe of his 2007 film called “Dead Silence” that explores the sub genre of “folk horror.” The director’s well written earlier ventures assure us that he has a knack for creating the delicate fiber of suspense and keeping the audience at the edge of their seats. Also it is a mention-able fact that Whannell has not written the film through the standpoint of the invisible man but kept the perspective of the victim as his premise. The director was of the opinion that it would intensify the terror of a sociopath if it was to be explored through the wounds of the victim.
Cecilia Kass played by Elizabeth Moss, escapes from the house of her boyfriend . Her sister, played by Harriet Dyer, sets her up in the house of a common friend. It is then she finally opens up about the domestic abuse she had gone through, “among other things”, as she puts it. The boyfriend played by Oliver Jackson Cohen is a world leader in the field of optics. Even after the news his death, Cecilia believes that he is stalking her by making use of a suit that makes him invisible, thus called as “The Invisible Man.”
Cinematography and Background Score
The camera work and music are the two most eccentric components of a slasher horror film. The Invisible Man’s cinematography done by Stephan Duscio and Daniel Grant, makes you feel like you are part of a psychological lucid dream. The excellent camera work knits the fabric of tension and suspense. It makes you feel that something is about to happen but at the same time never falls prey to the cliches. The DOP has abstained from taking those few patented shots that are part of every horror flick of this genre. The music too intensifies the sense of tension created by the screenplay. The music does tap on to the deep rooted anxiety and fear that the character is experiencing.
The Contemporized Perspective
Leigh Whannell has re-imaged the whole concept of this classic to suit the contemporary times. His versions presents a modern me-too analogy. The characterization of the invisible man feels very human as compared to the earlier Sci-Fi versions. Credit should be given for the same to the performance of Cecilia Moss. In a genre which requires the actors to emote through expressions more than words, Moss delivers a realistic and nuanced performance. As an audience i was craving to know more about the psyche of character of Adrian and was the cause of such an abusive relationship. But maybe that is just my bias towards films like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, is speaking.
All in all Leigh Whannell presents a fresh take on a classic concept, that is worthy of our watch and it embraces the reality when Cecilia says,
“That’s the sad reality. That’s what money and power buy you-PEOPLE”
The Invisible Man written and directed by Leigh Whannell is a science fiction horror film that is loosely based on the novel of the same name. The film is available on VOD platform.
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