Review: ‘The Invisible Man’ breathes new life into an old story

Feature film "The Invisible Man," starring Elisabeth Moss, is available to rent and watch from your own home. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

By Darby Good | News Editor

After movie theaters were forced to close, many of the new movies they were showing became available for purchase so viewers could watch from home. One of the movies to do so was “The Invisible Man.”

The movie is available to rent on many different streaming websites including Amazon Prime, Google Play and iTunes.

Elizabeth Moss has never disappointed me in her performances and “The Invisible Man” is no different. This new adaptation takes the original concept from the 1897 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells. However, the movie is updated to fit into the social atmosphere and technological advancements of today with a thriller/horror twist that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire movie.

The movie follows Cecilia (Moss), a woman who is trying to escape her abusive boyfriend Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Early into the film, it is revealed that Griffin committed suicide. Just as Cecilia starts to feel safe again, she can’t shake the feeling that Griffin is still there trying to control and manipulate her.

The film does a great job of forcing viewers to draw their own conclusions. Is Cecilia being haunted by an invisible man, or have the aftereffects of long-term abuse irrevocably altered her mental state?

Moss’ work in ‘”Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” perfectly groomed her for this role. In “Mad Men,” she portrays a powerful woman who is put down by the men around her, and in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” she absolutely terrifies viewers.

This role combined both of these qualities. Cecilia starts questioning her sanity as she feels watched by the invisible man, scared that he will hurt the people she cares about and scared, on the inside, that others should be afraid of her.

I jumped and screamed multiple times while watching this movie —one moment in particular was so unexpected my jaw hit the floor. I wasn’t sure how much of the movie was going to be actual plot or jump scares based on the trailers, but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

The movie utilizes jump scares, not for the notoriety of the film, but instead to make audiences feel Cecilia’s fear toward Griffin. In their relationship, Griffin sought to control Cecilia’s every movement. Once he is gone, Cecilia begins to relax, making every jump scare a reminder that Cecilia was fighting to hold onto her freedom from that relationship.

In the end, the movie is about Cecilia struggling to regain the confidence and safety she lost to her relationship.

Overall, “The Invisible Man” showcases the process someone goes through when coming out of abuse, but breaks up the heavy topic with the jaw-dropping antics of an invisible man whose existence is unknown.