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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

The Invisible Man

Blumhouse’s Best Film since Get Out

Part of being seriously abused is having no one believes you even if the people who don’t believe you care for your well being. Such is the abuse that corners all four walls of The Invisible Man, Blumhouse’s new social horror that is as perfect as it is terrifying. The Invisible Man instantly introduces audiences to Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss), who escapes in the dead of night from her wealthy abusive boyfriend, Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).

Aided by her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer), Cecilia hides out in the comforting home of her childhood friend James (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter Sydney (Storm Reid). Cecilia soon learns of Adrian’s apparent suicide in which he left her five million dollars in his will. Of course, things are never as perfect as they seem. A series of troubling events that slowly turn more toxic leaves, Cecilia, with the realization that Adrian (A brilliant scientist) has found a way to be invisible, faked his death to bring her out of hiding and is haunting her.

The Invisible Man is a film that gets more and more frightening as it progresses. Abuse is a continuous cycle after all and audiences are seeing it from Cecilia’s point of view. We as audiences don’t see Adrian on-screen haunting Cecilia while knowing she can’t see him: We see Cecilia being haunted by Adrian whom we can’t see either. It’s almost as though we are being abused as well because we can’t see him. Again, we’re seeing everything unfold from Cecilia’s point of view so when she suffers, so do we.

It’s not enough for Adrian to be haunting Cecilia. She has to know that she’s being haunted by him and suffer from the trauma of having nobody believe her. From setting the kitchen on fire to slapping Sydney and making her think Cecilia did it, Adrian continues to tighten his grip on the trembling throat that has become Cecilia’s life.

Scenes in which characters have conversations are often rushed in horror films because the filmmakers want to rush to all the violence. The Invisible Man respectfully never does this in the film. This really made relations among the characters more believable and showed their feelings to be more genuine. One of the most emotionally unbearable scenes is when Cecilia finds out Adrian sent an email to Emily from her email account. Reading that she finds Emily suffocating and wishes that she had died instead of Adrian leaves her sobbing on the floor for what seems like forever.

This scene is an absolute punch in the gut and completely exemplifies what I said earlier about Cecilia’s suffering is our own. Adrian takes pleasure in watching Cecilia fall apart in front of him because he knows she knows he’s there. She's acknowledging that he has the power to hurt her which makes him feel more powerful. Elisabeth Moss is no stranger to portraying women who are abused but The Invisible Man takes her to a whole new level. June (From The Handmaid’s Tale) and Robyn (From Top Of The Lake) were abused and others knew about it whereas, in The Invisible Man, the knowledge of what’s happening to her is all on her shoulders.

I can see how many female actors may be hesitant to portray an abuse victim because it may seem like the kind of role that could get them typecast but that’s not Elisabeth Moss. She understands that it’s a privilege to portray characters like Cecilia because these women in real life can’t get their voices heard. This is not to say that abuse is Cecilia’s identity. It is not. Abuse is something she suffers from but it doesn’t define her and I was very impressed with how The Invisible Man constantly reminded me of this.

The acting altogether was phenomenal but often in horror films, the great acting is required so that if the rest of the movie is mediocre, it won’t matter as much. This is not The Invisible Man. The Invisible Man has a score, sound design, cinematography and visual effects that skyrockets into the souls of critics who are prepared to praise them. Every moment of technological brilliance morphs into more revolutionary filmmaking.

The Invisible Man is Blumhouse’s best film since ‘Get Out’. Films like The Invisible Man make me sigh and wish every mainstream film were like it because every film is capable of telling a great story in a great way. It just doesn’t happen that way. Not nearly as often as it should.

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1 Comment

Merba Gioconda
Mar 05, 2020

Riveting! I feel like I’ve just seen the movie. A testament to your brilliant writing. Write a book Max! I can’t wait to read it!! ❤️

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