It's not a secret that Universal Pictures is attempting to create a revival of their classic monster movies from their early days. Their revival of The Mummy was the first of the "dark universe" to see its debut back in 2017, and while it did a great job financially, many fans weren't so thrilled with the film and considered it a flop for the company. Just two weeks ago, Universal Pictures released the second film in the series, this time utilizing a character that sometimes gets overlooked as a classic Universal Monster: The Invisible Man! The studio brought in Leigh Whannell - who has an extensive work history of successful horror films - to write and direct the Invisible Man reboot, which saw its released 87 years after the original film. Universal decided to throw out the shared universe idea and instead, opt for standalone films. The Invisible Man has been an overwhelming success - not just financially, but from a fan point of view. It's been crushing it at the box office since its release, but you know here at Soulless Cult, numbers aren't what matters: it's the mixed quality of storytelling and scares that makes for a great film by our standards. So I finally got the chance to head out and check this monster out, and I'm ecstatic to report that the hype surrounding The Invisible Man is 110% justified - the film is pure terror in every sense of the word. From beginning to end, this movie will have you in its relentless, invisible grasp and continue to shock, spook and surprise you around every turn. Leaving the theater, I was honestly in awe at just how phenominal of a job they did rebooting such a classic story and bringing it into the 21st century.
The plot in the rebooted Invisible Man film is pretty to the point: Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is an incredibly wealthy scientist who does research in optics, but he has a dreadful, abusive, and controlling relationship with his girlfriend Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss). She decides to run away and escape the abusive relationship, and she enlists the help of her sister and her friend James (Aldis Hodge) to help hide from Adrian, who she knows will seek her out after running away. News breaks that Adrian ended up killing himself and his money released to Cecilia, but not long after, she begins to feel... watched. Suddenly, she's hearing noises and seeing footprints and she knows: Adrian is here, and even though she can't see him, she knows he's there. As she works through a series of unfortunate events, she knows what she has to do: confront Adrian, who she cannot even see, and prove to herself and everyone around her that she's not losing her mind, and that Adrian is stalking her and attempting to ruin her life. Will Cecilia be able to stop The Invisible Man in his path, or will she be doomed to death at his invisible hand?!
First thing I wanted to note real quick is how amazing of a performance Elisabeth Moss delivers as the main character Cecilia. She goes from a badass escapee to a nervous wreck survivor to a mental institution patient to justice seeker rather quickly over the two hour run time of the film. You see her at her best and at her absolute fucking worst. And the raw, real emotion just pours over Moss's face the entire time: the happiness, the sadness, the dread and the terrified. Her facial expressions are flawless - most notably, for me at least, when she's in the "secure treatment center" - and set this really incredible tone in the audience that everyone undoubtedly felt. She's always been a fantastic actress in her past projects, but she really blew me away with her lead role in this movie. And while we're at it, Aldis Hodge absolutely slays his role as Cecilia's friend and protector, ensuring she's got somewhere safe to stay and even attempting to believe her when she tells him "Adrian's here." He's a total fucking badass and makes for an excellent addition to Moss's performance. Together, they completely dominate the screen and are unstoppable.
The Invisible Man himself - even though you cannot see him - is terror in its finest form. How do you fight - or kill - something you cannot see? What do you do when the ones you love most are hurt, and everyone assumes it was at your hands and not that of your invisible, insane ex-boyfriend? The scares in the film all come when you don't even know he's there, and it makes for a breath-taking tale of terror as you venture around the house, the hospital, and everywhere in between not knowing if a psychopath is even in the same room as you. Brilliantly written, brilliantly executed, brilliantly shot. Like I said earlier, I was in awe at just how great of a job they did with this - it almost leaves me speechless. The twists and turns this movie delivers sincerely puts your head through the ringer as you begin to feel your own descent into madness. That's how you write a great horror. The execution of the haunt scenes are spectacular - as you see the footprints appear, as the camera pans around the room and you notice slight movements indicating his presence... it's cinematic creativeness at its best. It's exactly how I would have wanted to do it had I directed the film.
If The Invisible Man is a teaser of what's to come from the Universal Monsters reboot series, we are in for a fucking treat. The astounding job they did with this movie gives me so much hope that the movies that will follow are going to be just as awesome. I guess time will only tell, but for now, do yourself a favor and get your ass to the theater to check out The Invisible Man before it leaves. You'll be whisked away into a world of sheer terror as you can't even tell if the monster you fear the most is right in front of your face. Worth every penny to see this one in theaters!