After The Mummy reboot underperformed at the box office in 2017 leaving Universal Pictures' Dark Universe series hanging in the balance, Blumhouse Productions stepped in to revive the Monsterverse and change tack with The Invisible Man.
Writer/director Leigh Whannell’s (Saw, Insidious), cleverly produced reimagining of HG Wells's sci-fi novel, along with the original 1933 big screen classic, is a painfully relevant and unsettling mind-bender that deserves your presence.
From its opening frames, the film digs its claws in and doesn’t let go as Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) finally escapes the grasps of her controlling partner (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a famous optics pioneer. Ever the manipulator, he fakes his own death, and uses his presence (or lack of) to continue his menacing ways.
This socially-aware piece of cinema paints an immensely unnerving portrait of a woman in the clutches of a volatile relationship that becomes even more sinister when her abuser is no longer visible to the naked eye.
Moss delivers a soul-shattering performance that springs from defensive to vulnerable, from furious to terrified, without being nauseating. The relentless terror Moss' character steadily feels is inscribed on her face with meticulous precision.
Watch our interview with Elizabeth Moss
There are aspects that could stand better explanation within the plot but its triumphs are in the little details.
The script is immersive even in its understatedness and never loses sight of its concept, sustaining a level of intensity and palpable sense of claustrophobia throughout.
Aided by Benjamin Wallfisch’s killer score, the superb camerawork of cinematographer Stefan Duscio (Upgrade) becomes a character all in itself through the crafty use of slow panning sweeps and eerie wide shots.
Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, Whannell explained how he wanted the camera to have a sense of autonomy.
"What I wanted to do was tap on the fourth wall a little bit, and be like ‘no, there’s a point of view here, that’s not the character’s point of view. There’s some other eye in this house’".
Filmed impressively in just seven months with a budget of $9 million, The Invisible Man really needs to be seen to be believed.
Watch our interview with director Leigh Whannell, producer Jason Blum, and Mr Invisible himself Oliver Jackson-Cohen, below: