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Review: ‘The Invisible Man’ Updates a Science Fiction Classic, with Chilling Results

February 27, 2020Britany Murphy

We've likely all had the feeling that someone is watching us. It is quite unsettling, yet it is rarely something that drives us mad because we can usually see the person who might be staring.

Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) doesn't have that luxury. After fleeing her abusive partner, scientist Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), with the help of her sister, Alice (Harriet Dyer), Cecilia cuts off those close to her for safety reasons while she stays with Alice's friend, James (Aldis Hodge), and his daughter, Sydney (Storm Reid). With a deep-rooted fear of Adrian eventually finding her, Cecilia is unable to even set foot outside of James' house. Even a trip down the driveway to check the mailbox is a daunting task, as she feels Adrian’s eyes on her everywhere. That is, until she gets the news that Adrian is dead.

At first Cecilia finds the news unbelievable, but it all becomes real once she and Alice go to meet Adrian's brother and lawyer, Tom (Michael Dorman), who tells Cecilia that his brother left her a sum of money from his trust. Of course, this strikes Cecilia as strange, especially due to how their relationship ended. However, the relief of not having to fear Adrian ever again doesn't last, and after a brief reprieve, a series of strange and increasingly violent events begin to give Cecilia good reason to believe that an invisible Adrian is somehow behind all of it.

Thanks to writer-director Leigh Whannell, this modern adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel of the same name does an excellent job of blending the science fiction and thriller genres to deliver a movie that is equal parts intense and unnerving. Moss is completely believable as Cecilia and her stirring performance ensures that the audience feels every ounce of trauma she experiences. Likewise, Jackson-Cohen is every bit as convincing as the frightening ex, although he doesn't get as much screen time (for obvious reasons). His intense stare and cruel and calculating behavior really make an impression, and it is impossible to not become unnerved by him.

With impressive performances from the entire cast, an accompanying score that will set audiences on edge, and some great work behind-the-camera from Whanell, The Invisible Man should certainly be on the watch list of anyone in the mood for a good sci-fi thriller. Just be prepared to do some a double take the next time you walk into a room that appears to be empty.

The Invisible Man releases February 28th, 2020 from Universal Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of R for some strong bloody violence, and language. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 4 min.

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