Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Director: Leigh Whannel
Running Time: 124 mins
The Invisible Man is an American film about a woman who escapes from her abusive husband, but soon finds herself being tormented by him even after his unexpected death.
Taking a classic horror premise and delivering it with effortless style and striking intensity, The Invisible Man is a gripping and powerfully distressing watch throughout.
It features a stellar lead turn from Elisabeth Moss, pitch-perfect direction from Leigh Whannel and clever writing throughout, all of which makes it more than just a horror-thriller, but a genuinely impressive piece of cinema as a whole.
There’s a lot that’s great about this film, but the best place to start has to be with the outstanding central performance by Elisabeth Moss. Having proved her talents on countless occasions in the past, Moss brings a staggering level of depth and intensity to her role, lifting what could have been a run-of-the-mill horror-thriller to being so much more.
From the very first frame, Moss brings a palpable sense of unease and distress to the film, as her character desperately escapes from an abusive and controlling husband, only to be just as tormented even away from him.
Her performance isn’t your average horror turn, shying away from melodramatic screams and shrieks in favour of dark and intense emotional depth throughout. And with that, her character and the film’s assessment of her mental state becomes so much more gripping.
Because, while there certainly is tension and horror excitement throughout, The Invisible Man stands out because of its emotional intensity and intelligent, modern perspectives on abusive relationships and mental health.
With Moss as the centrepiece for its exploration of the extents to which emotional distress can take a person, The Invisible Man strikes up hard-hitting and intensely affecting themes, which in turn lend real gravitas and dramatic depth to its horror thrills.
So, even if you’re not a horror fan, this film has so much to offer you, from its brilliant lead performance to its intelligent, striking and powerfully intense dramatic themes – a real triumph for what you might at first see as little more than a generic horror.
But, if you are a fan of the genre, don’t despair, because there is still a lot to enjoy from the thrillseeker’s perspective. With sleek and tension-filled directing by Leigh Whannel, The Invisible Man doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to intense thrills.
Although it does jump the gun a little early when it comes to bringing big, action-packed horror into the fray, the film’s dramatic intensity works in tandem with Whannel’s eye-catching direction, developing a powerful, almost ruthless brand of horror that’s brilliantly tinged with hard-hitting dramatic depth.
The film changes and develops brilliantly over the course of its two-hour runtime, but the horror always stays at the centre. Even in its quieter moments, you find yourself looking around the screen to see if the Invisible Man is hiding somewhere in plain sight – evidence of how effective Whannel’s directing is.
All in all, I absolutely loved The Invisible Man. More than just your average horror, the film takes a brilliant and simple concept and gives it stunning depth, gravitas and intrigue throughout. Bolstered by an amazing lead performance by Elisabeth Moss, it’s an entirely gripping watch throughout.
And with good action and horror fare to bring pace, intensity and ruthless excitement to the table, the film is just as thrilling as it is enthralling, all brought together by director Leigh Whannel’s eye-catching and brilliantly effective style. So, that’s why I’m giving The Invisible Man an 8.0 overall.