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The Invisible Man (2020) Movie Review

Elizabeth Moss in The Invisible Man

I Watched The Invisible Man At Home

Missed the theatrical window.

Thanks COVID-19.

But here’s the hysterical thing. Watching The Invisible Man at home, in isolation, in quarantine, is supposed to enhance the experience, right? After watching it, I was prepared to be on the lookout for any odd supernatural events in my house. Make-the-hairs-on-the-back-of-my-head-stand type of thing.

Turns out, there is something to be said about the “theatrical-experience”.

It’s my general complaint with watching horror movies at home when you don’t have a good surround-sound speaker system. No matter how expensive your television set is, its inbuilt speakers cannot translate the five channel audio output convincingly. If the closed caption says [FAINT RUSTLING] or [RAPID CLICKING] or [WAVES CRASHING], I don’t know what the hell it’s talking about. Of course, I can turn the volume up but I can’t keep it that way because I know that any upcoming jump-scare will shatter the television’s tiny sub-woofers.

The takeaway? Don’t underrate the “theatrical experience” or invest in a good multimedia system.

Yes I know you can get good quality headphones for cheap but I’d rather not plug my ears for hours.

Let’s get back to The Invisible Man

With Blumhouse horror movies now being transitioned into commercial indies, I was not expecting The Invisible Man to break any new horror grounds. And it didn’t. The Invisible Man stays true to tried-and-tested horror tropes, enhances the quality with decent writing and halfway through realizes it wants to go into sci-fi “Ex-Machina” territory.

I wouldn’t call it a horror. I would call it a competently made feature that refuses to stick to it’s genre.

That’s not a bad thing

It might be the lack of new content that’s causing me to appreciate this more than I would, but The Invisible Man manages to be so many things at once without tripping over itself. This is a feature that highlights the ill-effects of abusive relationships as well as dealing with them in a suave fashion. At the center of it all is Elizabeth Moss’s gaunt eyes and tired face – the harmful effects of paranoia prominent throughout the runtime. This is the type of character you expect to be hysterical, crying, insane, while we the audience sympathize with her as we know her perspective while the other characters on-screen do not. I’m so glad the movie is not that one-note about her as the bursts of intelligence her character displays are what I consider to be writing gold.

At the same time, the writing gets predictable as the story progresses into the science fiction territory. It is heartbreaking to see an intelligent movie run out of intelligence because you realize its not hiding any more tricks up its sleeve. As soon as the genie is out of the bottle, you begin to lose interest because the mystery factor is gone. No rational explanation will compensate for what your imagination could’ve imagined.

The Invisible Man compensates this with logical conclusion that surprises as well as frightens you. You realize that yes, this is the only way this ends.

To sum up

Bolstered by one of her many career-best performances, Elizabeth Moss and writer-directer Leigh Whannell transform The Invisible Man from just another horror flick into a statement.

Yes, you may not agree with that statement.

And you wouldn’t be wrong.

But you would do the same if you could. We’re all horrible people.

I rate The Invisible Man –

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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