Finnegan On Film: ‘The Invisible Man’ Is A Tense And Inventive Thriller

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, says you should definitely see ‘The Invisible Man’…

“What did you see this week?”

“The Invisible Man”

“How did you manage that?”

I’m not a great devotee of modern horror films – far too many graphic decapitations.  But I love the old Universal and Hammer productions with their style and inventive effects bearing in mind what was available at the time.

One of the staple characters of these films was The Invisible Man, usually depicted as covered in bandages, with the classic unravelling reveal.

This is a very clever, tense and inventive psychological thriller, although I loved the knowing wink to the history.

Continued below…


Cecilia Kass is trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with a super wealthy optics engineer Adrian Griffin.

Drugging him with diazepam, she makes her way through the high tech surveillance house, disables the security cameras, and goes to make her escape.  Suffice to say, it is not that straightforward, and her plans do not go entirely as she had planned.

Elizabeth Moss in ‘The Invisible Man’.

Staying with a childhood friend, police detective James and his teenage daughter Sydney, Cecilia is making a slow recovery to normal life, barely able to leave the house.  Two weeks after her escape, she is told that Adrian has committed suicide, leaving her five million dollars in his will.  This unexpected fortune should be the start of a new life, but is the commencement of a series of unexplainable misfortunes.

The question of whether a woman’s accusation is believed is one that has obvious modern relevance.

This narrative just has an additional twist.  As Adrian’s sleazy brother and Executor puts it, the only thing more brilliant than inventing something that makes you invisible, is making you think that that he has invented something that makes you invisible.

Praise must be given to Elizabeth Moss as Cecilia.  Known best for “The West Wing”, “Top of the Lake” and especially “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

This is a really impressive performance by one of the most gifted actresses of her generation and holds the whole narrative together.

With able acting support from Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman and especially Aldis Hodge as James, this is a really taut and atmospheric story, which builds and surprises in a manner that made all the audience react at the showing I attended.

The Screenplay and Direction by Leigh Whannell is exceptional, and shows, I hope, the writer of “Saw”, “Dead Silence”, and “Insidious 1 and 2”, that, really, less is often shockingly more.  Not that he totally renounces the occasional graphic knife scene.  An atmospheric soundtrack by Benjamin Wallfisch adds to the foreboding atmosphere, especially in the early set-up scenes.

So, I will not spoil it for you by telling you if you see the Invisible Man.  I’m afraid you have to go and see it for yourself, and I hope you will. Enjoy!

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